Sony SmartEyeglass Developer Edition pre-order starts today in UK and Germany

Sony has announced that it will offer the SED-E1 “SmartEyeglass Developer Edition” for sale in Japan, the US, the UK and Germany from March 10th.

Sony has developed the “SmartEyeglass” transparent lens eyewear that connects with compatible smartphones to superimpose information such as text, symbols, and images onto the user’s field of view, and it is moving forward with preparations towards the commercialization of the product. In order to explore the possibilities with and facilitate the development of apps for the device,

In the UK and Germany, the device is now available for pre-order. It will also be offered for sale to enterprise customers in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden from March 10th in order to promote the development of apps geared toward industrial use. The SmartEyeglass Developer Edition will be sold through the dedicated SmartEyeglass page of “Sony Developer World,” an application development support website for Sony products.

In addition to the hardware, Sony will also begin providing the official release of the Software Development Kit (SDK) for the SmartEyeglass, an upgraded version of the Developer Preview SDK that it has made available since last September. Through this official release, it is looking to promote the development of even more apps compatible with the device. Sony also has its eyes set on the future of wearable devices and their diversifying use cases, and it hopes to tap into the ingenuity of developers to improve upon the user experience that the SmartEyeglass provides.

Going forward, Sony will accelerate its efforts to promote the development of apps for SmartEyeglass, as it eyes the commercialization of the product for both consumers and enterprise customers in 2016.

The SmartEyeglass is equipped with a diverse range of sensing technologies, including a CMOS image sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, electronic compass, brightness sensor, and microphone. It utilizes these features, together with GPS location information obtained from the connected smartphone, to provide information tailored to the user’s immediate circumstances. Sony has leveraged its unique hologram optics technology to develop a lens that achieves a high transparency of 85% and a thickness of just 3.0 mm, without the use of half mirrors that obstruct the user’s vision. Furthermore, the monochrome display ensures that while energy consumption is lower than a color display, high luminance (up to 1,000 cd/m2) is achieved, realizing an easy-to-read binocular display with clearly legible text under a wide range of conditions.

The exchange of information, from sensing data to images, between the SmartEyeglass and a wirelessly connected smartphone means that, depending on the smartphone app, the device has the potential to be used in a wide range of scenarios.

Thin, lightweight display module made possible by Sony’s unique hologram optics technology
The SmartEyeglass is equipped with a thin, lightweight display module designed specifically for the transparent lens glasses-style smart device and featuring Sony’s unique holographic waveguide technology.

Holographic waveguide technology entails the propagation of image light that is output from the optical engine, using holographic optical elements embedded in both sides of a glass plate. The light is propagated through the extremely thin (1 mm) glass plate and then delivered to the eyes. With this technology, Sony succeeded in designing an incredibly thin 3 mm*4 lens with a very high transmittance of 85%.

Key Specifications of the SmartEyeglass Developer Edition (SED-E1)

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Item Specification
HMD type Binocular see-through with a separate controller
Resolution 419 (H) X 138 (V) pixel
Angle of view Diagonal 20° (Horizontal 19° x Vertical 6°)
Image color Monochrome green with 8 bit grey scale
Frame rate 15 fps
Brightness (max.) 1,000 cd/m2
See-through transmittance More than 85%
Sensors Accelerometer, gyroscope, electronic compass, brightness sensor, microphone, noise-canceling microphone
Camera Still: 3M pixel
Video (soundless): JPEG Stream – QVGA-equivalent 15 fps (requires a camera API; for more information, refer to the SDK)
Sound Speaker in controller
Power source Built-in lithium ion battery
Battery life Not using the camera: approximately 150 minutes
Using the camera: approximately 80 minutes
*1: These values apply when device is used under the following conditions – display always on; display brightness at default setting
*2: Above time estimates are subject to change based on surrounding temperature and app use conditions
*3: Even when not using the camera, battery life will decrease when using wireless LAN connection
Connectivity with Android device Bluetooth v3.0, IEEE802.11b/g
Android OS requirements Android 4.4 or above
Maximum external dimensions Eyewear: when folded – approximately 180 mm × 39 mm × 72 mm (width/height/depth); when unfolded – approximately 180 mm × 39 mm × 182 mm
Controller: approximately 54 mm × 21 mm × 60 mm (not including protruding part)
Cable: approximately 63 cm (length)
Weight Approximately 77 g (glasses excluding cable); approximately 44 g (controller)
Operating temperature range 5℃ to 35℃
Storage temperature range -15℃ to 50℃