Bose has made audio-focused augmented reality glasses

You just need to look at something to hear about it

Augmented reality is constantly growing and being adopted. Not at supersonic speeds as other technology tends to, but it’s definitely part of our immediate future. Bose is the latest player to get into AR. Instead of the traditional overlay of information over what you’re looking at, Bose will be feeding you audio information based on what you’re looking at. Your whole life can be a guided hop-on, hop-off bus tour.

How does it work? 

The glasses don’t look too bad and the technology seems quite sound. Bose doing something with audio can seldom go wrong. With a “wafer-thin acoustic package” built into each side, the small audio technology is said to produce powerful and clear sound and can be incorporated into wearables such as headphones, eyewear and helmets.

There’s no camera or lens attached. The tech uses sensors to track head motion and your phone’s GPS to determine your location. That data would then be aggregated by a companion app, which, based on that information, would return relevant audio content to the user. All you have to do is look at a place, such as a restaurant, building or monument, and double tap the right side to get feed information right into your ear.

How useful could audio AR be?

Where will all this information be coming from, you ask? Bose is collaborating with companies such as Strava, TripAdvisor, Yelp and academic institutions like the MIT Media Lab and the NYU Future Reality Lab to get as much audio information on everything we see around us. It’s a bold new step in the AR world and could revolutionise your future holidays. Imagine skipping all the boring tour guides when you’ve got one comfortably on your face, all while shielding your eyes from the bright sun. Hopefully Google is a collaborator as well so you won’t need to hold up your camera to translate words, you just look at a sign and double tap for Google Translate to perform its magic right in your ears.

With a prototype piece doing the rounds at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Bose says the glasses will be available to developers and manufacturers by the summer. They can expect an updated hardware version as well as an updated AR SDK.