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September 19, 2014

Sony develops transparent lens eyewear "SmartEyeglass"

- Announces availability of software development kit -

Tokyo, Japan, September 19, 2014 - Sony Corporation ("Sony") today announced the development of "SmartEyeglass," transparent lens eyewear that connects with compatible smartphones* to superimpose information such as text, symbols, and images, onto the user's field of view.
* Operating requirements: Android 4.1 or later. (Android 4.3 or later is required to use the video functionality of the camera.)

SmartEyeglass is equipped with a diverse range of sensing technologies, including a CMOS image sensor, accelerometer, Gyroscope, electronic compass, brightness sensor, and microphone. SmartEyeglass utilizes these features, together with GPS location information from the connected smartphone, to provide information optimized to the user's current circumstances. Sony has leveraged its unique hologram optics technology to develop a lens that achieves high transparency of 85% and thickness of just 3.0 mm, without the use of half mirrors that obstruct the user's vision. Furthermore, the monochrome display ensures that while energy consumption is lower than a color display, high luminance (up to 1,000 cd/m2) is achieved, to deliver a screen with clear readability that allows the user to easily read text in a wide range of environments.

  • "SmartEyeglass" development prototype

  • wearer image of "SmartEyeglass"
The exchange of various types of data such as sensing information between SmartEyeglass and a wirelessly-connected smartphone, mean that depending on the smartphone application the device has the potential to be used in a wide range of usage scenarios. SmartEyeglass realizes even more convenient and enjoyable lifestyles for users by enabling them to obtain information hands-free, without the need to look away. For example, users will be able to view navigation information while walking, check a recipe while cooking without taking their eyes from their hands, or view information related to a certain player while watching a sports game in a stadium.

Sony plans to release a dedicated SmartEyeglass Software Development Kit (Developer Preview) on September 19th to enable developers to expand upon their unique ideas for creating scenarios in which SmartEyeglass can be used, and to boost various application development.

Development support website for applications compatible with Sony products: "Sony Developer World"

* Sony Mobile Social Newsroom blog post:

After releasing this SDK, Sony plans to offer SmartEyeglass for sale to developers by the end of FY2014, with the intention of further promoting the development of applications and accelerating the commercialization of the product for consumer use.

Sony's SmartWear experiences draw on the combination of its sensing technologies and smartphones to enable users to log their daily activities (Lifelog), and help them bring even greater enjoyment and convenience to their lives. Going forward, Sony will continue to offer products, applications, and services that aim to enrich each user's daily activities and further proliferate the Sony SmartWear experience.

Examples of application development opportunities provided by the SmartEyeglass SDK

* Applications are currently under development so details may be subject to change.

  • image of wearer's field of view (green monochrome display)
[COOKPAD Inc. - "CookPad for SmartEyeglass" cooking assistant app]
[ZENRIN DataCom - "its-mo NAVI for SmartEyeglass" app for pedestrian navigation]
[K-Opticom Corporation and ACCESS CO., LTD. - "Glassthon" app for runners]

  • * This app is scheduled to be trialed by runners wearing SmartEyeglass prototypes during the Osaka Marathon on October 26.
[Euclid Labs Inc. - "Localive" social feeds aggregation and distribution app for surrounding local area]

Software Development Kit contents (Developer Preview)

  • Emulator
  • Sample code
  • Tutorials to get started
  • In-depth developer guides
  • Design guidelines
  • API references
  • Test instructions
  • Publishing guidelines

SmartEyeglass prototype specifications

Item Specifications
HMD type Binocular see-through with a separate controller
Resolution 419(H) X 138(V) pixel
Image color Monochrome green with 8bit color depth
Brightness (Max.) 1,000 cd/m2
See-through transmittance More than 85%
Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Electronic compass, Brightness sensor, Microphones
Camera Still: 3M pixel, Movie: VGA (640 X 480 pixel)
Sound Speaker in controller
Connectivity with Smartphone Bluetooth v3.0, IEEE802.11b/g/n
Smartphone OS version Android 4.1 or above
Android 4.3 or above (in case of movie function use)
Weight Approximately 77g (glasses excluding cable), approximately 44g (controller)

SmartEyeglass prototype - component layout

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