Tag: glasses

Google shows off new glass

google-glass-enterprise-editionSearch engine outfit Google has leaked  snaps of the latest incarnation of its Glass project.

Well we say Google did it, actually it sent the device to the FCC to have a look at and it showed it to the world.

It’s is a bit better than the Explorer model from a few years ago. The work-focused eyepiece touts a much better design with both a larger display prism and a hinge that lets you fold it up for travel.

The test photos also reveal a spot for a magnetic battery attachment. We expect that it will have a speedier Atom processor, better battery life, and improved “wireless connectivity”. There is a 5GHz WiFi band for video streaming applications.  The new chip means better heat management.  The FCC filing said that there is also a yet-to-be-seen Google-made external battery pack, which attaches to the device magnetically.

There’s still no word on when Google will announce this headset, although the FCC presence hints that it might not take long. Not that you’ll likely wear this particular model as it is: sources for 9to5Google understand that it’ll only be distributed through Glass for Work companies. You’ll need to wait until more consumer-focused models show up sometime in the future, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll have a ton in common.



Boffins build 3D glasses for praying Mantis

While most of us do not get up in the morning and think about sticking a pair of 3D glasses on a praying Mantis, apparently they do in Newcastle.

Neuroscientists at Newcastle University led by vision scientist Jenny Read recently outfitted praying mantises with a little pair of 3D specs.

The goal was not to corrupt a young and impressionable generation of praying Mantises to 3d porn, they wanted to see if the insects can be tricked by 3D images.

Praying mantises have stereoscopic vision, unlike most invertebrates. When they are not at prayer, or biting the heads off their mates, they are sophisticated hunters.

By putting 3D glasses on the mantises, Read hoped to fake them out and learn how the insect’s vision differs from ours.

The big idea is that you could create much simpler algorithms for programming 3D vision into robots.

Vivek Nityananda, a neuroscience research associate working with Read said that to conduct the vision testing, the scientists attach what the university says are the world’s tiniest pair of 3D glasses to an insect using beeswax.

Then the mantis is placed in front of computer monitor that displays images in 3D. One image is a circle that appears to be an object coming right at the insect, intended to elicit a strike.

We guess the mantis is asked “does it look more real after the glasses go on or before”.

Afterward, the specs are taken off and the mantis goes back to a room where it gets fed.

If the researchers can fool the praying mantises into making errors in judgment about depth, it will prove that they actually are judging 3D.

This is the first major research project investigating these mechanisms following the discovery made by Samuel Rossel in 1983 that praying mantises have 3D vision. Rossel conducted successful experiments by placing prisms over their eyes and creating an optical illusion that an object was within their range, thus triggering a strike from the mantises. 

Tinfoil hat wearers get matching glasses

Japan’s National Institute of Informatics has come up with the perfect matching accessory for a tinfoil hat.

Conspiracy theorists have long had a problem that the government was using CCTV cameras armed with visual recognition software to follow them about.   After all the world is full of government officials keen to follow people as they go from their house to the comic book store.  A tinfoil hat might stop the men in black from reading your thoughts, but it is less effective at stopping tracking.

That is where the glasses from Japan’s National Institute of Informatics fit in.  The glasses have eleven LEDs that blast a privacy curtain of near-infrared light to obscure your face.

The human eye cannot see the lights, but to most cameras the near-infrared light will prevent facial recognition systems from registering the wearer’s face.

The LEDs are strategically placed to illuminate the eyes and nose, which facial recognition systems usually look for as dark and shadowed areas.  It is not clear if lizards are affected.

They will not work on cameras that are unaffected by infrared light.  You can see them in action below and they look about as dippy as Google Glass.


Google glasses in the shops "soon "

Search engine Google said that it will roll out a consumer version of its electronic specs that can live-stream images and audio and perform computing tasks in less than two years.

So far the outfit has not mentioned a price for its Google Glass smart glasses,but  it will be “significantly” lower than the $1,500 that the company is selling it to US-based software developers from early next year.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin showed off the glasses at Google’s annual developer conference in San Francisco yesterday and provided the most in-depth public look at the futuristic technology since Google first announced the project in April.

Google Glass is a stamp-sized electronic screen mounted on the left side of a pair of eyeglass frames which can record video, access email and messages, and retrieve information from the Web.

The glasses were shown off using several skydivers wearing the glasses who jumped out of an airship and landed on the roof of San Francisco’s Moscone Center. They streamed video of the stunt to the audience.

Hacks who tested the glasses said that the perspective in the video shifted as wearers moved their heads to look up, down or sideways.

The technology is not that impressive. Each of the glasses contains a wireless networking chip and most of the bits you see are in a smartphone, too.

It runs on a battery, and Google is trying to work out how to make the chip last longer than a day.

We would have thought the main problem with that sort of technology is that kids would not be able to use it because it would scramble their developing brains to be plugged into one all day.

Brin said that the glasses are still a “work in progress”, like so much else of Google’s technology. It is testing to see if it can provide directions on the screen and the ability to have the glasses speak out text messages.

