Toshiba is looking to join the smart glass market, having shown a prototype device at the Ceatec event in Japan this week.
Called Toshiba Glass, the device has a small projector clipped onto one of the arms near the lens. Said projector displays an image that reflects off the inside of the lens to provide an augmented reality-type display. This in turn makes it slightly different than Google’s product which has prism over the lens to reflect the image into the eye. On Toshiba’s Glass, the glasses lens itself comprises a series of narrow, vertical prisms, that are pretty much invisible when you look straight through the lens.
There are also some other differences. For one thing, the Toshiba Glass doesn’t rely on wireless connection, and requires cable to connect to a smartphone. Moreover, this unit doesn’t have processor of its own, and uses smartphone’s “brains” to do its magic.
These two things could be a downer for some, whereas some others will like the lower price of Toshiba’s product. While we don’t know how much these glasses will go for, chances are their price tag won’t come close to Google Glass’ $1500 price tag.
Toshiba is looking to ship the product next year in Japan and North America, offering three different styles of frame – standard, sporty and industrial. Use cases are said to include displaying information from a health app, and any other application that requires user to have its hands free.
The way I see things, more options = better. Even with the lack of its own processing power, Toshiba’s product could find its niche audience in select industries. Or so we think; what do you say?