Google recently canned the Glass Explorer Programme in an effort to redesign the smart glasses and try again in the future, but that isn’t stopping Sony from debuting its rival eyewear in a few short weeks.
The Sony SmartEyeglass Developer Edition (SED-E1) will release on 10 March, the company revealed today, at a price of US$840 in the States. Like Google’s Explorer Programme, affixing Developer Edition to the name lets Sony have a little leeway with this early-adopter-targeting release.
And the company may need it, because SmartEyeglass - which must be paired with a phone running Android 4.4 or newer - doesn’t seem like a fully realized creation. The non-prescription lenses have built-in screens for displaying directions and notifications while you look ahead, but it requires a large puck to function and for touch commands, which you can affix to clothing or leave in a pocket - with a dangling cord, of course.
Also, whereas Glass aims for a very minimal design - as minimal as a wearable computer on your face can be - the SmartEyeglass has a thicker, plastic-heavy build that can’t help but look like swimming goggles. They don’t even look comfortable on the actress in Sony’s own trailer above.
Maybe it’ll hit a nerve that Google Glass couldn’t, however. Or maybe it’ll just be a stepping stone on the path to a more compact, less conspicuous revision targeted at the average consumer. Whatever the case, we’re certainly interested to see how this one lands come March.