So far, the development of augmented reality experiences has focused entirely on supplementing real-world imagery with new visual information. However, how about the prospect of delivering this information to our ears rather than our eyes?
Enter Frames from Bose, a pair of $200 smart sunglasses with built in wireless earphones, which the company says will offer access to the world’s first augmented reality platform, Bose AR.
Unlike Google Glass there’s no display or camera to be seen here. Frames use a 9-axis head motion sensor and GPS from your smartphone to figure our where you are, and in what direction you’re looking at. From there Frames provide an informational soundtrack to what’s attracting your peepers.
In a press release, the audio experts say Frames “automatically add a layer of audio, connecting that place and time to endless possibilities for travel, learning, entertainment, gaming, and more. It’s all accessible through the ease of listening — clear-eyed, heads-up, hands-free.”
Purpose-designed Bose AR experiences are coming soon and will be shared at the SXSW 2019, which takes place in Austin, Texas in March.
As for the all-important audio experiences, Bose says the tiny acoustic package is contained within the arm of the glasses themselves, rather than through additional earbuds or a connected device. That would suggest the Frames use bone conduction technology to provide personal audio, but we’ve contacted Bose for confirmation.
There’s also a microphone and a multi-function button (below) to enable voice controls for streaming music or to access the Google Assistant and Siri. They’ll provide 3.5-hours of playback from the lithium battery.
Pre-orders for the Frames will commence in January, with the glasses becoming available in the spring.
“Bose Frames are both revolutionary and practical,” said Mehul Trivedi, director of Bose Frames. “They look and act like classic sunglasses — until you turn them on. And then you’re connected to your phone, contacts, the web, and all its audible content, just like headphones. There’s nothing else like them — they’re a breakthrough you have to see, wear, and hear to believe.”
No cameras, no heads-up display… Has Bose just birthed the future of augmented reality? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.