ChipSip, the Taiwanese “system in package” design house has announced the release of its augmented reality headset called SIME. The smartglasses are of the one-eye see through type and are very similar to the Google Glass design. (If you think that Google Glass is not very appealing and nerdy looking, the SIME may not be for you. – NH)
The device uses the company’s own Newton Sip dual core processor and runs on Android 4.4.2. It has its own SDK and comes with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, which indicates that the device relies on a paired smartphone for cell connectivity. The side panel is a touch panel that allows for interacting with the device. The system also has a camera allowing for image recognition as part of the functionality. The included audio allows for voice control as well.
The display has a resolution of 800 x 480, but the company does not say what type of display it is using, though from the outside it looks like it uses a pico projection design.
ChipSip states that the device can provide real time information for “enterprise environments, such as museum, sightseeing, education, sales, workplace, security and disaster”.The company seems to be following the lead of other hardware providers in bypassing the consumer market and focusing on the enterprise sector.
However, ChipSip has also released a video that seems to focus on consumer applications, such as communication and navigation.
The SIME is available from ChipSip for $550 if you order before April 30. There is no word on how much the headset will sell for after April 30. – NH
The device appears to copy the Google Glass approach, with even the promotion video showing certain similarities to the famous Google Glass device. The overall design is a little more substantial and less eye pleasing compared to Google Glass. The optical combiner seems to be very similar to the Google Glass one. This raises the question – what makes ChipSip think that it can succeed where Google Glass failed? There are two differentiators though, the price and the target country.
While the Google Glass cost was much higher than a smartphone for example, the SIME falls in the same price bracket of a higher-end unlocked smartphone. It also seem to take a look at the usability for an Asian market and it has to be seen if the social awkwardness is less of an issue for these markets than it was for the US market. We have to see if this is enough to make the product a success. – NH