Wearables

Murata's "Cool Design Smart Glass" concept puts household appliance control in your face

Murata's "Cool Design Smart Gl...
Murata's "Cool Design Smart Glass" concept​ eyewear feature AR capabilities
Murata's "Cool Design Smart Glass" concept​ eyewear feature AR capabilities
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Murata's "Cool Design Smart Glass" concept​ eyewear feature AR capabilities
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Murata's "Cool Design Smart Glass" concept​ eyewear feature AR capabilities
The extra bulk of the "Cool Design Smart Glass" prototype is more obvious from certain angles
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The extra bulk of the "Cool Design Smart Glass" prototype is more obvious from certain angles
What the wearer sees in the glasses when looking at a micro sensor – in this case a green icon of a fan that can be used as a kind of cross hair to target the fan switching control
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What the wearer sees in the glasses when looking at a micro sensor – in this case a green icon of a fan that can be used as a kind of cross hair to target the fan switching control
In the hands, the product looked and felt quite production ready, as they were light in weight and finished to a high standard
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In the hands, the product looked and felt quite production ready, as they were light in weight and finished to a high standard
The switch module integrated into the right arm – the black button is for selection and the scrolled wheel underneath is for scrolling
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The switch module integrated into the right arm – the black button is for selection and the scrolled wheel underneath is for scrolling
The micro position sensor under development (on the right), that is the target that you aim at with the glasses
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The micro position sensor under development (on the right), that is the target that you aim at with the glasses
The glasses are tinted a little, which is a trade off from the augmented reality system
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The glasses are tinted a little, which is a trade off from the augmented reality system
Such was the interest in the glasses at CEATEC 2015, that Murata had to constantly demonstrate the product to extremely interested visitors
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Such was the interest in the glasses at CEATEC 2015, that Murata had to constantly demonstrate the product to extremely interested visitors
This is the model house that was used a target area to aim the glasses at – on the right hand side just above the black fan you can see one of the micro switches that were the target for its operation and control
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This is the model house that was used a target area to aim the glasses at – on the right hand side just above the black fan you can see one of the micro switches that were the target for its operation and control
Here is the model house being targeted by a visitor in controlling the small appliances within it
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Here is the model house being targeted by a visitor in controlling the small appliances within it
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Japanese electronics manufacturer Murata, in conjunction with the cityof Sabae, showed its "Cool Design Smart Glass" concept eyewear at CEATEC 2015. The smart augmented reality (AR) glasses incorporate what Murata claims is theworld's smallest micro PS switch module and are designed to give thewearer the ability to remotely controldomestic appliances without searching down the back of the couch for the remote or making the long trek to the light switch.

Rather than relying on a front-positioned prism to projectimages onto said lenses, the prototype glasses have all the hardware built intoa traditional – if slightly more bulky – spectacle form factor. This includes a microinfra-red laser mounted in the right hand arm that works in conjunction with micro sensors presentlyunder development at Murata that are designed to be placed on or near thehousehold appliances to be controlled.

The switch module integrated into the right arm – the black button is for selection and the scrolled wheel underneath is for scrolling
The switch module integrated into the right arm – the black button is for selection and the scrolled wheel underneath is for scrolling

When youlook at an appliance you want to control, an icon will appear in your line ofsight and if it matches the appliance in question, you confirm the selectionby pushing a button integrated into the right arm of the glasses. This button alsoincludes rotating functionality, allowing for scrolling through menus and adjustingappliance settings, such as volume/power/speed/brightness/etc. Murataclaims this switch module, which measures 3.2 x 3.4 x 2.3 mm, is the smallest of its type in the world.

At CEATEC,Murata was demonstrating the capabilities of the technology using a miniaturemodel house. While it was somewhat difficult to locate and target the microsensors in the model house through the heavily tinted lenses, this wouldn’tpose a problem in a full-sized home with real appliances – particularly since you're likely to know where the sensors are located.

AlthoughMurata has plans to put the rotating/push button switch module into massproduction next year, there are no similar plans for the glasses themselves. However,the company does have a history of continuing development of its concepts. A case in point is the robotic cheerleaders, who were back at CEATEC this year with an improved routine. So there’s a chance we could see an updated version of the CoolDesign Smart Glasses at CEATEC 2016 – which was something the company repadmitted was a possibility.

Source: Murata

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