Olympus outs wearable glasses prototype

Consumer electronics companies are placing their bets on wearable computers, zooming in on the next evolution of forward-thinking technology due to replace today’s mobile devices.

Japanese opto-digital product manufacturer Olympus is the latest company to show off a prototype of wearable glasses.

Olympus says its “MEG4.0” ultra-compact wearable device has been in development for years. The latest iteration features a daylight viewable QVGA display with a resolution of 320 x 240, Bluetooth 2.1, a built-in accelerometer, GPS and around 8 hours of battery life during normal usage (or two hours of continuous display use).

The MEG4.0 prototype arrives just over a week after Google officially demoed its Project Glass prototype in an elaborate display at the company’s annual I/O developers conference.

With a pair of Google’s glasses on his head, Google product manager Steve Lee said, "I expect that in three or four years watching people hold a mobile phone in their hands and look down at it will start to be unusual and that this will be normal,” during the event.

Game software developer Valve is also investigating wearable technology. Valve employee Michael Abrash agrees it’s where the future of mobile computing is headed.

"The logical endpoint is computing everywhere, all the time - that is, wearable computing," he wrote Valve on the company blog on April 13. "I have no doubt that 20 years from now that will be standard, probably through glasses or contacts."

Hiroko Kuno, a spokesperson for Olympus Tokyo, told Relaxnews “unfortunately we have no plan to commercialize at this time, as MEG topic is one of the R&D themes.”