updated 11:00 am EDT, Tue April 17, 2012
Oakley would have indepndent, tethered glasses
Oakley is developing its own equivalent to Google's Project Glass with a possibly more independent design. CEO Colin Baden said in an interview with Bloomberg published Tuesday that the project would initially focus on sports, serving as a heads-up display for a workout. It would likely spread to other fields, he said.
The design could be expensive, but it would potentially be flexible as it could both work wholly independently as well as pair with a smartphone over Bluetooth to get its own information. Baden raised the likelihood of voice commands, much like Google has suggested with Project Glass.
The executive didn't say when Oakley might release its technology. He hoped that Oakley's experience in sunglasses would give it an edge by making stylish electronics people would want to wear. It had already dipped into the field with its Thump MP3 player glasses, but their limited functionality and specialist nature has kept Oakley out of the limelight.
Involvement by Oakley would make it the third company in a matter of days to reveal that it's actively developing wearable computing hardware, following Google and Valve. The field is growth both as a way of giving smartphones peripheral for use on the screen but as an independent category that could lead to always-on computing.