Human Capable Inc., headquartered in Plantation, FL with remote team members in India and China, is in the final phase of developing “Normal looking augmented reality smart glasses that offer an everyday, hands free connection to your digital world.” The product is called Norm Glasses and includes an Android-based wearable mini-computer and a heads-up display.
The figure below illustrates a prototype of the Norm Glasses. The prototype is represented as almost in the final form of the deliverable product.
A monocular eyepiece is integrated in the housing of the right lens of the glasses and presents video imagery visible within the user’s field of view. The optics are described as “not immediately obvious to onlookers.” At this time, there are few details available on the optical system however, some of the specifications and features of the Norm Glasses are as follows:
- The display is full color.
- Field of view: 20 degree. Digital content can be seen “even under bright sunshine.”
- Battery: 4 days standby, 1-2 days standard use, 4-5 hours of continuous use.
- Charging time: 2 hours. There is a contact-based connector with 4 pins, secured by a magnet, located behind the ear on the right temple. The other end of the charging cable is a standard USB.
- Bluetooth: 4.1 enables connection to any Android or iOS smartphone.
- Sensors: 9 axis gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer.
- Processor: dual core up to 1.2 GHz.
- RAM: 1 GB.
- Storage: 8 GB.
- Weight: < 36 g, about the same as normal sunglasses.
- Camera: 8 MP.
- Video: 1080p HD.
- A noise-canceling microphone is embedded in an arm of the Glasses.
- Water resistance: rain, splash and sweat resistance.
Other aspects of the Norm Glasses include the following:
The frames come in three sizes. The temples fold up like normal eyewear. The nose pads are adjustable. The anti-skid sleeves behind the ears are adjustable. Norm Glasses will be available in three, to-be-determined colors.
Users can have prescription lenses added to the Norm at any store that sells eyewear. The lenses can be clear, tinted, transition, polarized or include a UV or blue light block. All lenses can be with or without a prescription.
Open ear stereo speakers direct sound to the user’s ears. This approach allows the user to hear sounds from their environment while, at the same time, people around the user will not be able to hear or even tell that the user is listening to audio. To accomplish these audio characteristic, Norm calculates a so-called “privacy distance.” Users can adjust the privacy distance calculation so as to adjust the speaker volume to their preferred privacy distance. The calculation is based on sound attenuation over distance, speaker volume and ambient noise level. With normal hearing, the user can hear audio produced by Glasses quite clearly with a privacy setting of 1.5 feet.
When capturing photos or video, the files are stored within the Norm Glasses. This allows recording without the need for a smartphone. Media files in the Norm can be accessed from the smartphone companion app or, if the Glasses are connected to a computer using the charging cable, from the computer as if the Glasses were a USB drive.
Users can interact with the Norm using voice or gesture control. Norm uses offline voice recognition that operates whether or not an internet connection is available. Norm also supports integration with multiple voice platforms voice platforms such as Alexa. The company plans to provide the API to third party developers so as to enable them to use the offline voice recognition and touch inputs.
A touch panel on the right side of the frame provides means of control to navigate the interface such as tap to answer or dismiss various prompts and notifications.
The first phase of app availability includes: phone calls, contacts, text messages, camera, video recorder, voice recorder, gallery, media player, navigation, clock and weather. The second phase of app availability includes: Email, social media, live streaming and notes. More apps are expected to become available for download at a later time, just as is the case for smartphones.
Norm Glasses are represented as ready for production. The company has chosen to fund the next steps in product development by way of a Kickstarter campaign. The funds are intended to enable the company to order electronic and optical components in large quantities thus achieving volume discounts. It will also be used to accelerate software development. The all-or-nothing goal of the campaign is to raise $15,000 by August 29th. At the time this article is written, the campaign has been highly successful in that many times that amount has already been pledged. The company is currently taking preorders for Norm Glasses on Kickstarter at a price that is highly discounted compared to the anticipated MSRP of $449. The estimated delivery date of Norm glasses is January 2020. – Arthur Berman