Bosch Light-Drive: smart glasses as a data display

At the CES in Las Vegas Bosch presented its Smartglasses-Light-Drive. It doesn’t want to dazzle anything more than smartphone notifications and can even be integrated into conventional glasses.

With the Smartglasses-Light-Drive, Bosch is proposing a very reduced form of data glasses under the technical name BML500P. The system weighs only ten grams and, with a maximum of 75 x 8 x 10 millimeters, is just small enough to be integrated into or attached to conventional temple pieces. A 350 mAh battery should be sufficient for 14 hours of use. The system does not require any display because the image is projected directly onto the wearer’s retina.

Retinal surface becomes a data display

This image display works line by line, similar to a tube monitor. For this purpose, a holographic element inside the module is used, which in cooperation with a light scanner generates a beam that is directed onto the retina surface of the glasses wearer via a lens.

There, a high-resolution 2D image is created in the equivalent size of a business card that only the person wearing the glasses can see, but not his surroundings. Rather, the Light Drive is largely invisible to outsiders.

Incidentally, the laser only works with less than 15 microwatts. For comparison: laser pointers work with up to 1,000 microwatts and are still considered eye-safe. Nobody has to worry about his eyesight.

The system is very small and therefore easy to integrate. (Photo: Bosch)

Almost invisible system

All that is visible is the technical structure, which Bosch promises to minimize, as well as a tiny colored dot on the surface of the glasses, which can be recognized by outsiders when you look closely.

If the wearer turns off the system, nothing indicates the smart glasses. In particular, unlike other proposals, the view does not remain impaired because Bosch does not need the lenses themselves for the system.

Intelligence comes from the smartphone

Beyond the optics, the Bosch system does not have its own intelligence, but is controlled via a paired smartphone. In this respect, it is to be understood as a display extension.

For smaller control requirements, such as confirmation or scrolling, Bosch integrates multi-tap functions into the module. So the user can make a limited selection of actions by tapping on the temple.

Focused data glasses for simple tasks

Bosch smart glasses are fundamentally different from other approaches. They do not rely on maximum features, but simply want to perform a simple task with simple means. That should be reflected in relatively affordable prices that would certainly affect market success.

However, end consumers will not directly benefit from the smart glasses, because Bosch will only sell the modules to large series suppliers who can make their own products out of them. It is consequently consistent that Bosch does not name any prices for its light drive module.

Suitable for this: Google Glass: AR glasses are back

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