Ever since Glass was first announced as the apple in Google’s forthcoming eye, other companies have been working diligently to create their own take on the smart glasses phenomenon. To be honest, however, this ocular arms race was already going strong even before Google started work on their sea change of a device. Does anybody remember Nintendo’s Virtual Boy? The notion of eyewear that creates some sort of a virtual overlay over the real world is an idea as old as science fiction itself, and we have only now begun to reap interesting fruits. One company, Fraunhofer, have been cranking out amazing prototypes using this general idea for years now. Now they have one that is so cool it may as well be called Glass 2.0.
Their OLED display glasses are tiny and multi-functional. Not only can you see an overlay over the world, similar to Glass, but they are also perfect for augmented reality applications. Also, they are actually controlled by minute movements in your eyeballs. An example they showed was someone looking at a world map, and the map moving when an eyeball indicated that it would like to explore further to the east or west. The devices resolution is high, clocking at an impressive 640×480. The company demoed this unit during this week’s Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, California.
Fraunhofer has no plans to market this device, that’s not their bag. They just like designing and creating cool things and having other companies with bigger marketing budgets bring them to consumer’s greedy little hands. The buzz surrounding this particular device, however, should make that a no brainer. We’ll let you know when we know more.