Feeds

Olympus MEG4.0 smart glasses will photoshop the REAL WORLD

Camera firm's Google Glass competitor has GPS, smartphone linkup

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Japanese camera and optics company Olympus is developing a set of smart glasses along the lines of Google's Project Glass which, besides its other more useful functions, will allow users to view the real world with a brighter, friendlier glow.

Olympus showed off the prototype
in a press release on its website.

Hot on the heels of Apple's release, the MEG4.0 is an ultra-compact and wearable display prototype equipped with Bluetooth connectivity to link with smart phones.

The Olympus glasses are see-through with a "pupil division optical system" and they can increase the brightness of the real world seen through them. The prototype has a built-in acceleration sensor and GPS positioning is mentioned. No camera is mentioned but this must be an obvious possibility.

The resolution of the display is QVGA, 320 x 240 pixels and it has an eight-hour battery life – that is, when the glasses are switched on for just 15 seconds every three minutes.

What a weird idea! Translating this to continuous use we arrive at 40 minutes. It's possibly longer than that because there would be no repeated switch-on power burn. Even being generous a one-hour battery life is crap.

Olympus has already been involved in a wearable PC initiative with IBM, and it tested its mobile Eye-trek system in 2008.

Olympus obviously needs development partners because its prototype is just a display – and smart glasses are systems with apps. Will app developers be willing to risk development effort with both Google and Apple looking to develop integrated smart specs systems? It's more likely Olympus will get together with someone like Sony to provide the systems expertise it lacks.

Olympus, by the way, is the company that publicly and visibly fired its British-born CEO, Michael Woodford, which he claimed at the time was a result of his discovery of concealed losses at the firm. He and Olympus later cut a compensation deal, and the firm is now restructuring – with up to 2,500 staff facing the sack.

There is something intuitively satisfying about the idea of smart glasses; it just feels right. With Olympus, Google and Apple involved in the area you can bet your last dollar other companies are looking into it too. They won't want to suffer iPad burn syndrome, waiting until a market leader like Google or Apple opens up a potentially vast new market before deciding to get in themselves, and then finding themselves locked out for two or three years as the market develops. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Will.i.am gets CUFFED as he announces his new wristjob, the PULS
It's got four KILOWATTS of something, apparently
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
iPhone 6 shunned by fanbois in Apple's GREAT FAIL of CHINA
Just 100 Beijing fanbois queue to pick up new mobe
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?
Subtle, naturalistic ambiance – perfect for Transformers 4
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.