Move over Google Glass, Sony's SmartEyeglass is ready to take on the consumer market.
The developer edition of the Sony wearable -- SED-E1 -- is now available for preorder and will set consumers back by $840. Come March 10, the SmartEyeglass Developer Edition is set to go on sale in several countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Japan and Germany. The preorders for the glasses started on Feb. 17 in the U.K. and Germany.
"Today we are announcing the commercialisation of SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1, a transparent lens eyewear that connects with compatible smartphones to superimpose information onto the user's field of view," notes Sony in a press release.
The SmartEyeglass is similar to Google Glass and will be able to project images, text and symbols in the user's viewing field. However, the glasses will require pairing with a compatible smartphone for it to work (Android KitKat 4.4 and above).
In addition to offering the SmartEyeglass Developer Edition in the U.K. and Germany, Sony will also be making the wearable available to enterprise customers in other European countries. The wearable will also come with everyday apps in tow. The release of the developer edition of the SmartEyeglass is aimed at fueling the development of apps for the device for industrial use.
Developers will have access to an upgraded version of the software development kits (SDK) to help them create compatible apps for the device.
"We are also making the official version of the SmartEyeglass SDK available, enabling developers to create unique hands-free use cases," revealed Sony.
At the International CES 2015 in January, the Japanese company showed off the SmartEyeglass' ability to locate bulky boxes at warehouses, giving a glimpse into the wearable's industrial use and capabilities.
The wearable sports a resolution of 419 (H) X 138 (V) pixels and has a field of view of 20 degrees. The battery life of the device is estimated to be 150 minutes when not using and 80 minutes when using the 3-megapixel camera, respectively.
Design-wise, the developer version of the SmartEyeglass looks quite bulky and obtrusive when compared with the Google Glass. It does not look too comfortable and based on its looks, it is unlikely that users will wear it for long periods.
Moreover, the before-tax price of $840 that the glasses command may deter prospective consumers from adopting the SmartEyeglass.
With Sony aiming to beef up the marketing efforts and production for its augmented reality glasses, it remains to be seen how the SmartEyeglass performs in the consumer space. Considering the release of the Google Glass has been shelved for now, Sony may be able to tap the market better.