The New Platform War In “Reality Display”

  • BY Justin Alvarez

Along with Apple, another camera and optics company has joined the competion started by Google’s Project Glass for head-mounted augmented reality display (aka a smartphone in your glasses).

Japan’s Olympus has just released a press release on its wesite announcing its MEG 4.0 prototype which, besides its other more useful functions, will allow users to alter how they view the real world. In the news release, Olympus announced the “Meg 4.0 ultracompact wearable display prototype” “can be used in everyday life.” Additionally, the “display does not obstruct the view of the outside world” and will only weight 30 grams (and that’s including the battery).

The eyewear will require a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone to share information back to the display. However, along with Apple’s recent patent filings for displays that are embedded in goggles and glasses as well as Recon Instruments honing its Android-powered HUD ski goggles for the past year, it looks like wearable computing is the “new platform war,” as a new report issued by Forrester Research announces.

“Imagine video games that happen in real space,” the report states. “Or glasses that remind you of your colleague’s name that you really should know. Or paying for a coffee at Starbucks with your watch instead of your phone.” Is it a good thing that technology is, literally, getting out of our way?

I wholeheartedly believe all signs are pointing to yes. Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin told the New York Times how he was able to document a moment with his son as he threw him in the air with both hands and catching him. He added, “I could never have done that with a smartphone or a camera.” Technology isn’t going anywhere, but with these wearable devices technology can sit in the background until we need it.