Despite a huge amount of fanfare and excitement at technology shows, industry events and even high street shops, the first foray of the tech world into smart glasses was a pretty conclusive failure.
While the technology still has a rapidly expanding second life in the business and manufacturing world, it’s definitely nowhere near the top ten on anyone’s consumer wishlist .
So what’s next for the smart glasses technology sector?
Some of the problems that killed off Google Glass were the bulky look of the product, its high price and the perceived creepiness of the ever-present camera that it had mounted on the frame. However, the basic premise of the device remains sound, and the rise of the smartwatch proves that there is a demand for a heads up display for vital information about your tech world – whether that’s directions, the weather, your battery life or your song choices.
Transparent augmented reality display onto the inside of your shades
With their new Light Drive, Bosch is hoping to strip out the bits people don’t want and keep the bits they do by providing the ability to convert any pair of glasses into a smart device with a miniature projector that fits onto the inside of the frame. While we’ll get a proper look at CES in January, the system promises to project an augmented reality image onto the inside of your glasses in a way that is unobtrusive and compatible with a normal pair of spectacles.
This isn’t the first time such a solution has been proposed, but with this product, Bosch is hoping to be able to address the size issue that has plagued previous attempts, as well as the problem of focus and daylight, by utilising a hologram projection that sits just in front of your eyes. This is then connected to a smartphone or other smart device which will relay information to the Light Drive, displaying it inside your lenses.
An accessory such as a smart watch
Currently, Bosch is not planning to launch any smartphone replacing technology to go along with the Light Drive and it is expected that it will function as an accessory like a Smart Watch, but with more developments planned such as gesture recognition and 3D mapping onto the world around you – it could be a significant growth market to watch out for in other developers. Watch this space.