The iGlasses™ Ultrasonic Mobility Aid is a head-mounted device which enables more informed, confident, and efficient pedestrian travel. Objects in your path are detected by the ultrasonic sensors and communicated via gentle vibrations. As obstacles get nearer the frequency of the vibration will increase. The device is intended as a secondary mobility device to complement the traditional long cane or guide dog.
Excerpt from NewScientist Tech magazine written by Sally Adee:
"ROSALIND PICARD'S eyes were wide open. I couldn't blame her. We were sitting in her office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, and my questions were stunningly incisive. In fact, I began to suspect that I must be one of the savviest journalists she had ever met.
Then Picard handed me a pair of special glasses. The instant I put them on I discovered that I had got it all terribly wrong. That look of admiration, I realised, was actually confusion and disagreement. Worse, she was bored out of her mind. I became privy to this knowledge because a little voice was whispering in my ear through a headphone attached to the glasses. It told me that Picard was "confused" or "disagreeing". All the while, a red light built into the specs was blinking above my right eye to warn me to stop talking. It was as though I had developed an extra sense.
The glasses can send me this information thanks to a built-in camera linked to software that analyses Picard's facial expressions. They're just one example of a number of "social X-ray specs" that are set to transform how we interact with each other. By sensing emotions that we would otherwise miss, these technologies can thwart disastrous social gaffes and help us understand each other better. Some companies are already wiring up their employees with the technology, to help them improve how they communicate with customers. Our emotional intelligence is about to be boosted, but are we ready to broadcast feelings we might rather keep private."
For the last 5 years or so Streamfolio Pty Ltd. has investigated body worn cameras or PoV technology specifically for use educational organisation & workplace training training contexts.
Geoff Lubich, Products Manager is poised to demonstrate these technologies with Murdoch University in Western Australia. Geoff has fundamentally championed the use of these technologies in an educational context long before it became even a novelty to trial as part of government funded initiatives.
Streamfolio has supplied PoV cameras to many of Australia's leading universities and vocational training centres, government and private and conducted events such as AUPOV09 to bring together cross-sector findings and provide a private video portfolio for sharing media.
Quite recently I purchased a pair of Pivothead PoV glasses for a trial in the everyday context with a mindfulness of critically analysing how these might suit the educational setting taking into account the following. What I have presented here is my first findings of the Recon Conceal Pivothead glasses.
* Note: The following trial was made possible by Streamfolio Pty Ltd and should not be viewed or understood to be a product endorsement
- HD video 1080p @ 30 fps / 720p @ 60fps / 720p @ 30fps
- 8MP Sony CMOS Image Sensor for shockingly crisp still images
- Auto, Continuous, Fixed, and Macro Focus Settings
- Auto Scene Adjustment
- 2GB SDRAM
- Wind-resistant audio recording
- Up to 16-shot rapid burst still photos
- Time lapse burst still shots at various intervals
- 8GB internal memory capacity
- 75 Degree Field Of View, no “fish eye” image distortion
- Micro USB 2.0 works with Mac and PC
- Multiple pre-set video and camera modes include Active, Sports, Spectator, Social“Hands On” and more
- IOS (Android Coming soon) compatible Smartphone App to easily view, clip and share
- Black and White video and stills options
Firstly, the web presence for Pivothead is professional and seamless. Example videos are present and there are many differing device types to choose from.
Delivery was punctual with great followup correspondence.
I opened the pack to find the device brilliantly packed and protected. All instructions were grammatically correct and there is a Warranty on all products as well as extensive help notes to learn how to use the many features of the device.
After preparing the device and powering up I noted only one issue with the expandable nose bridge settings, otherwise very comfortable to wear. Form factor is still bulky but materials seem sound in the manufacturing pick-apart.
That bulky form factor is possibly one of the most dissuading findings of this product apart from major inclusions missing that I've noted below.
Wearing the Pivotheads seemed inconspicuous to others I encountered publicly on my walk....within reason. I didn't actively engage with anyone so it is merely an observational overview.
Audio recording was clear for me the wearer and understandably less clear from Susannah Sabine, ANDS colleague in conversation mode whilst we walked together.
No noticeable flaring in the video nor undue wind noise. I had everything set to auto settings 1080p @30fps and was very happy to note the clarity and focus of the resultant video that was recorded.
Recording came in at 3.2 Gb for a 23 minute video. Whopping but understandable.....change the settings to get differing results.
Key things required to take these to the next level which I think Pivothead with a few minor and one major changes noted can achieve;
Major changes - future build feature inclusion considerations;
- the form factor ( side of frames & overall weight ) need to significantly reduce in order for these to be more seamlessly applied in settings where the wearer is likely to be conscious of interacting in the presence of others;
- camera angle MUST be a number of degrees lower horizontally to accomodate for where and what an individual is doing with their hands. Less sky, more hands. Critical if these are to be of any value for demonstration purposes, assessment or other activities that require the wearer to be engaging with equipment etc.;
- GPS capability in addition to time stamping also critical;
- open and accessible software ecology for ease of hacking
Minor changes - ideal things that would benefit these in an education and training context;
- material type; I'd pay $1000 for a pair of robust, rated lens, brushed aluminium glasses build in at most three welded components given they need to be hinged (sealed) without any other noticeable construction points;
- one bag kit; all parts in robust plastic camera case including power supply;
- upload portal - unlimited storage, private share capacity, pay-per-view possibilities;
- networked enriched support - 24 hour portal of examples;
- ability to expand memory;
- RFID operations lock;
We live in an ideal world.
We are nearing beyond prototype yet we are still a way off making these PoVs beyond just interesting to desirable. I compare these to the change in the production lines of cars when they transitioned from black to colour paint.
With domestic production we have of course restrictions on scale, weight, form factor, included attributes governed by cost and production inclusions within standard scope. I totally acknowledge the huge amount of work that has gone into producing these to the
Rating - 7.0 out of 10 even not having yet put them through their full paces.
Keen to trial other BWV or PoV wearables that meet the ideals I've painted above. as we scope where these technologies impact upon education and training resource creation and collation.
Further examples will be loaded to the same YouTube channel shortly.