Larry Magid: Google Temporarily Pulls Plug On Glass, But Sony Gives SmartEyeglass A Go

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Google may have temporarily pulled the plug on Google Glass, but that isn’t stopping Sony from coming out with their own wearable smart glasses.

Sony’s SmartEyeglass will be available in March and pre-orders have already started in Japan and some European countries at $840. The U.S. is expected to follow suit shortly after.

It’s interesting that Sony is charging about $700 less than what Google was charging its explorers for Glass. Again, you’d wear these as regular glasses, and can expect facial recognition technology.

I’m terrible at remembering people’s names who I’ve met, so this is a feature that could come in handy. I could walk up to someone and look up their face in my database and it would pull up not only their name, but a reference as to how I know them.

The augmented reality feature is pretty cool too. You could look at a building and the screen will pull up a history of that building. It would be great for travelling or touring historical destinations like Washington D.C. Directions and maps was something that was obviously a part of Google Glass.

You even get a remote control that you can talk into and control with your hands. Eventually they’ll make it so you don’t need the remote; you’ll probably be able to move things with your eyes or perhaps your voice, but for now it has a remote.

One slight difference between Sony SmartEyeglass and Google Glass is the camera included in the Sony product will indicate when the camera is rolling. So while the camera function has been something the public has been a bit weary of, I think it’s a red herring of sorts. Cameras are already ubiquitous with phones and can sort of be concealed.

It’s also important to note that Sony isn’t the only other company besides Google in the smart glasses field. At CES this year, I had a chance to play with a pair of smart glasses by Epson called Moverio priced at $699.

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