This year’s SXSW introduced some exciting things, including Bose’s audio augmented reality platform. Unlike other augmented reality products and platforms, Bose AR doesn’t change what you see but knows what you’re looking at— without an integrated lens or phone camera.
Bose, The Future of Mobile Micro-sound
Known for investing in long-term research to develop new technologies with real customer benefit, Bose’s latest venture debuts a minuscule, wafer-thin acoustics package designed specifically for the platform. Representing the future of mobile micro-sound, Bose AR can be seamlessly built into headphones, eyewear, helmets and more, with no compromise to their existing functionality. It also allows simple head gestures, voice, or a tap on the wearable to control content— replacing the need to swipe, type, or tap a touchscreen for the same commands.
The first Bose augmented reality technology wearable— a prototype pair of glasses— was engineered and manufactured by Bose. They’re Bluetooth® compatible with microphones for calls, Siri or Google Assistant. And they debut a new proprietary technology that keeps audio private. With an ultra-slim, ultra-light, ultra-miniaturized acoustic package embedded discreetly in each arm, they can fit, function and look like standard eyewear, but sound and function more like Bose headphones— delivering amazing, lifelike performance that no one can hear but you.
Adding an audible layer of information and experiences, making every day better, easier, more meaningful, and more productive, “Bose AR represents a new kind of augmented reality— one that’s made for anyone and every day,” said John Gordon, vice president of the Consumer Electronics Division at Bose. He continues, “It places audio in your surroundings, not digital images so that you can focus on the amazing world around you— rather than a tiny display. It knows which way you’re facing, and can instantly connect that place and time with endless possibilities for travel, learning, music and more. And it can be added to products and apps we already use and love, removing some of the big obstacles that have kept AR on the sidelines.”
The Bose AR platform is purposely straightforward. The Bose AR wearable uses sensors to track head motion, and the GPS from an iOS or Android device to track location. The sensors send the motion and location data to a Bose AR-enabled app that aggregates the information, sending relevant, real-time content back to the user’s ears instantly. It’s all done hands-free, heads-up, and wirelessly, so there’s no need to grab, read or touch the phone. When it comes to augmented reality technology in education, Bose AR can make the world a classroom. Like translating the sign you’re reading. Or telling you the word or phrase for what you’re looking at in any language. Or explaining the story behind the painting you’ve just approached.
Lastly, the Bose AR platform is open to approved developers and manufacturers. Collaborations underway include ASICS Studio, Strava, TripAdvisor, TuneIn, and Yelp. Bose is also currently collaborating with academic research institutions, including the MIT Media Lab to advance human interaction related to augmented audio reality, and the NYU Future Reality Lab.