SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Sony on Tuesday began taking orders for SmartEyeglass Internet-linked eyewear, moving ahead in the market as Google steps back to revise its Glass strategy.
The offering from the Japanese consumer electronics comes amid growing interest in wearable computing, but also questions about whether consumers will warm to connected eyewear.
SmartEyeglass connects with smartphones and then superimposes text, images or other information onto whatever real scene is in view.
A version of the eyewear tailored for software developers will be available in Japan, Germany, Britain, and the United States on March 10. The price in the US will be $840. In Europe it will be 670 plus applicable taxes.
SmartEyeglass for enterprises will also be available in March in France, Italy, Spain and elsewhere.
Along with the hardware, Sony will release an upgraded software development kit “to tap into the ingenuity of developers to improve upon the user experience that the SmartEyeglass provides.”
Sony is encouraging software makers to develop fun, hip, or functional applications for SmartEyeglass so people will be enticed to buy the eyewear on track for commercial release in 2016.
Sony said that it “has its eyes set on the future of wearable devices and their diversifying use cases, and it hopes to tap into the ingenuity of developers to improve upon the user experience that the SmartEyeglass provides.”
Sony said it sees a wide range of uses for the eyewear, beyond the obvious display of information at eye level without having to turn attention to another device.