Bose has announced at SXSW that he is working on his own pair of augmented reality glasses, but not the way he would. Instead of superimposing data visually around the world, such as Google Glass or Intel's Vaunt glasses, Bose's AR concept focuses on audio, adding "an audible layer of information and experiences" to the real world, according to a report from CNET
Bose is not just working on a pair of glasses, either. The company has greater ambitions for its audio AR as a complete platform for developers, and to that end, Bose will launch a Bose AR SDK and establish a $ 50 million fund to invest in companies that will build things with Bose AR.
For now, the company is showing a pair of glasses with headphones built into SXSW (which will be available sometime this summer in limited quantities for developers and manufacturers), but Bose says that its AR platform can "be incorporated into headphones, glasses, helmets and more. " Bose AR is not just about audio, either. The devices will use sensors to track head movements for gesture controls and work with GPS from a paired smartphone to track the location.
As for what kind of experiences could audio-based augmented reality offer? Bose has a couple of ideas. The company expects a Bose AR device to recreate historical events or speeches of monuments and statues as you visit them, or get audio prompts at your door when your GPS detects you have arrived at the airport. The company also aims to combine visual information with the Bose AR platform, too, so you can listen to the translation of a sign you're looking for, get a weather report when you look out the window or hear the story of a painting in a museum.
It seems that we are still quite far from the devices that make their way into the hands of consumers (or rather, in the heads of consumers), but it is certainly an interesting approach to augmented reality that plays with the strengths of Bose that It is completely different from most other AR products out there.