Struggling Sony Reveals Its Answer to Google Glass
Last week, Sony released a software development kit for its smartglass – called SmartEyeGlass – and announced that a developer's version of the wearable will be available in March 2015.
In a blog post, Sony hinted at ways its smartglasses could be used, including a cooking app that displays recipe directions directly on the lenses, a pedestrian navigation app that directs users to nearby locations and a facial recognition app.
While Sony claims its smartglass features a "slim light wear design," the prototype -- which includes a CMOS image sensor, accelerometer, Gyroscope, electronic compass, brightness sensor, and microphone -- is bulky. So bulky, in fact, that it makes the awkward-looking Google Glass appear sleek in comparison. As Michael Andronico wrote for Tom's Guide, after trying on the device, "it seems a few iterations away from something you'd want to wear on the street."
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As Sony's smartphone business continues to falter – last week the Japanese electronics giant announced it is expecting an annual net loss of 230 billion yen ($2.15 billion), nearly five times its forecast in July of 50 billion yen, due to losses from its embattled smartphone division – the company has invested in wearables, including a smartwatch and an activity wristband.
"Sometime there will be a post-smartphone business, a new area of mobile communication business, and if that day comes we have to utilize our assets…we have to create the foundations of the smart business and evolution of that going forward," Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said.
The slated launch for a Sony smartglass appears to be part of this strategy. No word on pricing yet. Currently, Google Glass retails for $1,500.