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Wearable glass takes on privacy issues

Posted: 22 Aug 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart glass? Google Glass? GoPro? HDHF?

A wearable camera avoids problems encountered by smart glass users who are often harassed for allegedly recording everything. Pivothead's HD video glasses are more honest about intent, a company executive says.

People are partially "up in arms" about Google Glass privacy because of the long duration users wear the smart glasses. "I think people are uncomfortable with not knowing if you're recording or not recording because now it's a part of the face. It's almost replacing the cell phone," Pivothead president and founder Chris Cox tells EE Times. "Pivothead is just a convenience of form factor... People quickly revert back to themselves after a very short time of even knowing you're wearing the glasses."

The sport glasses feature an 8Mpx camera on the bridge, capable of shooting in full HD with a customisable memory card and Bluetooth to pair with a handset or computer. Like GoPro, the glasses are based on an Ambarella chipset with A-11 ARM processor, while various mods to enhance video capture and transfer run on Atheros chipsets. Pivothead uses a TI OMAP 4460 chipset for its "air mod" battery enhancer and ease-of-transfer programme.

"Where other glasses focused on a heads-up display, they sacrifice imaging quality. They're more content consumption devices," says Cox. "We're evolving into using the device as a service. At platform users can have their video ported on their free channel. A media server embedded on mods will port this directly onto the cloud."

With these mods, or accessories, Pivothead hopes to overcome the need to closely tether smart glasses to a phone for video upload. Currently, users must be within 30 to 35 feet of a device to upload images from glasses, but Cox tells us future versions will enable two-way communications over a longer distance.

Pivothead envisions a two-way communications model on its more specialised glasses that operate at a 5GHz frequency, allowing wearers to live stream video and voice to a second source. Cox says a security guard could patrol an area and feed back to monitors in a control room, which could also direct the guard where to go using a 4G/LTE cellular connection.

 Pivothead's glasses

Pivothead's glasses look more like sunglasses than a borg accessory. (Source: Pivothead)

Cox says Pivothead is excited to move beyond video capturing and streaming, adding he is interested to see where wearables evolve in the next couple years. Unlike certain companies, Cox does not believe there will be a body part that becomes the epicentre of our wearable world.

"We are [with wearables] where mobile phones were when you had to carry around a big brick cell phone to make mobile communications. The freedom and latitude to create and innovate is huge. The key is going to be compatibility for devices around the body. Each device needs to be doing what it's good at because wearable devices are going to be smaller, more ergonomic."

Although he did not outline any specific plans to align Pivothead glasses with other wearable devices, Cox said he was particularly excited about smartwatches, noting that pairing a watch with smart glasses could be ideal for streaming and uploading video.

- Jessica Lipsky
??EE Times

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