While the much-anticipated Google Glass ‘wearable technology’ product was recently pushed back to a potential release date of 2014, rivals Microsoft have unveiled their plans for the potentially booming future market, with ‘augmented reality glasses’ of their own that are designed to offer ‘live updates’ to people visiting sports or entertainment events.
Set to be an innovative application of ‘second screen’ style developments, the system, which was filed to the US Patent Office last week, bears similarities to the Google design, but is thought to be tailored more towards ‘Event Augmentation with Real-Time Information’, as their title describes, with the implication that the glasses could offer TV-style statistics to the user in an arena or stadium.
A main example of the product’s potential written by Microsoft is that of going to a baseball game and being given live statistics on the players (who are ‘tagged’ and identified with the system) along with past records, amongst other options. Also mentioned is the chance to visit an opera with details of background scenes implemented when the glasses are worn.
The information is said to be sourced via a built-in GPS system, which would recognise the location and therefore ‘stream’ connected data on the event occurring, whilst an ‘eye tracking’ system is thought to be the potential solution to a problem of ‘stationary layers’, with the device set to be able to notice what the user is looking at and provide relevant information without obstructing the line of vision.
Microsoft’s application to the USPTO explained their bid to win the patent, describing the product: “Fans of live sporting and artistic events have enjoyed various types of information which is provided on different displays to supplement the live event. This supplemental information is provided both when the user is in attendance at the event and when the user views the event on broadcast media. One example of this is the augmentation of [american] football games to display a first-down marker superimposed on a playing field in a broadcast television event, and the broadcast of replays both on broadcast television and large displays at the venue of the event.”
Technology-wise, the theoretical product is planned to feature its hardware within the glasses or through a ‘processing unit’ that is able to be placed in the wearer’s pocket or on a wrist strap to offer wired or wireless connection with the glasses.
It is also believed that Microsoft’s product (and the spate of rival items that would likely follow soon after) would have the potential to be ‘stadium-only’ options, given out in the manner that 3D glasses are in theatres today, but will a more specifically-designed theory manage to square up to Google’s more generalised device that is much closer to actual release?