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Sony opens pre-orders for its $840 Google Glass alternative

Sony opens pre-orders for its $840 Google Glass alternative

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Google might have shelved its Glass project for now, but its rapid about-face doesn't mean that its peers have given up on their own augmented reality goggle projects. Sony today made a developer version of its Google Glass-esque SmartEyeglass available for pre-order, before it goes on sale in the US, the UK, and Germany on March 10th.


Sony's augmented spectacles can project symbols, text, and images in a user's field of view, just like Google Glass, but the Japanese giant's glasses need to be paired with compatible smartphones to work. Also like Google before it, Sony appears to be suggesting that SmartEyeglass has everyday applications. A video released alongside the pre-order information shows a wearer using giant green GPS arrows pointing the way a friend's meeting location. But with a US pricetag of $840 — before tax — and a bulky frame that makes Google Glass look positively unobtrusive, this developer version of Sony's SmartEyeglass looks like it won't demand regular time on your face.

In addition to the US, the UK, and Germany, Sony says it's providing the developer version of the SmartEyeglass to enterprise customers in other European countries to help drive the development of apps for industrial use. Sony's take on Glass might find more use in business environments — at CES this year, the company already proved the bulky goggles were excellent at finding boxes in a warehouse.