It appears Google isn't the only one working on a futuristic pair of glasses. It appears that Sony is working on their own version of glasses doubling as a head-mounted display, after the publication of a patent application.
It started as an “in your dreams” type of project, but with this continuation patent filed on November 14, 2012, it appears that Sony is on the cusp of making that dream a reality. Unlike Google Glass, Sony's head-mounted display glasses feature displays for both eyes.
From Dream to Reality
Back in the summer of 2012, Sony published a patent for a pair of glasses that look like they came directly from a cheesy sci-fi movie. The glasses featured two lenses, sans bridge, that each function as a display, with included cameras and battery packs.
The glasses have transitioned from outlandish concept to a more reasonable design, as evidenced in the new patent filing. Just like Google Glass, the display screens are now integrated into a more traditional glasses frame. Behind the lenses is the actual pop-up display, with two displays and ear buds mounted on small arms.
The patent doesn't speak to what content will be displayed on the glasses, but it does reveal it is a 2D interface. The glasses are also said to be customizable for each user, with the screens' ability to move by several millimeters.
This isn't the first time Sony has designed a head-mounted display option. As a matter of fact, they currently offer devices such as the HMZ-T2 Personal 3d Viewer, the head-mounted display for HD 2D and 3D viewing with included virtual 5.1 surround sound for movies and gaming. It offers twin OLED screens, and the 24p True Cinema feature that shows you films as you would see them on the big screen at the standard movie theater 24 frames per second.
This last patent filing is just a continuation of patents filed back in 2008 and 2009, proving that Sony is hard at work to make this futuristic device part of our everyday lives and that Google is not alone in their efforts. In fact, LG is said to be working on something “similar to internet giant's Google Glass,” according to The Korea Times. Apple filed a patent back in 2006 for their own concept, the Glass Project.
General Public Uncomfortable
Whether sporting Google Glass or Sony's version, what does the general public think of walking around sporting these high tech glasses? There have been a few bans on the technology, even before it has been released to the general public. In West Virginia, a bill has been introduced banning the act of driving while wearing Google Glass. Gary Howell introduced the bill to the House of Delegates, likening wearing the glasses while driving to texting while driving.
5 Point Cafe, a bar in Seattle, has banned Google Glass from being worn inside their establishment. Although the Facebook post made by the bar relating to the ban was kind of a joke, it was also serious. The reason: the bar is trying to protect its patrons from being filmed without their knowledge. What a great idea, because currently, no one can use their smartphone to record videos. That just doesn't happen.