docomo-1[CEATEC 2013] To say that smart glasses might not end up as the next big thing would be an understatement. After all, there has been plenty of interest surrounding Google Glass in the past, and the folks over at NTT docomo certainly has no intention of missing out on the boat. We managed to get hold of a few smart glasses at the NTT docomo booth today, where the first one of the lot is what Hubert is wearing in the image above. Basically, this pair of smart glasses allows you to watch videos that are being played on your smartphone without having to hold your handset. All that is being played on the smartphone is sent to the smart glasses, and while there were no hard and fast specifications available, it was divulged that it is in all probability, the equivalent of watching an 80” display from 5 feet away. Sweet!

Apart from that, there were also other smart glasses that we managed to take a closer look at (pun not intended). One of them, using a Vuzix M100 as the base model, carried facial and character recognition ability. Let us say that you are bad with names – wearing this smart glasses would be able to assist you. Imagine walking around and seeing someone whom you want to talk to, but for the life of you, could not remember his or her name. This pair of smart glasses will check the person’s face against the employee manifesto, and relay other metadata such as position and department. What happens when there are two people in your line of sight? Well, it will attempt to pull out data from the database for both folks, displaying these information in your smart glasses one after the other.

In the demonstration, wearing another pair of smart glasses with a special kind of translation software allows you to translate documents such as menus, letters, and even signboards from Japanese to Chinese, English or Korean. Do bear in mind that this technology is still in its infancy, which is why it was pretty difficult to result in a 100% translation rate, as some phrases and words remained untranslated.

Interesting concepts and ideas, all of these. Definitely the technology is there with a possibility of a brighter future ahead, but will the market be mature enough to develop to such a level and actually make use of these features on a daily basis? Can NTT docomo make this a need instead of a want?

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