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NTT Docomo Intelligent Glasses unveiled as Google Glass rival

Major Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo has unveiled wearable Intelligent Glasses at Ceatec 2013.

Capable of translating text in real time, the NTT Domoco’s wearable Intelligent Glasses could be a viable rival for Google Glass.

The Intelligent Glasses project an image of translated text over any foreign characters and words, which could be a useful tool for tourists.

“Character recognition technology enables instant language translation for users travelling abroad and reading restaurant menus and other documents”, said NTT Docomo.

Although the wearable technology is still in research stage, they will be able to show translated text in real time into the user’s native language. It currently takes five seconds for the prototype to translate the text, but this will be quicker in the final product.

The Intelligent Glasses can already translate Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.

NTT Domoco has also said the technology within the Intelligent Glasses can transform flat surfaces into pseudo-touchscreens. This enables users to manipulate digital images using a physical ring that relay hand movements on the surface back to the Intelligent Glasses.

Users will also be able to utilise the in-built facial recognition technology, which will present the personal details of anybody in view. The data is pulled from the user’s smartphone and remote servers, the Japanese mobile operator added.

Although wearable technology has “tremendous potential”, concepts “face a lot of hurdles”, explained IDC consumer technology consultant Jonathan Gaw to the BBC.

“Small-bore applications like on-the-fly menu translation won’t sell a pair of smart glasses on their own, but a large eco system of applications might,” said Gaw.

Google’s own smart glasses are currently doing the rounds with developers, who are building apps for Google Glass. Due to be on the market in the first half of 2014, analysts predict that the Google Glass price may be as low as £200.

Next, read about the Google Glass privacy problem and how to solve it.

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