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Oakley: 'smart' sunglasses ready to shine

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Sunglasses manufacturer Oakley reckons the time is ripe for 'smart glasses', and has revealed its own R&D efforts in specs technology, which could see it compete with Google's Project Glass in the not-too-distant future.

"As an organisation, we’ve been chasing this beast since 1997,” said Oakley CEO Colin Baden in an interview with Bloomberg.

"Ultimately, everything happens through your eyes, and the closer we can bring it to your eyes, the quicker the consumer is going to adopt the platform.”

The company has done a lot of work on heads-up displays, amassing 600 patents, many related to optical specifications. Baden said it may decide to license these patents going forward as well.

While exact details on Oakley's product plans for smart specs remain hazy, Baden talked up deployment in either military situations, or the "competitive field of sports" and said the world was ready for such technology.

Oakley Thump

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Any product should function independently, although may connect to a smartphone through Bluetooth too and feature Siri-like voice commands, said the honcho.

The company is no stranger to sunnies with a technical twist. In 2004, it released a pair of glasses with an in-built MP3 player, the Oakley Thump, as seen above.

But Oakleys with a built-in HUD? Now that's something I'd like to see. My wallet on the other hand will probably object. ®

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