“Strange Beasts” — Dark Side Of The Augmented World

Strange Beast Augmented World

Augmented reality is getting closer and might soon break into our lives. But it is a very powerful tool and can cause severe addiction together with attempts to flee the reality.

A short movie called “Strange Beasts” starts as startup pitch but it gets darker. You have probably heard of the Black Mirror series, haven’t you? “Strange Beasts” fits its concept perfectly. How far can we go in creating artificial world around us and will we be able to stop?

Enough spoilers, just enjoy this 5 minute movie. Just do not get too depressed — everything depends on ourselves. Technology is like a knife — it can be a valuable tool and it can be a weapon. only man decides.

Google Glass Welcome Here

I just wrote about Hi-Tech way of hiding from Google Glass and now found this picture in the Internet.

One of the bars in Virginia has put such billboard allowing Google Glass users and even welcoming them. What a wise move! 🙂

You can be seen very modern and social if you decide to allow this kind of devices in your venue, so do not lose the opportunity.

Budweiser already got the point.

Google Glass Welcome Here


Hide Your Face From Google Glass

There are some people who are afraid of the upcoming era of Google Glass. While most of us understand that this is the future, whether you like it or not, others try to resist.

Venue owners block access, like that famous Seattle bar owner or those managing casinos and cinemas. Now, Hi-Tech has reached this field as well.

Google Glass Block

Japanese researchers developed special “antiglass“. It emits IR light, which is invisible for the human eye, but perfectly captured by camera devices like Google Glass. The result is on the picture: it is much harder to track your face now, surrounded by bright spotlights.

No production date available, as this is a concept only (looks ugly, by the way). I believe, not many paranoid citizens will buy it, though have to admit that idea and realization is quite remarkable.

Olympus HMD Earlier Than Google Glass

More and more people find out about Google Glass. But let’s be honest, Google was not the first one to present similar concept to the public. While I also do not know, who was the first, here are some pictures from the 2010 by Olympus.

Yes, something similar to MEG4 glasses, but in a more stylish form, I bet.

Japanese mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo and Olympus presented this device at the Ceatec event. I really like the design.

Olympus HMD

I don’t have exact specs of it, but at least it had acceleration and direction sensors 🙂 For example, you could look up and see the weather forecast. Pretty neat. Wonder, if MEG4 was a direct development of these glasses? MEG4 design is not so appealing, though.

Olympus HMD Glass

Actually, there was even a 2008 year model, but it was quite heavy. Around 91 grams, opposed to 10-20 of the normal glasses weight.

As a bonus, another concept from that conference, which has two displays. Manufacturer is a Japanese company Scalar. Playing Ingress would be much more fun with these.

HMD Scalar

Google Glass Revolution Has Begun

So, Google Glass revolution has begun.

Couple of days ago, first lucky winners of the Google’s contest got Glasses and web has already been flooded by images and videos shot from the 1st person view and.. with user hands in the frame 🙂

These are first users outside Google, so be prepared for the very exciting beta-testing period.

There are also some extra information about device itself. Yes, it really uses bone conduction principle to deliver sound. Camera is pretty nice — 5MP for images and 720p for video. Display resolution is 640 x 360, which is equivalent to viewing a 25-inch HD display from eight feet.

Though Glass has 16GB storage on board (12GB usable), main functionality will be provided via paired Android smartphone and app called MyGlass. Glass can be connected via Bluetooth and it also has a built-in Wi-Fi. Charging is by Micro USB and special recommended adapter.

Not much functionality yet, device can be mostly used as a camera and search engine, but Google promised software updates every month. Sounds interesting.

Have I already said they are damn stylish? Currently, five colors available, though I guess black and white will be the most popular ones. Below is the adaptation for sunglasses, it is not part of the Glass Exporer lineup.

Google Glass Orange

Also, Google warned that reselling and even lending is strictly prohibited. They reserve the right to switch off your Glass in this case. No idea, how it is done, but apparently they have a simple way to do that (by serial number, for example).

A special warning has been issued that in some exceptional circumstances, Glass can cause eye-strain or headache. I believe this is similar to the headache some people experiencing while watching 3D movies.

And as a conclusion, here is a manual of how to use Glass. While most of us do not have it yet, we can at least check how it should be used.

Sony Steps In Glass War With Own HMD Device

If you don’t like Google much or afraid of their dominant position on the market, then you will be pleased to know that not only Google works on augmented glasses project.

You have already read about Olympus concept. And now there is a patent from Sony describing similar device, which is called there “head-mounted display (HMD) apparatus”

Sony Augmented Glasses


Let’s look at the key points.

The main difference I see — there are two displays behind the glasses’ lenses. These are movable, so that you could adjust and fine tune according to your preference. Earplugs are probably traditional, not bone conduction audio, which Google Glass will have.

At the same time, Sony is a hi-tech company with a rich history and lots of resources, so pretty sure they will add some innovation into this emerging topic.

Device will display 2D content, though I think is enough. Imagine 3D Avatar movie while you are walking across the street. A bit distracting 🙂

Unfortunately, no other info available regarding technical specifications, but I bet we won’t wait for long.

HMD Glass topic becomes more and more popular, so Google’s competitors definitely do not want to be left aside. It is time to jump the train or to be left on the platform.

Google Glass With Prescription Lenses

Many of those, wearing prescription lenses, wonder, if they are able to attach Google Glass to them.

There was some info from the project team that they are working on it and now here is the picture of Greg Priest-Dorman (one of the members of the Glass team) with a prototype attached to the regular prescription lenses. Looks cool.

Many of us have some vision problems and either do not want to use contact lenses or cannot due to high eye sensitivity and so on. Nice to see that Google thinks of this category of potential Glass users and works on the special edition for them.

Google Glass Prescription Lenses

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