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Google Glasses Tempt Olympus and Apple to Join the Spectacle-Fray

clock July 6, 2012 01:07 by author Jeremy

Last week, Google showed off their latest advances with their Google Glasses: several professionals jumped out of a helicopter, equipped with the Google Glasses Explorer Edition, and made their way towards the I/O 2012 Event. This week, we're seeing two other companies who may possibly tred along the same path of technological-eyewear: Apple and Olympus.

Olympus' headgear doesn't actually have a camera like the Google Glasses do, nor are they a standalone-unit. Instead, the augmented reality spectacles will connect via bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet. Olympus boasts that the Meg 4.0, the current prototype, will last for 8 hours; however, they expect users to use the glasses in 15-second spurts every three minutes, which just doesn't seem as feasible.

Meanwhile, Apple doesn't even have a working unit yet. Their big news comes in the form of a patent granted to them earlier this week. The patent allows for a dual-lens, dual-HUD eyeglass that projects images directly to your eyes. This would provide a more immersed experience than just simple glasses. Also, by using stereoscopic projection, the user would more likely avoid motion-sickness.

The Olympus augmented-reality glasses have no current release date, and Apple's "iGlass" (for lack of an official name) hasn't even been touted as a product idea - a patent doesn't necessarily mean there's already a game-plan behind it. However, if Apple does join the fray, then we'd be closer to centralizing our market on eyewear and heads-up displays...which definitely can't be a bad thing.

Sources: slashgear, gizmodo



E3 2011 - Microsoft's Kinect, Sony's PSVita, and Nintendo's Wii U

clock June 11, 2011 01:25 by author Jeremy

This past week hasn't been shy as far as introducing new gadgets and technology. With WWDC on Monday, you'd think we couldn't have gotten any more excited (after all, iTunes Match seems fairly spiffy). Oh, how wrong we were.

Though E3 didn't officially start until Tuesday, we were already seeing keynotes on Monday. Microsoft pumped up their Kinect-system, showing off a slew of games such as Dance Central 2 and Kinect Star Wars. Other games were introduced that will still use the basic controller, but aren't left out from the Kinect system: voice-controls used through the Kinect's mic can be utilized during gameplay.

Even the main XBox360 menu is getting a makeover. The new UI will later include Bing voice search for Hulu, Netflix, live TV, and even YouTube. With this much integration of the Kinect, Microsoft likely won't even need a new console for quite some time.

On the other hand, Sony let out a bit of news on their NGP - now officially named the PlayStation Vita. This handheld has received quite the popularity since it was introduced in January, and there were several demos to be had. Several of these games are available for both PS3 and PSVita, and Sony announced that games can stop on one machine, only to pick up on a different one (for example, switching from your PS3 to your PSVita). Most importantly, though, was their announcement of the final price and date: $249 for the WiFi model or $299 for the 3G model, hitting stores this holiday season; AT&T will be the sole carrier. That's got to be one strong battery to display the crazy visuals of the Vita while maintaining internet connection...

Aside from their keynote, Sony also introduced the PlayStation-brand 24" 3D monitor and 3D glasses, available for $499 as a bundle. With these, you'll be sacrificing the comfort of your ears for the joy of being able to play with friends locally while viewing a full screen. According to Sony's press release, letting the Lithium Ion battery in these glasses charge for 3 minutes results in 3 hours of use, with 45 minutes bringing you roughly 30 hours of wear.

Meanwhile, Nintendo took a different approach to their keynote. After a large symphony orchestra playing through a montage of Zelda-scenes to honor the 25th anniversary, Nintendo dived into showing off new games for the Nintendo 3DS and the handheld's infamous AR (augmented reality). More importantly, though, was their announcement of a new system: the Wii U, which will make use of a 6" controller with a screen. You can use the controller to share pictures and videos from your tv to your handheld, or you can use it to play certain games (for example: holding it up to the screen while playing baseball makes it act as a virtual glove). Nothing was mentioned as far as how the remote will be powered or charged, however.

 

 

Oddly enough, the actual Wii U wasn't spoken as much as the Wii U remote was, but from photos during their keynote, it looks very similar to a Wii but with rounded edges. It will be backwards compatible, so all your odd Wii gadgets will work with it. The Wii U is scheduled to release in 2012.

 

Source: engadget, prnewswire



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