Snapchat Rebrands Itself, New Spectacles Record POV Video

Snapchat, rebranded Snap Inc. to acknowledge the company is now more than an app, debuted its first hardware product. Spectacles one-size-fits-all sunglasses in black, teal or coral can record up to 10 seconds of video from the wearer’s first-person point of view. The user is able to record video hands-free, and the camera, which relies on a 115-degree-angle lens, also gives a wider image that more closely mimics our natural field of view, even to the point of being circular. Spectacles is priced at $129.99. Continue reading Snapchat Rebrands Itself, New Spectacles Record POV Video

Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence Shaping the Future

Although up until now, augmented reality has had an inauspicious debut — think Google Glass — it’s poised to transform how we interact with computers in the next two decades. AR now has technical limitations including a narrow field of view, less-than-ideal resolution and latency issues. Furthermore, the only way to interact with AR is via bulky glasses or helmets. But many experts believe that we are in the midst of a speedy evolution to the point where AR will enable us to project a virtual screen on every surface. Continue reading Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence Shaping the Future

Snapchat Working on AR, Gamer Developers Turn to VR Titles

Snapchat has been making hires and acquisitions in augmented reality that may signal development of smart glasses. The company has brought in key people from Microsoft HoloLens, PTC’s (formerly Qualcomm’s) Vuforia and Eyefluence, an eye-tracking technology company. Snapchat’s interest in AR dates back to March 2014, when it quietly acquired Vergence Labs, maker of glasses with an embedded camera, for $15 million. At the time, the acquisition seemed out-of-place but now appears to be part of a larger AR strategy. Continue reading Snapchat Working on AR, Gamer Developers Turn to VR Titles

CES: Zeiss Comes Up with Optics for Superior Smart Glasses

Carl Zeiss — notable manufacturer of lenses for motion picture and consumer cameras — now has the technology for smart glasses that makes use of more than a decade of work on head-mounted displays and two centuries of work on lenses. Best of all, the resulting smart glasses look and feel exactly like ordinary prescription lenses — and, in fact, can combine optical prescriptions and “smart” technology. Zeiss did it by integrating a Fresnel structure into a standard lens, and placing a very small display at the end of the lens. Continue reading CES: Zeiss Comes Up with Optics for Superior Smart Glasses

OrCam Unveils Discrete Digital Assistant for AR Applications

Israel-based technology company OrCam is introducing its compelling take on augmented reality at this year’s CES. The company’s device is similar to Google Glass, but the hardware is more discrete and does not save images or audio, which could help alleviate privacy concerns. The MyMe digital assistant is designed to give the user advice based on the world around them. The assistant speaks through a Bluetooth earpiece and the tiny camera clips to a shirt. All of the data processing is done in real time. Continue reading OrCam Unveils Discrete Digital Assistant for AR Applications

CES: Augmented Reality Getting Ready in the Green Room

While companies prepare to release virtual reality experiences into the consumer market, an increasing flow of money and effort is going toward developing and buying augmented reality (AR) technology and ideas. Augmented reality is any situation where your personal experience with the world around you is enhanced, supplemented, or added to via personally worn technology. The AR space is getting busy and increasingly crowded as companies position themselves to secure a piece of a new media ecosystem that is projected to yield $120B in revenue by 2020. Continue reading CES: Augmented Reality Getting Ready in the Green Room

Google’s Hologram Patent Opens Door for AR with Magic Leap

Google just received a patent, filed in March 2014, for using holograms in a head-mounted display such as Google Glass. In the months since the patent filing, Google has also led a $542 million funding round for Magic Leap, a Florida-based startup specializing in augmented reality, by which digital imagery is superimposed over the real world. But Google is mum on how — or if — it plans to marry the patent with its other technologies, most specifically Google Glass, and Magic Leap’s capabilities in AR. Continue reading Google’s Hologram Patent Opens Door for AR with Magic Leap

