We’re pretty much obsessed with the idea of augmented reality as using visual cues. But, how about the use of sound to provide extended digital information about the world around us. That’s Bose’s plan with some new AR sunglasses that look just like normal shades, i.e., not a geekfest! Speakers in the stems play music into your ear through contact, so there’s no need for earbuds and since you interact by tapping the sides, no bulky controls or head-shaking options.
Linked to your smartphone, the glasses can establish what you’re looking at, and by tapping they will provide audio information. You can also play music from the glasses, take a phone call by nodding or reject it by tilting your head, with a few other gestures to help interact. The glasses were shown off at all-things-cool even #sxsw, but the excitement coming from the press there is no guarantee of success.
As a prototype, there’s a long way to go with these, especially in the service and content area, but it won’t be too hard for businesses to see some value. They will also be awesome devices for the visually impaired to help them get around and make best use of their phone. The company describes the product as:
Bose AR debuts a miniscule, wafer-thin acoustics package developed specifically for the platform, representing the future of mobile micro-sound with jaw-dropping power and clarity. It can be seamlessly built into headphones, eyewear, helmets and more, with no compromise to their existing functionality. And it allows simple head gestures, voice, or a tap on the wearable to control content— replacing the need to swipe, type, or tap a touchscreen for the same commands.
Let’s see how a limited summer launch goes before we get too excited. Developers can sign up to the Bose AR portal to get more information.