Google’s Project Glass has been the target of much hearsay and conjecture since ; largely because of the notorious secrecy of the company on how exactly the Augmented Reality headset is going to work. However, a recent invention by a UK-based firm, TTP (The Technology Partnership), looks set to challenge the future product for market-shares. Currently known as TTP Glasses, the product is designed differently to its competitor, and its developers are apparently in-talks with potential investors.
TTP glasses are slightly bulkier in appearance than Google’s Project Glass, but are currently functional, and work in such a way as to not disorientate the user. Upon being questioned about TTP glasses’ applications, Roger Clarke, project manager for augmented reality technologies, stated that “Sports and leisure use,” were obvious applications, and that technicians could use the app to help identify certain pieces of machinery whilst they had their hands full. He also stated that ‘apps’ could become a major feature of the product.
Google’s Project Glass incorporates a small screen in the corner of one lens, the data on which is accessed and manipulated via touch screen or, potentially, voice, and a small camera in the frame allows the user to take photographs and record video. The cameras can be used to provide a live stream of information straight from the wearer to any linked-up computer. TTP Glasses are designed differently, and incorporate no screen. Instead, data is projected inside the lenses themselves, and reflected into the wearer’s eye. Though currently only capable of projecting static images, the future of the project is both promising and, more importantly, achievable.
TTP have been putting much effort into researching pupil-tracking cameras, which would allow the user to manipulate the data they are seeing without the use of hands or voice. Also, if we return to the example of the mechanic or technician, it would allow the information they need to be updated, simply by looking at different objects. Clarke also postulated that doctors and surgeons could use the device, by placing small vital-monitoring devices on each patient, and thereby simply walking past a bed and glancing at a patient, the doctor would be able to garner life-signs and other such details.
The Guardian questioned whether or not computer-enabled glasses would become popular, given the prevalence of smartphones, but the demand for such items is difficult to gauge, as there really is nothing like them currently available on the market. Incidentally, as well as personal use, TTP have already stated that there could be a number of professions which might require the use of Smart-Glasses – The live-streaming ability of Project Glass could prove invaluable to military and law enforcement officers, and TTP Glasses, should their investments pay-off, could have uses in the fields of medicine and technology. The market almost certainly exists (actively being created by the inventions, perhaps), though how successful they’ll be remains to be seen.