The challenge from smart eyewear, Microsoft looks at Google
A "wiki-lens" for expanding our view of the world thanks to augmented reality: focus on events in real time
They are not on the market yet, but Google Glasses already have competitors. The latest patent is from a big name: Microsoft. The company has registered projects for eyewear that will give the wearer real time information about the surrounding environment. With augmented reality in all senses, the lenses from Redmond can provide information about what the wearer is seeing at a precise moment, whether it's an object, place or event.
The Microsoft glasses will be a "wiki-lens" for finding out more about what's in front of us: with the Microsoft designs we will be able to watch a football game and we imagine that the glasses will give information about the players, the match, and so on. According to the patent, the device will understand in which direction the wearer is looking and adjust the visualization and optics accordingly.
Unlike Google Glasses, which are an Android device similar to a smartphone inserted in a prescription frame, the Microsoft project seems to be more oriented toward a "wearable computing" concept. A device which is to be worn but which also combines new functions for hands-free use.
Considering the patents, the glasses seem to be fitted with standard and inevitable items like a camera, microphone, location and orientation sensors. It is still unclear what type of display they will have, what the operating system will be (but Windows Phone could be adapted to optical interaction) or whether the device will consist of a pair of eyeglasses alone or if there will be an external part.
What is certain is that there will be Wi Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. But we don't know if Redmond is thinking about this device as a commercial product, purely an experiment, or even for government, military or industrial use. However, there is no doubt that the wearable technology frontier is the next sector to be conquered by hi-tech.