There are some pretty cool demos going on this week at the CEATEC show in Japan. We earlier reported on these bendable OLED screens, and also about Samsung’s WiMax 2 demo network that is wirelessly streaming full-HD 3D video at the show. This latest announcement though, blows both of those out of the water for coolness.
Olympus and NTT DoCoMo (Japan’s largest carrier) have are demoing a prototype of a pair of augmented reality eyeglasses with a head-mounted display that weigh as much as a normal pair of eyeglasses.
The head-mounted display, called “AR Walker”, which is equipped with sensors (including an accelerometer and compass), displays the augmented reality view of what the wearer is looking at in the lower half of the right eye’s lens. When connected to a phone (we’re not sure if it is through Bluetooth or not) basically wherever the wearer looks, the heads up display will give info (assuming of course there is any info to give).
Now for the really cool parts.
According to Tech-On, not only will the display show you overlays, but you can use the system for navigation – but instead of a run-of-the-mill moving arrow on a map, a cartoon character (called “DoCoMo Dake”) will pop up and guide you to your destination. No only that, it will introduce stores (and we’re assuming points of interest) as you walk on journey.
Blown away yet? Well, here’s the real kicker: when you look up at the sky while wearing these glasses, the display shows you the weather. Really. (and there is no reason to believe that it wouldn’t be able to show you a star map at night either, though that wasn’t in the report).
Olympus originally demoed a similar concept in 2008, but the glasses were much heavier and of course, augmented reality has made pretty big strides in two years. Also, this is certainly not the only attempt at cracking this gadget space, but this certainly sounds like a pretty advanced attempt. Though DoCoMo hasn’t announced a release date, Tech-On says that the date is in discussions, so this could be somewhat close to reality. Make that augmented reality.
We only have one question – do they come in horn-rims?
Note: We think that the headset the women in the picture is wearing is for demo purposes and not part of the system, but we’re not 100% sure. Images from Tech-On.