The battle to dominate your eyes is about to get ugly. Eyewear experts Oakley announced that it's working on glasses with built-in smartphone features. Sounds like ploy to turn attention away from Google's Project Glass AR glasses to us.
With over 600 patents and 15 years of research and history on heads-up displays under its belt, Oakley knows a thing or two about building "smart" eyewear.
Oakley's CEO Colin Baden spoke to Bloomberg saying that smarter eyewear is an important sector for Oakley to explore:
"As an organization, we've been chasing this beast since 1997," Baden said. "Ultimately, everything happens through your eyes, and the closer we can bring it to your eyes, the quicker the consumer is going to adopt the platform."
Whereas Google's Project Glass appears to be HUD-glasses for the masses, Oakley is going after athletes first.
Naturally, Baden reminds everybody that the technology to build HUD-glasses is not cheap and that it could still be a ways off before we see regular people wearing them out on the streets.
In the past, Oakley's sold MP3 sunglasses, but we all know that aside from serious athletes, nobody bought them. Even though Baden claims they were profitable (albeit expensive), they weren't exactly game changers. A cheap iPod shuffle that offered larger storage was more popular.
Best of luck with HUD-glasses Oakley. It won't be an easy mountain to climb, for you or Google or Valve (rumored to be working on some kind of wearable computer). You'll need the luck to change the public's stigma on wearing dorky glasses to handle their smartphone needs.