YouTube Rolls Out Dedicated Gaming Hub to Take on Twitch

YouTube launched its centralized hub for gaming this week, a new competitor to Amazon’s Twitch that features live and recorded video content about popular games. YouTube Gaming is available for game fans on mobile (Android, iOS) and the Web and offers more than 25,000 dedicated pages. The service automatically populates all gaming content from YouTube’s community, and Google is appealing to video creators by promising to make it simpler to livestream their games. Gaming-related video content has exploded in popularity, and is now second only to music. Continue reading YouTube Rolls Out Dedicated Gaming Hub to Take on Twitch

New Google Glass to Feature Larger Prism and Intel Atom CPU

Google Glass “Enterprise Edition,” expected to go into testing this fall, will feature several notable updates to its hardware, including a larger prism display, a better Intel Atom processor and longer battery life. The new version reportedly corrects the eyestrain problems of the previous Explorer Edition, improves upon screen quality, and exhibits better heat management. Users of Enterprise Edition will be able to look up comfortably, without feeling the need to look up and to the right, as was the case with the earlier version. Continue reading New Google Glass to Feature Larger Prism and Intel Atom CPU

Live Streaming Apps Could Face Copyright Infringement Issues

Meerkat and Periscope are two apps that have brought live streaming into the spotlight, and some experts worry that these apps may be a breeding ground for copyright infringement. It may be as simple as someone trying to livestream a TV show or a public performance, but without the proper licenses, these users may be breaking copyright laws. Fair use laws probably will not offer these companies any defense, but constant monitoring should help them avoid potential legal problems. Continue reading Live Streaming Apps Could Face Copyright Infringement Issues

Today is Final Day to Purchase Google Glass Explorer Edition

Today marks the last day that Google Glass in its current form will officially be available for $1,500 as part of the Explorer Program. Late last week, the company announced that it would stop selling the smart glasses and the device would no longer be developed by the Google X research division. However, Google Glass is expected to continue as a standalone project with former Apple exec Tony Fadell in charge. Fadell is known for helping to design the iPod and inventing the Nest thermostat. Google purchased Nest last year. Continue reading Today is Final Day to Purchase Google Glass Explorer Edition

Apps for Apple Watch Have the Potential to Break New Ground

With the Apple Watch expected to debut as early as March, anticipation has been building in regards to the many exciting apps that will undoubtedly be designed to work with the new device. The tech behind the watch allows users to access information — photos, emails, text messages and Web-based content — with a simple glance, similar to our interaction with phones, only much more efficient. Apple released its SDK in November, and hundreds of companies are working to have apps ready for the product’s launch. Continue reading Apps for Apple Watch Have the Potential to Break New Ground

Epson Moverio BT-200 Making Strides Toward Immersive AR

Several augmented reality devices debuted at CES this week, but Epson’s Moverio BT-200 offers one of the more complete experiences to-date. The glasses run Android 4.0 from a wired smartphone-like controller and provide a full-color image in the center of the user’s field of view. Sensors for the device include a camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone and compass. The product is not consumer ready, but priced at less than half that of Google Glass ($699.99), it is a promising platform for developers to build an app library for AR. Continue reading Epson Moverio BT-200 Making Strides Toward Immersive AR

CEA Exec on the History and Direction of Wearables (Part 1)

The Consumer Electronics Association’s Director of Business Intelligence Jack Cutts is the organization’s lead analyst on smart eyewear, watches, glasses and phones. He released his forecast figures for the category of wearables — here defined as fitness trackers, smartwatches and smart eyewear (plus any device worn in, on or around the eyes). When will wearables go mainstream? This is one of the issues that Cutts’ data revealed, starting with the current market and out to 2018 and beyond. Continue reading CEA Exec on the History and Direction of Wearables (Part 1)

CES Conference Session: Wearables as a Market Opportunity

Emerging trends in new wearables represent the next great market opportunity, say a group of consultants and analysts who cover the field. As part of the Sensors and MEMS Technology Conference at CES, panelists took to the stage to discuss “Wearables: A Very Real Market Opportunity.” Although current penetration of wearables is a mere seven percent, that number is expected to grow dramatically. “In the next five years we’ll have a wearable that the majority of the population will want,” said Jim Feldhan, president of Semico Research. Continue reading CES Conference Session: Wearables as a Market Opportunity

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