Sony's Clip-On Unit Makes Any Glasses Smart

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Sony has announced a new display module that clips onto the frame of any piece of existing eyewear, in order to turn it into something more akin to Google Glass.

The new hardware features a control board with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi; compass, accelerometer, touch sensors; and an ARM Cortex-A7 Processor. That all supplies a 640x400 OLED micro-display that hovers in front of your eye and doubles as a screen — equivalent to a field of view supplied by a 16-inch display 2 meters in front of you.

The whole unit weighs just over 50 grams, and is apparently easy to attach and remove, so it needn't be in use all the time. In terms of applications, Sony reckons it could be used for sports, work and entertainment, so it will provide "partner organisations" with an SDK to produce whatever apps they choose.

The device will be on show at CES in January, though Sony says it will swing into mass production in 2015. So, realistically, it'll be 2016 before you could buy the thing. Pricing is anyone's guess.

All in, it's a neat little idea, and perhaps a slightly more practical approach than Google Glass for some applications: say, for the extremely sporty, who want to switch eyewear but carry their smarts with them. Still, we'll have to wait and see how well it turns out — and when it arrives, for that matter. [Sony]