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Sony’s head-mounted display turns any glasses into smart-glasses

Sony Corp. has announced its Single-Lens Display Module that can turn any eyewear into smart-glasses. Just like Google Glass, Sony’s SLDM integrates its own application processor, sensors, battery and camera. The device will be shown off next month at the Consumer Electronics Show as a prototype, mass production will start sometime in 2015.

The SmartEyeglass Attach! Device from Sony is based on ARM Cortex-A7 low-power processor and features electronic compass, accelerometer, touch sensor, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 400mAh batter, unknown amount of NAND flash storage and RAM as well as other components, such as various advanced power ICs. The device with the display weighs approximately 40 grams, but has functionality akin to that of low-cost smartphones.

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Sony’s SmartEyeglass Attach features 0.23” OLED display with 640*400 resolution that covers 100% of the sRGB color space and has contrast ratio higher than 10,000:1. The microdisplay is among the the smallest in the world, which was made possible by exclusive Sony technologies. The display has significantly smaller pixels than on standard displays of that size, hence, Sony believes that it will be more comfortable to use. The projected image’s diagonal angle of view converts to 13 degrees, which is equivalent to the field of view for a 16 inch display two meters in the distance.

The device from Sony can be attached to any pair of fashionable glasses, goggles, sunglasses, or other type of eyewear. The SmartEyeglass Attach can serve many purposes and support various applications. It is unclear whether the device runs Google Android, or a proprietary operating system from Sony.

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Sony is working on a software development kit (SDK) for its display module in order to facilitate application development. Along with the SDK, Sony will also release the display module’s communication specifications, enabling developers to wirelessly pair it with devices aside from smartphones. Sony’s SDK will allow developers to create apps that will take advantage of the head-mounted display and will run either on the SmartEyeglass Attach itself or on a smartphone.

Pricing of Sony’s device is unknown, but its mass production is scheduled to start sometimes in 2015. The product will be sold separately to end-users as well as to companies who plan to integrate it into their designs.

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KitGuru Says: Sony’s display module partly solves the problem of style when it comes to smart eyewear: they device is compatible with any glasses, so Sony does not have to invent style of the device itself. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the whole construction will look good with any glasses.

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