We’ve seen several competitors to Google Glass over the past few years, including smart glasses from Vuzix and Epson. The latter of those, in fact, beat Google to the market back in 2012 with its Moverio glasses. Today, Epson has announced its second generation smart glasses, powered by Android.
Update: Google reached out to us to say there is currently no relationship between Google Glass and Rochester Optics
When Google recently announced the second generation Google Glass rolling out to those in its Explorers beta program later this year, it also noted that the wearable will fully support a new line of prescription frames. Now, Rochester Optical, a NY-based manufacturer of lenses and eyewear products, has teamed up with Tim Moore of VentureGlass who struck a deal with Google to provide “custom prescription, fashion, and sport lenses” for Glass. Moore announced the news today on his Google+ page with the image above and linked to a press release from Rochester Optical.
As a state-of-the-art optical laboratory, one of the first wearable technology items Rochester Optical will be producing are custom prescription, fashion, and sport lenses for Google Glass, available for purchase in early 2014
With Tim’s proven background as co-founder of social media agency SayItSocial and founder of Venture Glass, he will provide tremendous value to Rochester Optical in their endeavors in both the retail and the online space. His company, Venture Glass, a wearable technology company, was chosen by Google for their Google Glass project.
While the new Glass will be available later this year, Rochester Optical’s press release notes that its lenses for the device will available to buy in early 2014. Read more
A United States Patent Application filling from today revealed three detailed diagrams of Google Glass. Google announced yesterday that it would open applications, asking people to answer the question “If I had Glass”. A Google-approved, answer along with $1,500, will score you a set of the futuristic glasses this year. The new diagrams, along with many pages, detail the future potential. In the filling, mentions of Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth, and more are all listed as connectivity options, as well as back-up battery slots that accept AA and AAA batteries to help keep that LTE juice flowing all day. Some other features of the device possibly include touch input all along the frame of the glasses and different RAM, battery, and storage configurations.
Other possible mentioned features are:
- Gyroscope and accelerometer
- Retina laser scanner
- Semi-transparent LED display
- Balanced internal distribution for “predetermined weight distribution”
While there are tons of mentioned features in the filling, it’s unsure how many will actually come to life when Glass launches officially next year.
Although we have not seen that much about how Google’s augmented reality glasses will actually work (apart from a few photos and video at the Google I/O skydiver demo), the company plans to get the $1,500 Explorer Edition into hands of I/O attendees who preordered the device by next year. Google appears to already be thinking about security features for Project Glass with a patent published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (via Engadget) that details various ways of locking the device or sounding an alarm when detecting unnatural movements. It would also be capable of alerting authorities that the glasses have been stolen or unintentionally removed.
These features would have certainly been useful to University of Toronto professor Dr. Steve Mann (pictured above), who recently was physically assaulted for wearing his EyeTap Digital Eye Glass system. Mann described the experience of having his vision system, which he explained could only be removed with special tools, ripped off his head by a McDonalds employee:
At this point, at the very least, we already know that Google’s augmented reality glasses are capable of snapping a photo. However, we do not have much of an idea of how the UI might work other than what is in the initial concept video. Our sources previously indicated that Google was using a “head tilting-to scroll and click” for navigation of the user interface. Today, we get a look out how the company is experimenting with alternative methods of input for the glasses from a patent recently granted by the United States Patent & Trademark Office and detailed by PatentBolt.
According to the report, the highlight of the patent is how Google’s glasses could work with hand gestures. The patent described various hand-wearable markers, such as a ring, invisible tattoo, or a woman’s fingernail, which could be detected by the glasses’ IR camera, to “track position and motion of the hand-wearable item within a FOV of the HMD.” In other words, the wearable marker, in whatever form factor, would allow the glasses to pick up hand gestures. The report also noted multiple markers could be used to perform complex gestures involving several fingers or both hands:
Patents recently published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (via Engadget) show Google successfully patented at least the ornamental design of its “Project Glass” augmented reality glasses unveiled last month. It does not look exactly like the prototypes shown off in the concept videos, nor the pair worn by Sergey Brin, but we expect the design will be altered somewhat before it eventually hits the market.