Wearable tech: who are the competitors and what are their products?
- Company: Google // Product: Google Glass
If you haven’t heard of Glass, never fear! My blog will give you a briefer than brief description that will hopefully encourage you to go and do some research about this kick-arse product. It’s basically a set of glasses with a computer attached. There is a little lens in the top right-hand corner of the glasses that sits just above the mid-line of your eye through which you can see the display. With voice and swipe commands you can use applications, send SMS, take short films, take pictures, and google information about random topics, among other things. Some lucky ducks got a pair early, but most of us have to wait until later this year to get our hands on one. This is what it looks like:
- Company: serial entrepreneur Takahito Iguchi // Product: Telepathy One
One of Google Glass’s first competitors. Described as sleeker, and cheaper, it’s sure to please those of us who aren’t cashed-up kings but still want a slice of the wearable techpie. Mmm wearable techpie. Rumors are that Telepathy One will be released before Google Glass.
- Company: Apple // Product: iWatch
Not yet known to be jumping on the eye wear tech bandwagon, Apple are instead working on the iWatch. No one really knows what it’s going to look like yet, but I really really hope it looks like the below image submitted by one of a handful of designers who are taking their best guess. The New York Times reported that the iWatch will have flexible ‘Willow Glass’ which can flip-flop around without breaking. Apart from also having Bluetooth technology, there aren’t really any other specs that are public known about the iWatch (note the ones already mentioned are solid rumors at best). Release date was rumored to be later this year, but no information has officially been leaked to confirm. Perhaps early next year.
- Company: Microsoft // Product: Wearable Multitouch Projector
According to Microsoft’s website, “Wearable Multitouch Interaction is a depth-sensing and projection system that enables interactive multitouch applications on everyday surfaces.” It’s a shoulder-worn contraption that shoots an image onto a surface (say wall, arm or even leg!) with which you can interact. Totally different market to the eye wear or wrist wear market. It looks like Microsoft may have the lead on this one. Very clunky looking, but if it does the job, which it is widely reviewed to be doing- tech win! No idea when it’s being released to the public. It doesn’t look like anytime soon- they’ve been working on the technology used in this device for a long time.
- Company: Sony // Product: Head-mounted dual display apparatus
Sony recently published a patent application including this image, along with tech specifications for what sounds like a pair of specs that displays two images to the user, as opposed to Google Glass’s one. The apparatus doesn’t look as sleek or streamlined as Google Glass or Telepathy One, which may distract others during social interaction. Still, two lenses are better than one, right? Although, I could be wrong, and this may be more of a gaming device, similar to the Oculus Rift below. Segway to bullet point 6…..
- Company: Oculus // Product: Oculus Rift
This is not really wearble tech. It kind of is, but doesn’t let you interact with your physical surroundings like the others do. What it does let you do is interact with an augmented reality world….. who’s cooler now? The device projects the 3D image of a video game into the headset so you can step into the video game you’re playing. Development kits have already been distributed, and a few games/user experiences have already been released for prototype owners to try. The consumer version will be available when the developers say so. No exact date, but they say they are working tirelessly to get it to the people. This photo, I’m pretty sure, is what the consumer version may ultimately look like. The prototype is more clunkier.