Normally, when Bose says it is making a new announcement regarding a product, it usually centers around a new speaker or headphones. However, the great revelation was far from the norm as it was revealed they are developing an augmented-reality platform. That’s right, Bose is joining the competition in creating augmented reality glasses.
Writer David Carnoy posted an article recently on how the company, best known for headphones and speakers, had established a $50 million development fund to support a new augmented reality platform is dedicated to audio. The announcement was stated at this year’s SXSW conference, which must have been a surprise to the audience that was present.
AR Glasses for Audio Instead of Video
While it was a shocker for many to learn how Bose was throwing their hat into the ring in developing augmented reality glasses, what their true goal is adds more to the surprise revelation. The AR platform that they revealed, which they arranged a $50 million venture fund to back it up, has nothing to do with video but all about audio. The company is referring to it as the original audio augmented platform while saying the Bose AR prototype known as glasses to hear will become the future of sound.
Right now, according to a spokesperson from Bose, stated to CNET that the glasses will not be available to customers. Instead, they will be available to manufacturers and developers; the Bose AR SDK as well as limited quantities of an updated and a refined version of Bose’s AR glasses will be around this summer.
While it is unclear what the price will be or when consumers will be able to purchase them, Bose hasn’t stated whether a consumer would have the option to have a prescription lens installed in them. One way to visualize them would be as a form of headphone to wear that has smart features added on.
Bose said that unlike other augmented reality products and platforms, Bose AR doesn’t change what you see, but knows what you’re looking at — without an integrated lens or phone camera. And rather than superimposing visual objects on the real world, Bose AR adds an audible layer of information and experiences, making every day better, easier, more meaningful, and more productive.
How Bose’s AR Glasses Can be Used
Besides core features like making calls or listening to music, the glasses uses sensors to monitor head motion while GPS from an iOS or Android device tracks location. Bose added that the sensors send the motion and location data to a Bose AR-enabled app that aggregates the information, sending relevant, real-time content back to the user’s ears instantly. And it can be used for multiple applications.
One use would be for an individual traveling could utilize the Bose AR to simulate events that are historic at landmarks while seeing them; voices and horses are heard charging in from your left, then passing right in front of you before riding off in the direction of their original route, fading as they go. Imaging approaching a statue and suddenly hearing a famous speech that was given or being at the airport and being told directions to your departure gate.
Bose AR could translate what a sign says that your reading or approaching a paining and hearing the story of how it was created. Gesture controls allow the user to choose a song or pick different music with a simple nod of your head. Useful data could be attained about the current or upcoming forecast while looking at a restaurant or down the street.
The bottom line sounds like, if successful, would open the doors to a world of AR that no one ever imagined. Hopefully, a working version will be available soon to customers but will most likely come at a price that isn’t inexpensive.