So far there are no plans to offer advertising on the gear. So far.

Still it will be nice that wearing glasses will finally be dubbed cool and being  “four eyes” will actually be a compliment meaning “you lucky bastard”.



RF, universal and customised 3D glasses, Toshiba 3D TV sets

3D has grown phenomenally since Avatar’s release in 2009 and if what we’ve seen from the Consumer Electronics Show is anything to go by 2011 will be another big year for 3D.

Freescale Semiconductor announced a partnership with RealD to develop new active 3D glasses technology that uses over-the-air synchronisation and advanced lens switching and filtering to overcome problems and high costs involved with standard infrared systems.

RealD is also attempting to develop 3D eyewear technology that can work universally for a multitude of TV systems, addressing a major flaw that has affected the 3D TV industry throughout 2010.

RealD developed a multi-protocol ASIC that allows 3D glasses to work via infrared or radio frequency (RF), including Bluetooth and RF4CE, the protocol being employed by Freescale. This will incorporate a programmable front end that can sync with a wide variety of branded 3D TVs, cutting out the need to by specialised proprietary glasses for each specific brand.

RealD said it is working closely with Freescale and Broadcom to bring in RF connectivity support and expects the new system to go into production in the second quarter, with developer kits being made available in the first quarter.

Xpand announced new high-definition 3D glasses of its own called Youinversal, which it claims are customised to the individual user and the environment they’re in. They make use of smartphone app, available initially for the iPhone and Android, which allows users to customise and optimise the glasses for their own eyes and the room they’re in. They’re expected to be available in April.

Rightware Oy announced Kanzi UI Solution, a 3D user interface technology that is is opening up for licensing. The product includes Kanzi Studio and Kanzi Engine, software that allow companies to design a user interface for their 3D content and systems.

DTS showed off a multi-platform 3D entertainment system that uses FiOS TV, the DTS Neo:X 11.1 surround sound system, an industry first, and a number of other platforms, including the Freebox from Lenovo and Free, Fujisu PCs, flat panel TVs from Skyworth, and mobile phones from Huawei and LG. DTS is promising that seeing and hearing 3D will never be the same again.

Of course, you’ll need  a new 3D TV for all of this 3D goodness, so Toshiba unveiled its 2011 lineup of high-definition 3Ds, led by a number of 3D models. Its 3D range will include the TL515 Series and UL610 Series.

The TL515 Series features full 1080p high-definition, LED panels with local dimming, 240Hz ClearScan technology and NetTV with Yahoo Widgets and built-in Wi-Fi. They’ll also make use of passive 3D glasses which don’t require power to operate. Sizes will include 32-inches, 42-inches, 47-inches, 55-inches and 65-inches, measuring diagonally. They’re expected to be available in March for a reasonable price, but exactly what that is was not revealed.

The UL610 Cinema Series is aimed at the higher end of the market, featuring full 1080p high-definition, a Quantum Black Panel with Fine Local Dimming, 480Hz ClearScan, NetTV with Yahoo Widgets, built-in Wi-Fi, Dynamic 3D, and a built-in sub-woofer. They also tout a Metal Blade design with an Illusion stand. Sizes will include 46-iunches, 55-inches and 65-inches, based on diagonal measurements. They’ll be available in April, most likely for a pretty penny.

Toshiba is also planning a number of non-3D TVs for 2011, including five LED-backlit series and three CCFL-backlit series, many of which will come with smart TV features. The company is also planning a glasses-free 3D TV for later in 2011, but it’s keeping the details on that tightly sealed.


Toshiba tablet, Nexus S overclocked, EVO Shift 4G spotted

Toshiba is working on a 10.1-inch Android tablet, according to Engadget. The unnamed device will be powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 processor and will come with two cameras, a five megapixel one on the back and a two megapixel on the front. It’s also set to feature the next version of Android, dubbed Honeycomb.

MSI has been busy showing off some concept computers, including a few intriguing all-in-one PCs, reports Pocket-lint. A ten point of contact touchscreen model is called the Butterfly, while another model, the Angelow, looks more like a giant photo frame than a computer. We’re unlikely to ever see these appear in the exact form, but it’s a good insight into what direction MSI is looking in.

The Google Nexus S smartphone, the Samsung-built successor to the Nexus One, can now be overclocked, thanks to a custom kernel developed by an XDA-Developers member. TechTree reports that the 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor can now be overclocked to 1.2GHz, but the increase may negatively affect battery life.

Dvice brings news of the world’s lightest 3D glasses, manufactured by Samsung. They only weigh 0.098 ounces and can be wirelessly charged. They even automatically detect when they’re in use and turn on or off appropriately. They’re a bit bulky at the back, however, and may be uncomfortable for the speccy among us.

Amazon looks like it made a real blunder, listing the HTC EVO Shift 4G on its US site for $199 before the phone has even been officially announced. It’s $50 more expensive than expected, but more importantly it’s up for pre-order without any official backing. The link to the phone, reported by Gadgetell, is now offline.

