Sony's SmartEyeglass prototype makes Google Glass look chic

As Sony's smartphone division continues to struggle, the company is working out what it needs to return to profitability. Does it concentrate on the high-end market dominated by Apple and Samsung, or does it try to appeal to customers looking to get their very first smartphone? One thing you might not expect is for the company to push forward with the release its own smart eyewear, a Google Glass clone of sorts, that connects to its devices to superimpose images, videos and text into the wearers view. "SmartEyeglass," as it's known, looks like a bulky pair of 3D glasses that have been modified to include a 3-megapixel camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, brightness sensor, a microphone and a pretty large battery pack.

Sony says that while SmartEyeglass is currently in the prototype stage, it can already connect to a range of smartphones (running Android 4.1 and up) to deliver hologram-like visuals through its lenses. The lens is just 3mm thick, 85 percent transparent and sucks up less energy thanks to its monochrome display. Unlike Google Glass, which can host its own apps, Sony wants developers to build smartphone apps that can then connect to SmartEyeglass over Bluetooth, so it's opening its software kit today to get things started. It hopes to put the prototype hardware on sale by the end of March 2015, after which it'll look to get it into consumers' hands.