Amid rumors that Google Glass could be returning with a display-free design, a new challenger has entered the ring with its own impressive vision for the future of wearable technology. Everysight, a spinoff of Israeli defense giant Elbit Systems, unveiled plans for a set of augmented reality sports goggles set to launch in 2016.
The Raptor has actually been in development since way back in 2001, when Elbit decided to shrink the heads-up-display technology it makes for fighter pilots down to something regular people would be interested in. By 2005 the company had landed on a sport-focused headset that could display relevant information like speed and altitude in real time. Then in 2014, a group of Elbit employees left the firm to create their own product, though they still have some financial backing from the larger company.
The result is Raptor, which Everysight hopes to launch next year. It runs a modified version of Android and should cost “well under $1,000,” according to Everysight’s senior vice president of marketing and business development Lance Berks.
The device is designed to resemble a regular pair of sporty sunglasses, but a closer looks reveals a full touchpad along one side and a camera placed front and center so you can always take a photo or video of whatever you’re looking at. The display works by reflecting light off the actual visor, meaning there’s no extra module to look at.
Raptor also includes a physical controller for snapping photos even when you’re moving at breakneck speed. The extra device clips onto your bicycles handlebars, though we’re not sure exactly what it looks like.
The most impressive part of Raptor may be the software, though again we didn’t actually get to see any of it in action. The mapping app will project biking directions right onto the road in front of you, and let you switch between 2D, 3D and a birds eye view. It even knows to offer a simplified map while you’re moving, and a more detailed view with cross streets included when you stop at an intersection.
“It’s a whole new experience,” Berks told TechnoBuffalo, “but after 20 minutes you forget it’s there.”
Berks also described a photo gallery app that fills your entire field of vision with transparent pictures. All you need to do is look at a photo and it will automatically expand thanks to sensors built into the headset.
It could be a while before the Raptor is actually on the market. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to try the device out for ourselves before then, but based on what we’ve heard so far we’re already pretty excited.