Augmented reality is still a growing market, one that Apple sees a lot of potential in, and so we’re likely going to see a lot of new glasses and sunglasses coming down the pipe.
One of the more unlikely sources is Bose, which, earlier this year, officially announced its first pair of AR sunglasses, what it calls “Frames”. But this is Bose, and so while visual cues are usually the defining factor for AR anything, the company is instead relying on audio-based tech to create something unique.
” Bose today announced Frames, a breakthrough product combining the protection and style of premium sunglasses, the functionality and performance of wireless headphones, and the world’s first audio augmented reality platform — into one revolutionary wearable. Frames take micro-acoustics and voice control to an entirely new level, debuting the future of mobile sound in the tiniest, thinnest, most lightweight Bose system ever. With a proprietary open-ear design, Frames can stream music and information, take and make calls, and access virtual assistants — while keeping playlists, entertainment, and conversations private. Frames are available in January 2019 for $199, preorders start today, and Bose AR apps are coming next year.”
The Frames use open-ear headphones and a built-in microphone to interact directly with Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant, depending on your preference. The sunglasses also include a built-in nine-axis motion sensor, which allows for the glasses to figure out the direction you’re facing. And when the glasses are paired with a phone, the glasses can determine GPS data. There are speakers that can offer up information when prompted, which the glasses ascertain based on your location and which direction you’re facing.
The more interesting design element here is the open-ear headphones, which basically means you’re potentially walking around with a pair of speakers attached to your head. That might make some folks a little weary about using their digital personal assistant of choice out in public, where anyone within earshot can hear what’s being said aloud.
Bose is opening up preorders right now for the Frames, with more information coming about the new hardware, and the platform associated with it, in 2019 at SXSW. The preorder price for the Frames is set at $199, and they launch in January of next year. Bose is launching two pairs: One with round frames and another with square frames, with both weighing in at 45 grams. Bose says the battery offers up about 12 hours of standby time, while the Frames can last up to three and a half hours while listening to music.
Apple is said to be working on its own pair of augmented reality glasses as well, a rumor that simply won’t go away. In April of this year we heard that Apple’s upcoming glasses would feature a pair of 8K displays, and, most recently, we reported an analyst’s prediction that the device could launch in 2020.
What do you think of the Frames?