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15 Mar 2018

Bose announces sound-based augmented reality glasses

Make way for sound-based augmented reality

Audio company Bose has announced a pair of sound-based augmented reality (AR) glasses called Bose AR.

The company recently showcased a prototype of the product at the ongoing SXSW 2018 festival in Texas.

The glasses successfully demonstrated what sound-based AR might look and feel like, a technology that is almost always associated with vision.

In context

Make way for sound-based augmented reality
Instead of visual cues, Bose AR focuses sound towards ears


Instead of visual cues, Bose AR focuses sound towards ears

Bose AR uses data from embedded motion sensors along with GPS information that is extracted from a user's phone via Bluetooth.

Through this, the glasses can detect where a user is, and its nine-axis sensor determines which direction they're looking at.

Upon learning that information, Bose AR, instead of giving visual cues, focuses sound toward the user's ears related to his whereabouts.

Bose wants to be integrated in all sorts of devices

Different app developers can make use of Bose AR differently. They can tag locations to trigger audio cues or use motion sensors as a head-based gesture control interface. Bose AR can be integrated with devices like helmets, prescription glasses, headphones, and earbuds in the future.

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Bose AR was integrated with few simple apps at SXSW

At the event, Bose AR demonstrated an AR tour of specific restaurants. Users could look at buildings, tap a touchpad on their temple, and be provided with a few sentences about what's inside.

In another demonstration of its potential uses, Bose AR allowed users to choose between playlists by simply turning their heads.

It automatically adjusted sound settings if one switched from gym to workplace.

Bose to ship 10,000 AR glasses to developers and manufacturers

Bose has established a fund of $50 million for Bose AR developers and plans to ship 10,000 glasses to developers and manufacturers by this summer. It lists 11 software partners including TripAdvisor and has shortlisted companies like Ray-Ban and Warby Parker as potential hardware partners.

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