Published on Thursday, April 19, 2012
Oakley Augmented Reality Technology May Compete With 'Google Glasses'
The Huffington Post | By Timothy Stenovec
Posted: 04/18/2012 3:46 pm Updated: 04/18/2012 5:01 pm
Bloomberg's Mark Milian reported on Tuesday that optics giant Oakley has been working on heads-up display (HUD) technology, similar to that which is used in Google's so-called "Google Glasses," which would project data onto lenses.
Oakley CEO Colin Baden told Bloomberg the company has "been chasing this beast since 1997," before Google was even incorporated.
“Ultimately, everything happens through your eyes," Baden said, according to Bloomberg, "and the closer we can bring it to your eyes, the quicker the consumer is going to adopt the platform.”
Companies are scrambling to gain traction in the wearable devices -- or "wearables" -- category of personal electronics, which includes products like augmented reality glasses, the Nike+Fuelband and yes, Nokia's vibrating tattoo.
Sarah Rotman Epps, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, calls wearables "the next battleground for the platform wars," and said that investment in this category from major tech players like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft has "the power to elevate wearables from geeky hardware to more mainstream uses."
"Within three years, having a strategy for wearables will be as important as having a strategy for tablets is today," Epps told The Huffington Post in a telephone interview. "We will see wearables as the next big important category of devices to care about."
While the Forrester Report did not include data about the current size of the wearables category, Epps estimates fewer than one million consumer wearables have been sold thus far.
In his Bloomberg article, Milian includes projections for astounding growth in the connected devices category, which includes wearables.
But this isn't Oakley's first foray into wearables. In 2004, the company, which is now owned by Luxottica Group, announced it would begin selling the Thump line of sunglasses, which included a built-in MP3 player and earbuds. The Thump line appears to have been discontinued as there are none available for sale on the Oakley website, but the company has not yet responded to a request confirming this.
Google announced Project Glass, augmented reality spectacles, to much fanfare earlier this month. Since then, a video showing a day in the life of a "Google Glasses" user has received over 13 million views on YouTube.
While the Project Glass release date is unclear, Google told HuffPost that, despite Google CEO Sergey Brin sporting a pair of the spectacles a couple weeks ago, they will not be available to the public this year.
Source: The Huffington Post