Two use cases, three configurations for SmartGoggles

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!

9 thoughts on “Two use cases, three configurations for SmartGoggles

  1. As I said in a previous comment, it’s impossible to know in advance what features users will need and what will be useless. On the other hand, users (and reviewers) react very negatively to a missing feature, even if it’s one they would have realised was useless if they had it. The way to go is cram features now, trim later.

    Another factor is Moore’s law… whatever you put in the deluxe model today will be the low end system of tomorrow. Giving developers access to the best system now will let them write apps which will run on the low end mass market units of the future.

    Then again, selling a useless bare bones system is a time honoured tradition when trying to make the more expensive system seem cost effective. I’d make sure there’s a very high end price point for comparison as well… I don’t think you;ll have a problem with that.

    • I agree with your viewpoint. The Sensics develop kit is full-featured and CE companies that adopt Sensics SmartGoggles technology can decide which features they want to leave in and which to take out. Other then cost/benefit, we believe some of these decisions will be dictated by the technical and product heritage that each licensee builds. For instance, a company that makes strong cell phones might be inclined to resist creating a completely new computing platform inside the SmartGoggles and might opt to view SmartGoggles as a co-processor to the phone rather than a standalone entity.

  2. Oh boy – can’t wait for this to hit the stores! I can just imagin my self, being Darth Vader in a virtual univers with all my handgestures, working like im using the force. Make lightning flow out my fingertips! That would be awsome!! Can’t wait to hear what the price for this amazing product is gonna be.

  3. I don’t think I agree with the thought, that by being a product so broad it can reach everybody, it will sell. In most cases it doesn’t. The industry is proven more wrong, than right. Apple came with the Ipad, no one thought of it, at the time, and didn’t think it would sell, alas, it did so well, they went on to copy the idea, and make up their own. I think making the Googlesensics work for consoles, PC, tablets is the most profitable idea, these products are still very relevant today, and games made for consoles are still being made, huge titles sell very well, if you could have a very immersive experience with the googlesensics, people would flock rather quickly, and advertise to other people as well, making it a very profitable idea.

  4. I want to drive pC.A.R.S. or olay BF3 with this gadget and forget about monitor and ofcours with head sensors. I don`t wanna use it outdoor.

  5. I am following your product since january and i cant wait to hold one of these promising “Headworlds” in my hands.
    As a gamer who plays BF3, Skyrim, FSX and so on i always wanted to have 10 Beamers and more (i dont even have the place for 1 Beamer) So the Smartgoggles is exactly the right thing that i need!
    I wish you very good luck and i know that your invention (if ready for series production) will change the world. (the real world)

    greeting from Germany

  6. My dream gaming goggles would consist of the following attributes:

    – 1080p wide OLED native resolution per eye, spread over a very large wrap-around field of view so I can take advantage of NVidia’s 3D surround view technology (the future of all VR gaming), instead of just looking at a very large billboard
    – 2 HDMI inputs so bandwidth is sufficient
    – lightweight for long-term use
    – no batteries or CPU, just display the HDMI signal only
    – no headphones, I have my own $1400 pair and they are better than anything you could ensemble
    – no head tracking. There are numerous technologies out there already that are very evolved so my preference is to go with them, and some newer technologies coming down the pipe.
    – cheap! If all the above recommendations were implemented, you could probably be very competitive to the Sony HMZ-T1, perhaps even cheaper

    Gamers love to build their rigs, don’t give us the all-in-one because for the most part, we won’t like/need most of your component choices.

    My two cents.

  7. As having a museum in a building becomes more expensive it makes sense to develop a virtual museum using this technology. A kid can sit into a chair and push a joy stick to move forward into a virtual universe. I will like to know if this product can do that.

  8. leaving the choice to consumers seems to fit well with the plans for the smartgoggles technology, if as part of the package is a standard interface between components (display, input, processing external processing etc). This can open greater possibilities for tailored products and expandable / modifiable ones much as is the difference between PC’s and laptops.
    I would very much like the ability to remove a processing component and replace it with newer technology giving my purchase considerably more life, with exactly the same process removing the direct connected computing and replacing it with a remote interface (cabled or wireless) would then change the use scenario. While at the same time reducing weight and increasing run time.

    My perfect physical device based on this would be a modular HMD with removable front sensor casing (changing from augmented reality to immersive 3d), enclosed processing unit much like a battery pack or pcmcia card that can be removed changed at will replaced with high performance wireless link? and multiple removable battery packs. Having replaceable display units and core technology would be nice but as long as the other components were migratable between generations of the core unit that would be workable.

    While people may be focusing on the core usages of the technology (3d immersive and roaming world augmented reality) I also see a great crossover, using standard displays for hi fidelity complex computing (cad, gaming, spread sheets etc.) while wearing a HMD that identifies the display location and provides a much wider 3D work space around, even replacing the environment with a generated background just displaying the monitors in the environment (or colleagues faces if they talk to you).

    Of course my greatest desire is for immersive augmented reality for wargaming crossing over between physical models and computer generated visuals and rules integration.