Microsoft, Samsung keen on doing glasses, prices to range from $200 to $500

May 26, 2013

Google Glass Vision

Watch out, Google. Even with a headstart in developing wearable computing devices through Glass, there are two major competitors possibly on the horizon, waiting for the right opportunity to pounce.

Reports indicate that Microsoft and Samsung are both keenly interested in competing against Google in its Glass efforts. Even as Google is already testing the waters with its initial batch of beta Glass units seeded out to 800 users, sources close to Samsung and Microsoft say that the two companies see wearable tech as the future of computing. The two are expected to come up with their own glasses-like product in six months’ time. According to another source, Microsoft actually has had dealings with Vuzix, which we earlier cited to have a Glass-like device underway.

A platform for wearable tech

Let’s take things into perspective, particularly with how each company attacks the market. Samsung is today’s biggest smartphone manufacturer, thanks to its use of Google’s own mobile platform, Android. If Google were to go with the same model with Glass being its reference device for an open wearable tech platform, then Samsung might have the chance of likewise dominating the space for glasses-mounted wearable tech.

Consider that Samsung will supply components for Glass. It should not be difficult for the Korean conglomerate to build web-enabled glasses themselves. Sources report that Samsung has actually ordered lenses from Israel-based Lumus.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is not exactly a leader in smartphones and tablets today, but it does have partnerships with hardware manufacturers, OEMs and big brands. Microsoft is reportedly interested in not only producing web-enabled glasses, but also in creating the platform for wearable tech itself. Microsoft is keen on both developing glasses for its Xbox gaming platform, plus making software to run other manufacturers’ hardware, much like how Windows and Windows Phone runs on a variety of brands.

Niche product today, selling like hotcakes tomorrow?

Wearable computing in the form of glasses might seem like a niche product at this time — something that’s more identifiable with the sci-fi community rather than mainstream. However, the same can be said with many of the devices and technologies we are enjoying today, including our smartphones, tablet computers and even speech recognition.

Google may be receiving the most buzz with Glass today, but it certainly cannot rest on its laurels. If augmented reality glasses and other wearable tech will take center stage in the future like how smartphones and tablets are dominating today, then Google will have to get the execution right and keep the momentum going. They wouldn’t want to be overtaken unsuspectingly, like Nokia, BlackBerry and even Apple in the recent years.

And the winner is …

Even with Samsung possibly taking the lead in web-enabled glasses, it shouldn’t be a bad thing for Google if it were to own the platform like Android. If Samsung could distribute tens of millions of glasses, then Google and the Android ecosystem would benefit in the end.

What’s better news for consumers is that we can expect AR glasses to be much cheaper than the $1,500 price tag for Google Glass today. Lumus director of business development Ari Grobman says glasses could retail from $200 to $500 once they gain mass market appeal, which sets it similar to the price range of midrange smartphones and tablets today. Good enough news for those planning to nerd up with AR glasses?

Comments

  • MasterMuffin

    Am I the only one thinking that the whole idea is pretty ridiculous? I wouldn’t buy one even if it were 100$

    • Amadeus Klein

      Probably not, but the idea is solid, “nobody” wanted a massive smart phone, but the note series of phones is a hit, “nobody” wanted a small 7 inch tablet, but now they sell great…. “Nobody” wants glass or wearable AR but it will sell and it will usher in a new way to interact with tech…

      • Amadeus Klein

        On another note, I’m looking forward to wearable AR… I lost most of my vision recently, wearable AR should be able to help me get back some more spatial awareness that I’m missing… Projects and technological advances like these have benefits beyond being able to update your Facebook faster…

        • MasterMuffin

          ♥♥ FB ♥♥

          D:

      • MasterMuffin

        I was asking am I the only one, not saying that nobody wants this, because it seems that a lot of people want GG! I wanted a massive smartphone, and many people welcomed the idea of a 7″ tablet. What are you talking about

    • simpleas

      Yeah, this is way overboard. And people, please don’t say was the same with cell phones, etc. We didn’t have to wear big ass cell phones on our heads. I can defintely see doctors and people in the field using it to enhance their work tho. Too much privacy issues for civilians. I will stay away from people who use this.

      • simpleas

        the only hope, it needs to be integrated into regular glasses where people can’t tell you’re using one. That kinda technology, i’d say is about 4-5 years away

        • http://www.facebook.com/amadeus.klein Amadeus Klein

          That is where everything is heading… But we have to start somewhere, if this type of HUD system fails to be viable in the short term then you will never see it grow to look like regular glasses…

          • simpleas

            i know that bro. there’s a difference between constaly wearing something on your head and using a phone when you’re tlaking (my grandfather had those brick phones) but at this point, im not wiling to look like total creep wearing that thing. I have no problem with glass computing ( i wear glasses) but I wait for that day when it will be integrated. then i’ll use it. i was born late 70’s i know how tech progresses.

          • Amadeus Klein

            That’s just it your making a generalization on your opinion, not on the facts at hand… Your argument that this is “way overboard” doesn’t hold up to merit… The the brick phones as an example, cell phones would have been set back decades right then if people had thought I look ridiculous with this brick hanging on this lanyard over my shoulder ( yes that’s how people held onto the first brick phones). You’re arguing that because it looks funny it shouldn’t exist… Not really a good argument on the whole… You don’t have to want to use it, but that doesn’t make it ridiculous…

          • simpleas

            Where did i say it shouldn’t exist… where. I said i ain’t wearing it the way it looks now? And guess what, the majority of people agree with me, not you. You know why? Cause no one wants to look like a creep. Maybe you don’t care, good for you, don’t put words in peoples mouth. If you read the post, you’ll see that i see a good use for it in the medical industry.

        • MasterMuffin

          That would be the only way I’d buy one

          • simpleas

            yup

      • http://www.facebook.com/amadeus.klein Amadeus Klein

        Your assertion that this is different just doesn’t hold water, So I have to say it… Yes, it is basically the same… You had to hold that big ass brick to your face to make a phone call at one time… All tech advancements follow the same progression:

        New (Read ridiculous, what are they thinking?) -Glass to some people now?
        Getting popular (Read hmm, that seems kinda cool) this is where major cosmetic and usability changes take place -Ultrabooks are in this phase
        Mainstream (Read I WANT/NEED that)
        Common (Read Oh that, everybody’s got one, whats so special?) iPhone is at this point now…
        Yesterday’s news (Read Oh, You’re still wearing that?)
        Ancient history (I remember that!)

        Tech can refresh itself to stay mainstream, but all devices follow that rule… Are you still using your IBM PS1 from 1989? Nope, but You’re still using a PC… Are you Still using that Motorola StarTac flip phone? Nope, but you’re still using a phone… Will you still be using a Glass-type AR in 5 years, probably, But it won’t be the ones you see today…

        Wearable AR will follow this progression Just like PCs, Laptops, tablets, feature phones, PDAs, Smart Phones and enumerable other tech devices…. I.E. The same… sorry, but I had to point it out…

  • Daniel

    By the time Samsung release glasses, they’ll be running them on Tizen, Google will be out of the picture.

  • Patrik Fuhrmann

    Initial batch was tor 2000 testers not 800 ;) Look it up.