Apple and Olympus Eyeing Google Glass Market
Google Glass is a product that’s ripe with potential, and the time is right for companies to produce their version of Google’s augmented reality / phone / browser / camera / device. Google announced the availability of Glass for pre-orders (US$1,500 or S$1,900, to be delivered next year) at the I/O last week. The official public release is slated for 2014. This week, Apple got a patent approved for its head-mounted display (HMD) and Olympus launched the MEG4.0, a wearable display and communications device sans camera.All three companies see their devices benefiting a wide range of users: from surgeons who need an MRI image on his display while performing surgery; to a firefighter requiring temperature readings of a structure on fire; to a policeman checking out licence plates or identity cards with just a glance. Then there are other, more dubious reasons for having one: to be able to drive and surf the web hands-free; to be able to record every waking moment moment of your life (if the batt holds up), so you can Twatt (the future of Tweeting) said videos; to spy on fellow commuters, hoping to record a fight or accident for posting on a community journal site.
Olympus did not say when they will release MEG4.0 units for sale, or how much it will cost. They did unveil some of the specifications: 320×240 QVGA display, accelerometer and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity (no camera, unlike Glass). Apple’s patent approval may not necessarily mean it will build HMDs, but it does mean Apple can sue other manufacturers who will try to create devices that resemble the broad scope of products that its HMD patent covers.
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