Toshiba is looking to join the nascent smart glass market, and is showing a prototype unit at the Ceatec trade show in Japan.
According to the PC World report, the Japanese company is looking to launch a device that is a bit different than Google’s device. For one thing, the upcoming Toshiba Glass won’t have a processor of its own and will rather serve as a heads-up display for a smartphone or tablet. And the same goes for battery; Toshiba’s product doesn’t have one, requiring a physical/cable connection with the phone for power. The Japanese company claims the battery would make the Glass heavier, though Google somehow managed to cram it inside its product.
Toshiba Glass has a projector that displays an image that reflects off the inside of the lens to provide an augmented reality-type display.Another key feature of Toshiba’s product is its design. Unlike Google’s device, the one Toshiba made has a projector that displays an image that reflects off the inside of the lens to provide an augmented reality-type display. The glasses lens itself comprises a series of narrow, vertical prisms which are pretty much invisible when you look straight through the lens. In comparison, Google Glass has a prism over the lens to reflect the image into the eye.
Toshiba says the glasses weigh 42 grams, meaning they shouldn’t be a burden to carry around. Considering the lack of processor and battery, it is expected that this device costs less than Google Glass, which retail for $1,500.
Use cases include displaying information from a health app, so users can see their speed and heart rate while jogging or cycling uphill without pulling out the phone. Since Toshiba also makes some serious health devices used by the hospitals around the world, we would think their Glass product could somehow end-up working in the clinical setting. Like Google Glass.
The company hopes to ship the product next year in Japan and North America. It will offer three styles of frame, including standard, sporty and industrial, the last of which being protective goggles like you might wear in a lab.