Google’s Glass may not be headed to buyers until next year, but Olympus is wasting no time with its own alternative augmented reality display, the MEG4.0. The stem-like wearable features battery life of up to eight hours and floats a 320 x 240 virtual screen above the user’s regular eye-line, hooking up via Bluetooth to a nearby smartphone or tablet.
The headset weighs under 30g, though it’s worth noting that Olympus’ battery estimates aren’t based on continuous usage. Instead, the company says it expects the display to be used in fifteen second chunks every three minutes or so; under those circumstances, it can manage a maximum continuous runtime equivalent of around two hours total use, Olympus predicts.
Also integrated is an accelerometer, for using head-control features or figuring out which way the wearer is facing, though unlike Google Glass there’s no camera. While Google has so-far focused on the potential for photography and video capture with Glass, emphasizing how useful it could be to have a persistent record of your experiences, Olympus apparently believes discrete content consumption is more relevant to augmented reality adoptees.
The company is also particularly proud of the brightness of its microdisplay, which it claims is sufficiently powerful to be used even in strong daylight. Pricing and availability is unconfirmed, and it’s not clear whether Olympus will actually be commercially launching the MEG4.0 or instead pushing to license the display technology to other companies.