3DPrint was at South by Southwest in Texas last month, and one of the more interesting 3D printed technologies they found there were Bose’s prototype 3D printed augmented reality sunglasses.
As has been the experience and preference for many companies recently, “Bose chose to 3D print its product prototype, rather than use a conventional manufacturing method. [As many other companies have been discovering], this can save time and money in the product design and development product, even if (as with these AR sunglasses) the technology won’t work for commercial production.”
The Bose AR sunglasses would allow users to listen to music, much as they would when they used headphones. “This feat was accomplished by building two narrow directional speakers into the end of each stem. The speakers will send the audio directly into the user’s ears without the use of earbuds, and no one else can hear their music unless they actually press themselves up against the sunglasses.”
The Bose AR sunglasses also know where the user is looking, thanks to on-board motion sensors working in partnership with GPS coordinates from a paired smartphone. “By looking at a specific landmark and double-tapping one of the sunglass stems, you can instantly receive audio information through the speakers. In the future, Bose hopes to partner with content providers and integrate their data, so users will only need to look at something like a restaurant or store to instantly have access to spoken ratings and reviews.”
Indeed, already they have been hard at work on a $50 million venture fund in order to invest “n other companies to get some help in building out its AR sunglasses into a viable platform. It’s already got some big names signed on, including Yelp, TuneIn, Trip Advisor, ASICS Studio, and Strava.”
As the Bose Developer Portal encourages: “imagine a world where everything you see is more valuable, more emotional, and more meaningful – because of what you hear. Introducing Bose AR, the world’s first audio augmented reality platform.”
3D printing is helping bring that world into existence.
Image and Quotes Courtesy of Bose and 3DPrint