Head-mounted Google Glass competitor goes on sale
Augmented reality device manufacturer Vuzix has put its own smart headwear on sale to the public, beating Google Glass to a general release. The M100 Smart Glasses, initially shown by the company late last year and previously only sold as part of a developer kit, takes after the Google device in providing a large amount of smartphone-like behavior into a head-mounted display.
Google joins Apple in returning product manufacturing stateside
Google's high-profile augmented reality Glass eyewear is to be made in Santa Clara, reports the Financial Times. Google is said to be partnering with Chinese manufacturer Foxconn on the hardware, though Foxconn will be overseeing the operations in Santa Clara. Google is also keen to closely oversee the manufacture of the prototypes through to the production versions in order to maintain tight quality standards.
Vuzix 1200AR now shipping, delivers high definition AR for $1499
Vuzix has launched its 1200AR augmented reality wearable display, aimed at professionals as well as enthusiasts. The device gives users a wide array of customization options to ensure the best fit and optimal clarity. It also creates the effect of viewing a 75-inch display from 10 feet away in up to 720p at 60Hz.
Potential Google Glass rival aimed at concerts, sports
Microsoft appears to be working on its own version of Project Glass. A patent application filed at the USPTO shows a pair of glasses with an augmented reality display covering part of the field of view, though instead of being a general purpose item as Google's Glass aims to be, Microsoft's version focusses on only one specific purpose: live events.
Patent portfolio includes pattern evaluation, augmented reality
According to the Russian arm of Forbes Magazine, Google is close to a deal to purchase pattern and facial recognition firm Viewdle for more than $30 million dollars. The deal would net Google a large patent portfolio, focused on image recognition and augmented reality technology, such as that used to automatically tag photos or unlock a device based on a user's face.
Augmented reality system uses symbol-clad book, Move controller
The augmented reality book system showed at the Sony E3 keynote in June is gearing up for a holiday release. Wonderbook for the PlayStation 3 will come out as a bundle including everything that the system needs to work on the console and the first title using the technology, the Book of Spells by the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling.
Professor wearing permanent digital eye glass writes about attack
Staff at a McDonald's restaurant in Paris allegedly attacked a man for using a wearable computer, according to a blog post by the victim. Dr. Steve Mann, creator of the EyeTap Digital Eye Glass, claims staff members of the fast food chain attempted to pull the augmented reality device from his head, despite it being permanently attached to his head, although it was not explained why the attack took place.
Improved augmented reality system to aid in product design
Canon has previewed its Mixed Reality (MR) augmented-reality system in Japan. Billed as a product design tool, it allows users to wear display-equipped eyewear to see and interact with a virtual object. A physical object is also used for positional reference and tactile feedback, adding to the perception that the object is real.
New apps attempt to differentiate Lumia line
Nokia is still in the beginning stages of its smartphone transformation, which focuses on the Windows Phone-equipped Lumia lineup. The Finnish company did not bring any new hardware to CTIA this week, however representatives did allow Electronista to take an early look at several of its Windows Phone apps, including the augmented-reality utility City Lens, that aim to differentiate the Lumia series from other smartphone platforms and other devices in the Windows Phone realm.
AiRScouter head mounted display due in August
Brother is making an upgraded version of its AiRScouter head mounted display glasses. The WD-100G with lenses and WD-100A without lenses offers USB connectivity and an updated design compared to the previous model.
Microsoft demos blend physical and digital worlds
Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie unveiled several new technologies that blue the line between physical and digital reality at the fifth annual TechForum gathering at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters. The innovations included the latest iteration of the holographic projection systems for the desktop, an augmented reality mirror, and a low-cost lamplike device that turns any surface into a shared VR environment. The devices could find application in areas as diverse as education, gaming and business.
Sony PS Vita launch titles for Europe revealed
Sony has announced the launch titles for European PAL versions of its PlayStation Vita quad-core handheld gaming console. When the device ships on February 22 in Europe it will arrive with twelve titles, with some must-have titles among them. Sony also used its London launch to demo the cutting-edge augmented reality capabilities of the PS Vita in a video (embedded below).
App on sale for a limited time
FutureTap, who acquired the travel guide and virtual-reality app Where To? two and a half years ago from original publisher TapTapTap, have published a graphical blog entry (reproduced below) that features unusually candid details about the sales and changes to the app over the course of its life. The app, which locates nearby establishments in map view or can present information in an "augmented reality" view, is on sale for a limited time.
Sponsors $55,000 contest for best augmentation
Layar has announced the release of Layar Vision, an extension of its open source augmented reality platform for mobile devices. Layar Vision allows the device to recognize real world objects and show digital content layered over them. The Layar platform includes audio, video and animated objects, as well as location-based layers. The company claims the Layar software is installed on over 10 million mobile devices worldwide, including Windows Phone 7.