As far as augmented reality goes, progress has finally passed the “excruciatingly slow” stage, which is why we are seeing so many companies making plans for glasses capable of it.
The idea of helmets or eyewear that could immerse people in a different world is quite old. It has been subject of Sci Fi for decades.
There have even been a bunch of game helmets with that role, but they never caught on, because people tended to trip over or crash into things.
Because of that, augmented reality eyewear now seeks to add another layer to our experience of the real world.
Google Glass is one example. Not exactly a pair of eyeglasses (more like a monocle), it can do a lot of things, as shown in this video. Making photos on command, initializing voice calls and video calls, etc. The “How It Feels” video shows it all.
Now we have another pair of eyewear with such a goal, made by SensoMotoric Instruments and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).
Set to be on show at CeBIT 2103, in March, the glasses will use a combination of hardware and software to follow and recognize whatever people are looking at.
This is more sophisticated than having a camera sensor that looks straight ahead. The glasses will actually have eye tracking technology, so that they will know exactly what wearers are focusing on.
That done, they will display relevant information on the lenses, or rather screens. That means geo-tagged data, identification for architectural objects of interest, context-sensitive audio information (through earphones attached to the glasses).
There is another set of prototype glasses on the way to market as well, which can detect specific art pieces and provide audio information about it. They have already been tested at the German Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern.