Japanese tech giant Sony has unveiled plans for a clip-on accessory that transforms any piece of eyewear into smart glasses.
The Single Lens Display Module provides viewers with a colour micro display that hovers at the top of a user's vision. Built into the 2oz device is a compass, accelerometer and touch sensors, allowing users to view their personal metrics, surf the internet and navigate unfamiliar routes. Unlike rival Google Glass, the unit doesn't have its own camera.
Sony claims the device could prove particularly useful for athletes, allowing them to augment their vision with fitness data and metrics. The brand also says it would be useful in work environments; forward-thinking food brands are already experimenting with Google Glass as a training tool, as noted in Digital Dining.
"This display module possesses the potential to enrich users' lives in a variety of ways," Sony said in a statement. "By simply attaching it to a pair of fashionable glasses, goggles, sunglasses or other type of eyewear, you can instantly gain access to visual information that adds a level of convenience to your everyday life."
Despite huge publicity, Google Glass has received mixed feedback from consumers, who are wary of the privacy implications of the device's in-built camera. Sony claims its modular concept offers more flexibility, as users can attach or detach the device to suit the occasion.
Sony plans to begin mass production of the clip-on next year. It will go on display for the first time at January's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – look out for further coverage of the event, coming soon. In the meantime, read our report from this year's GlazedCon event for the latest insights into the wearable tech market.