Bose surprises with audio-focused AR smart glasses
Bose has announced a new type of wearable that it is calling an audio augmented reality platform. The Bose AR prototype on display at SXSW is embedded in a pair of sunglasses that doesn’t change what you see, but is aware of what you are looking at. Instead of a small visual display, like a guided audio tour, users are presented with an audible layer of information and experiences to enhance awareness of a listener’s surroundings.
The Bose AR prototype uses Bluetooth to pair with either Siri or Google Assistant and use a proprietary Bose technology to keep audio private (probably using some type of bone induction method). According to Bose, the sound the device delivers is comparable to its headphones. The wearable also tracks head motion and uses the GPS signal of a paired smartphone for location awareness. The Bose AR app aggregates the combined data to supply real-time content to the user without the need to interact with their smartphone.
Bose also used the launch to introduce the accompanying SDK for developers interested in tapping into its new audio AR platform. It says it is already working with ASICS Studio, Strava, TripAdvisor, TuneIn and Yelp, which is indicative of the types of applications that will benefit from the new technology. To help spur new app development, it is also investing up to US $50 million in start-ups focused on developing for the platform.