As we continue our march towards taking SmartGoggles to the masses, we speak with consumer electronics leaders about their thoughts, expectations and dreams.
We hear of two prevalent use cases for SmartGoggles:
- A GamerGoggle which takes games on PCs, consoles and tablets to new levels. In this case, a fully-immersive 3D goggle is typically used indoor in a known environment such as a game room or basement. Some gamers seek increased immersion for the same reasons that caused them to buy multiple large-screen monitors. Some seek active gaming such as in the Kinect case. They are looking for extended use, yet don’t treat the goggles as a monitor replacement.
- An augmented reality goggle that is used indoor and outdoor. This would typically be standalone or connected to a portable device such as phone or tablet. Augmented reality goggles would overlay information over what you normally see. They could be used as navigation aids, a platform for receiving context-sensitive information on the go and more. These would be for very extended use – much like sunglasses or Bluetooth headsets.
Many people want the best of both worlds – something that can be augmented but also optionally very immersive. “Make it fully immersive when you don’t want to see your wife, but make it semi-transparent so that you don’t trip over your kids”.
As we consider the engineering implications of this, three configurations come to mind: at one end of the spectrum, the classic goggle essentially serves as a display device. This has to run next to a phone/computer/console and simply provides 3D viewing and simple sensing such as head motion. At the other end of the spectrum, you will find the SmartGoggle that allows you to run substantial applications locally. You’d have to have a powerful CPU and GPU, cloud connectivity and of course all the sensors you might need to make this immersive and interactive. A middle ground is – for lack of a better name – the semi-smart goggle. Something that has sufficient processing power to provide sensory information to a host platform, and perhaps also enough to run applications that are not terribly demanding. You won’t run “Mass Effect 3” on the semi-smart goggle, but you might stream a 3D movie from Netflix.
Thoughts? Comments? Wishes? Talk back!