Wearable computers

By Motoko Kakubayashi 13/11/2009

Chatting to someone in Russian, reading a book in German, or just being able to understand those Japanese car instructions are now possible after IT company NEC have developed the world’s first computer glasses.

Wearing computer glasses
Wearing computer glasses

Tele Scouter is made up of a compact microphone, camera, and ear phone which fit around the wearer’s glasses.  These are connected to a small computer that transmits audio and visual information to a remote server.

This means that if a kiwi bloke finds himself talking to someone speaking Italian, the speech is picked up by the microphone.  The audio recording is relayed to the waist computer, which transmits the information to a remote server.  The server translates the words and sends back translated text which shows up on a small screen on the glasses.

NEC are pushing the business benefits of this gadget, particularly in factories where workers can waste hours trying to read complex manuals while fixing machines.  By using the handsfree Tele Scouter, workers can get online help while they carry out operations.

Image of what a wearer would see while using Tele Scouter

However, Tele Scouter is still a prototype.  NEC only has 30 sets available on the market currently, and each comes with a 7.5million yen (NZ$110,000) price tag.

NEC hopes to sell 1000 sets over the next three years.  Overseas shipments are also scheduled to begin in November 2010.

The wearable computer Tele Scouter was unveiled at the C&C User Forum and iEXPO 2009 in Tokyo last week.

Images from http://www.nec.co.jp/press/ja/0910/2602-02.html

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