New AR smart glasses from ODG combine augmented reality with style

A mix of Google Glass and Oculus Rift, these HD displays can show 3D movies in bright sunlight

Osterhout Design Group smart glasses have style and AR functionality.

Osterhout Design Group smart glasses have style and AR functionality.

If you need another reason to consider smart glasses, Osterhout Design Group (ODG) has a pair that's not only full of high-definition augmented reality and virtual reality functions but has style and military cred too.

The San Francisco-based company is showing off a consumer prototype of its smart glasses at the International CES show in Las Vegas this week that have a classic Wayfarer sunglasses design. While they're bulkier than regular shades, they aren't too heavy at 125 grams.

They run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor and have stereoscopic HD displays, accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes and a nine-axis internal measurement unit (IMU). Additional hardware features include a high-speed autofocus camera, stereo audio, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity.

The reason you might want to wear all that tech on your face is what it can display and the mobility it affords.

The glasses can be used to do things that are difficult to do with smartphones or tablets, according to ODG, such as watching 3D movies in bright sunlight, playing interactive 3D games and navigating with heads-up directions while keeping one's hands free.

The Android-powered glasses support Qualcomm's Vuforia mobile vision and augmented reality platform, which can be used to recognize objects, images and text.

The eyewear, based on the company's heavy-duty US$4,946 R-6 Smart Glasses designed for military and industry, is slated to be released in 2015 for under $1,000, according to the company. It did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

ODG's push into consumer AR comes after Qualcomm announced a Vuforia SDK (software development kit) for smart glasses in September.

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Tim Hornyak

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