A Japanese company has a fascinating answer to
) controversial wearable computer, Google Glass. Though it might
seem like a copy of Glass, this one has some wild innovations
straight out of science fiction.
NTT Docomo Inc
), a mobile carrier in Japan, has unveiled a clone of Google Glass
(website in Japanese). It debuted its wearable device at Ceatec, an
annual futuristic confab in Tokyo.
In addition to the "normal" functions that we are used to seeing in
wearable computers -- it allows users to check the time and search
the Internet for information about your surroundings -- Intelligent
Glass has some fascinating capabilities.
First, it offers near-instant translation of text. This is
something that Japanese phones have been doing for years; it's the
kind of necessary service that that comes with the territory when
your language includes thousands of unique characters.
With Intelligent Glass, a stroll through Tokyo would present
foreigners with translations of signs into different languages
right before your eyes. The glasses already recognize Japanese,
Korean, English, and Chinese text. The beta prototype takes five
seconds to complete a translation. The feature works by calling in
information to remote servers, just as Google Glass does, but in a
considerably faster Internet
The device also recognizes people's faces, making it easier to
pretend that you remember who people are, which is difficult when
there is a computer screen in front of your eye at all times.
But here's the really neat thing: Couple the eyewear with a special
ring on your finger, and you can turn any flat surface into a
tablet computer. In the illustration shown, a user is tapping and
flicking apps on a filing folder, just as if she had an
) in front of her. Images of the apps a user needs are beamed onto
a surface by the device. Using one might make you look a little
crazy, but it definitely keeps your surfing secret. And a ring is
more mobile than a tablet computer.
According to a
write-up in the
New York Times
, the Docomo glasses had the longest lines at Ceatec. However, a
Docomo spokesperson said that the company is years away from making
these devices available commercially.
Docomo hopes to get the glasses ready for the 2020 Summer Olympics,
which will be held in Tokyo, so newcomers can understand restaurant
menus and signage.
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