Warc Blog

Wearables war heats up

14 May 2014
SEOUL: Samsung, the Korean electronics giant, is set to launch its own smart eyewear later this year, as Google plans an upgrade to its Glass and other tech companies file patent applications for similar products.

BusinessKorea reported that the company's smart glass offering would be rolled out at this autumn's IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin.

According to a Samsung associate, "We rolled out the smartwatch first, and have secured a considerable amount of smart glass-related technology and patents. Following the roll out of our smartwatch Galaxy Gear in September last year, we are slated to introduce our smart glass Gear Glass this September."

The design is said to combine an ear piece and single display and to be equipped with the next-generation Tizen operating system.

No price was mentioned but this will inevitably be a factor in how the market develops, especially since Epson last week unveiled its second generation Moverio BT-200 smart glasses, available online for $700, or around half the price of the much-hyped Google Glass.

The two differ significantly, however, in that Epson's product offers an augmented reality view, overlaying digital content onto whatever the user sees rather than requiring them to glance up.

It is therefore more likely to lend itself to business rather than consumer use, as Eric Mizufuka, Epson's product manager explained.

A wearer of the glasses could, for example, use an app to see which products on a store shelf conformed with established placement guidelines and whether any products were missing or out of stock.

"Not only can it make workers more efficient and accurate, but it can confirm compliance as well," he told Information Week.

Google, meanwhile, has rejected suggestions that its product costs only $152 to build, following a "teardown" by market research firm iHS. But TechRadar noted that many analysts expected the Google Glass consumer edition would be reasonably priced, possibly as low as $300.

Sony showed its Smart Eyeglass at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January and was planning to commercialise the product in time for the opening of the Brazil World Cup in June.

Apple, Microsoft and LG Electronics have also filed smart glass-related patent applications

Data sourced from BusinessKorea, Information Week, TechRadar; additional content by Warc staff

 
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