Feedback, Features and Prices

The last few days since the SmartGoggles introduction have been gratifying. The level of interest and news coverage validates are belief that the time for smarter, better goggles has come. Just like smart phones changed the way we use phones, we hope that SmartGoggles will change the way we do personal 3D.

Several people have wrote to ask about prices and features of the SmartGoggles, so I think some clarification is in order. There are two separate topics: SmartGoggles technology and SmartGoggles-based products.

SmartGoggles is an underlying architecture and technology. It allows building a new generation of 3D gaming and entertainment platforms. Think about SmartGoggles technology as you would think about a brand new quad-core processor. Yes, the processor has a price, but the processor itself is not enough to run a game – you need to build a system around it. Fortunately, SmartGoggles makes building 3D, immersive systems faster and easier, but SmartGoggles technology by itself can’t run a game.

What Sensics is working on doing is licensing and partnering SmartGoggles technology to a range of consumer electronics companies: phone, tablet, game console and PC makers who want to either build a new 3D platform or extend an existing platform to new display, natural interaction and immersion frontiers. Our hope is that these partners will collaborate with Sensics on building exciting consumer-focused products.

These products can take different shapes and features: a fully-immersive product for the ultimate 3D gaming and entertainment; a see-through model that allows true augmented reality applications; a co-processor for a tablet that extends its power and applications to 3D and natural interaction and more and more.

In order to help partners realize the potential of SmartGoggles, and at the same time “eat our own dog food”, Sensics is developing a complete product based on this technology. This product will be offered as a reference design. It will also immediately become available as a development platform to game developers, and be offered as a commercial product to the professional, academic and defense markets. Initially, this first product will not be offered directly to consumers, as it is not initially made in a consumer-friendly price range.

What features would likely be found in such a first product? I would expect the following key features, divided into three categories: processing, interaction and audiovisual.

Processing

  • Dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM Processor with 1 GB of on-board memory
  • Android operating system (hopefully version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Embedded 3D and graphics accelerators
  • External SD card extension
  • Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity for peripherals and networks
  • libSensics API that provides full access to on-board capabilities

Interaction

  • Head tracking: yaw/pitch/roll and X/Y/Z acceleration
  • First-person hand tracking in a limitless area
  • 120 Hz head tracking updates, 60 Hz hand tracking updates

Audiovisual

  • Dual SXGA (1280×1024) OLED displays
  • Support for 720p
  • Embedded high-performance stereo headset
  • Embedded microphone

With this first platform, I would imagine a few games and experiences to showcase the capabilities. Expect lots of 3D fun!

Yuval

5 thoughts on “Feedback, Features and Prices

  1. You guys are the leaders in hmds. Only no consumer has ever heard of you or used your products, so the consumers still think VR is an unachievable dream with current tech.

    Here’s hoping you can commercialize a hmd as good as the psi sight with 180 deg FOV with partnership with someone like Micorosoft, Sony or Apple. Or at the very least have one of these guys buy out your company.

    Its frustrating to see the tech being there for full VR and AR, but it not being mass produced and commercialized yet for the masses. Lets hope 2012 is the beginning of a new era!

  2. This is a very interesting developement. I can see myself in a virtual cockpit looking around and moving switches and controls by moving my hands. I’ve always envisioned this but by using wired gloves. Your design is much cleaner. Next to it’s intergrated cpu uses, can it also be used as a simple viewing device for movies or 3d games? This way you would have a market waiting for you from the start.

    Any game with multiple vehicles would be a blast to play. Programs like Microsoft Flight simulator or DCS-A10 have very realistic use of switches in the cockpit. Being able to look at a switch and move it will make it possible to do away with multiple monitor setups.

    I’m a bit worried that with the onboard computing power you’ll make the product too expensive for the average gamer. If you can keep it in the Sony HMZ-T1 ballpark you’ll sell thousands of these units just to the simulator enthousiast market alone. There is a lot of forum activity, people modding the HMZ-T1 with Track IR units and jerry rigging bicycle helmets for comfort.

    Show the world you have a better engineered product and it will sell itself. Looks like the beginning of a whole new era in entertainment and information distribution.

  3. First time I saw this technology was in the mid 80s, and since then I been longing for a affordable consumer product like this, and maybe maybe maybeee it’s mature enough to reach out to the market. There’s absolutly no doubt in my mind that this product would be a disruptive killer on the block. I wish you guys who developing this hmd prosperity and success.

  4. im really looking forward for release of this asked my frends showed them we all want 1 XD when this comes out youre gone see evrybody whit these things on the streets :p hopefully you can use it as a phone and mesenger two

  5. It all looks very cool. I’ve been looking for a device like this for a long time. I just want to know what the price will be.