Bose working on augmented reality glasses that are everything Google Glass isn't

Bose introduces audio augmented reality platform and unveils the future of mobile sound in eyewear prototype

Augmented reality has mostly always been thought of visual overlays wherein the virtual can be superimposed on the real with the help of AR headsets of glasses.

According to Bose's blog post explaining the capabilities of the concept wearable, the company states that the sunglass makes use of the Bose AR platform which uses head movements, voice commands and taps on the wearable to execute various functions.

In most applications, AR is more "cool to have" than 'need to have.' The Bose AR platform seems to fall into the former category, at least right now.

The company revealed the Bose AR prototype earlier this year at South by Southwest in Austin. But someone at Bose is thinking a bit out of the box - at SWSX, Bose announced AR glasses, which is somehow uncharacteristic of the company, but also not surprising that companies are trying to get a slice of the AR pie.

As for collaborations, some include ASICS Studio, Strava, TripAdvisor, TuneIn, and Yelp, whereas others will be announced in the future.


The Bose AR platform is open to approved developers and manufacturers. They're also built to keep audio private, so the rest of the world doesn't know you're listening to a running commentary on your museum tour. The glasses have sensors to track head motion, and rely on a phone's Global Positioning System for location awareness. The location data is sent to Bose AR-enabled app that uses the information to send back relevant, real-time content back to the glasses which the wearer can then listen to.

As far as any products hitting the market, we're still a way off, but Bose says its prototype glasses can work via Bluetooth to access calls, Siri, and Google Assistant on a connected smartphone. The glasses will simulate historic events at landmarks, play speeches of a historical figure whose statue you may be looking at, or even tell you which way the departure gate is while checking in at an airport.

The shades and AR platform are created to be virtually touch free, with voice commands or simple head movements controlling the majority of the features, according to Bose.

"Bose AR represents a new kind of augmented reality one that's made for anyone and every day", said John Gordon, vice president of the Consumer Electronics Division at Bose. Unlike the Sony product, these sunglasses are being primarily focussed at AR rather than audio that can also do AR.

This is certainly a new way of implementing AR technology, and pretty unique from the way AR is being implemented in other products and apps.

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