The SD card market may boom with the rise of low built-in storage tablet PCs, so the advent of 64GB and 128GB SDXC cards from Lexar might be welcome news to many. They’re both Class 10 and feature minimum speeds of 133x, according to HotHardware.

Softbank launches 3D smartphones

Softbank Mobile is launching 24 mobile phone models, including two smartphones that gives users 3D images without the need for those ugly glasses.

The Galapagos 003SH and the 005SH are made by Sharp and run of the Android 2.2 OS.
According to the Nikkei they will also have capabilities unique to Japanese mobile gadgets as “one-seg” digital TV broadcasting and e-wallet functions. Displays on the two smartphones come in at 3.8-inches and are capable of producing 3D graphics without the need for glasses.

The 003SH is said to have a 9.6-megapixel camera and the 005SH has a 8-megapixel camera.
Softbank, Japan’s exclusive carrier of Apple’s iPhone, last week reported a record quarterly profit for the July-September term on strong demand for smartphones, however it shouldn’t get too cocky about it’s two new 3D smartphones with analysts claiming the market is not yet ripe enough for these devices.

One told us: “The smartphone 3D market is still in it’s baby stages. There’s been hype about this technology overall for a long time but if you look at the slow uptake and current prices of 3D TV, it’s clear we’re not yet ready to embrace it.

“The 3D smartphone market is currently the same. There’s not a desperate need for it and so far manufacturers are making baby steps towards it, while others are concentrating on regular smartphones and how they can improve them. Then there’s the issue of developing apps on a 3D basis, which is still a fairly new and quite expensive.

“Until bigger players come into the 3D market and begin to push competition it’s not going to be a very viable market. Perhaps this will change within the next year and a half as 3D tech becomes more advanced and cheaper but until then smartphone phone players should stick to doing what they are currently doing.”

AUO announces naked eye 3D panels

Another day and another first, this time from AU Optronics (AUO). The company has announced what it claims is the first naked eye 3D laptop panel.

The panel, which will be shown off at FPD International 2010, combines lenticular lens 3D technology with SuperD’s naked eye 3D to create the deadzone-free 15.6 inch notebook and 10.1 inch tablet 3D panels that do not require the use of special glasses. 
The technology also has an an eye-tracking system that captures viewers’ eyeball movements, which overcomes the confined viewing angles of conventional 3D displays, says AUO. This means that viewers should be able to see 3D images in high quality whichever angle they are sitting at.

The panels also have high brightness and Moiré-free image quality and both 2D and 3D modes can operate concurrently on the same display, allowing the viewer to switch between the two.  Text can be displayed in 3D too.

The first displays to appear will be the 15.6 inch Full HD and 10.1″ WXGA panels.  AUO said these will be suitable for laptop and tablet PC displays and should be mass produced in the third quarter of 2011.
We’re actually quite excited about these.

Nikon launches glasses free, Android-powered 3D photo frame

Nikon has launched an Android-powered photo frame which allows you to view pictures in full high-quality 3D without needing 3D glasses.

The My Picturetown 3D NF-300i may look like a simple photo frame at first, but because it’s powered by Android it has some extra features, such as a digital calendar, clock, and weather display. The glasses-free 3D is achieved via a 7.2-inch lenticular display with a horizontal double-density pixel system built into the LCD panel, enabling stereoscopic viewing. 

3D is often criticised for being dull and low in quality, but Nikon promises the images viewable on the NF-300i will be both bright and high-quality, displaying at the same resolution as their 2D counterparts, which can also be displayed on the device.

The NF300i photo frame, which stores up to 4GB of data, comes as part of a photo cloud service that Nikon is hosting which allows users to upload photos and convert them to 3D using Nikon’s online software.

The My Picturetown 3D service allows storage, viewing, sharing, and distribution of 3D content in both photo and movie formats, and to ensure that users can view the content Nikon is loaning an NF-300i digital photo frame to all subscribers.

My Picturetown 3D service is currently open for applications in Japan and is set to fully launch in early December. There is no word yet on a release in other regions.

Samsung dampens down 3D frenzy

A situation where you can sit on your sofa and watch indifferent 3D movies without wearing clumsy spectacles that cost a fortune isn’t likely to happen for another five or 10 years.

That’s according to hacks at the Wall Street Journal, privy to a briefing by Samsung visual display president BK Yoon, who said that 3D without glasses works far better on small screens.

There are reasons for that.

Some 3D systems, as we have reported, demand that people sit in exactly equidistant places on their sofas and settees, in their lounges and living rooms – otherwise they won’t be able to see the action at all. Not every household is so thoroughly regulated.

Further, senior fellow at Intel, Genevieve Bell, told us in September that wearing clunky glasses interfered with the flow of conversation in an average home, where people like to watch the google, sorry goggle box together.

And worse than that, there is a small percentage of people who can’t see 3D at all, while others experience vertigo and other distressing symptoms checking out the 3D boxes.

The Wall Street Journal report is here (subscription needed). What are these big vendors going to do about all the hype they’ve generated about 3D when the tech isn’t really there yet (or ever)?