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Bose reveals augmented reality platform for your ears

Augmented reality glasses suggest a future of notifications, weather reports and text messages, all projected in front of you like a watermark covering on the pavement. But that is not what Bose is envisioning. The company has just introduced Bose AR, "the world's first audio augmented reality platform, and glasses to hear."




The glasses, equipped with "wafer-thin acoustics package," would be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, controlled by Siri and Google Assistant, touch or head gestures. No integrated lens, no camera.

So far, not hugely different from headphones, in fact, they seem to be more of a tool for Bose to demonstrate what its AR platform can do.

The idea is to, when traveling and sightseeing, have an experience based on audio -- whether it be hearing sound effects at historical sites, famous speeches or having road signs translated. Look up, you get the forecast, look down you get the street name.

However, Bose also says that music playlists can be ‘viewed,' and the AR platform could give you the word or phrase for what you are ‘looking' at, although it's not explained exactly how that would work.

John Gordon, vice president of the Consumer Electronics Division at Bose says "It places audio in your surroundings, not digital images, so you can focus on the amazing world around you -- rather than a tiny display. It knows which way you're facing, and can instantly connect that place and time with endless possibilities for travel, learning, music and more. And it can be added to products and apps we already use and love, removing some of the big obstacles that have kept AR on the sidelines."

The headset's "wafer-thin acoustics package,” which the company claims will be “representing the future of mobile micro-sound,” could be built into headphones, eye wear, helmets etc, therefore opening up useful technology to potentially different wearable designs. Also “The Bose AR platform is open to approved developers and manufacturers,” making the glasses and software development kit available to them this summer.

Bose Ventures, a team dedicated to investing in startups has “set up a $50 million venture fund” to further develop apps, services, and technology that would “leverage and extend the Bose AR platform,” while approved developers and manufacturers will have access to the glasses and software development kit this summer.

So who knows, maybe popular brands will be able to implement this into their trendy sunglasses before we can book our 2019 holiday.

As for collaborations, some include ASICS Studio, Strava, TripAdvisor, TuneIn, and Yelp, whereas others will be announced in the future.