Who is Ralph Osterhout? Why should you try and send him your resume? He is the founder and CEO of Osterhout Design Group (ODG). He was the designer of the PVS night vision goggle used by the military and created heads up display for scuba masks. Basically he was doing wearable technology before anyone else. Now you’re excited right?
His company ODG was founded in 1999 as a tech incubator, and is currently making wearable tech solutions to the government, enterprises, and is shifting to consumer markets. The San Francisco company is around 80 employees. In the last six years ODG has been developing the new generation of smartglasses. They have managed to stuff thousands of dollars of technology into a pair of glasses all for mobile use. The idea is your touchscreen tablet on your face. A souped up “Google glasses”.
NASA, the outer space people made a statement that they are working with ODG to explore the potential of their smartglasses for space mission work. They want to use virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to advance NASA’s future missions and giving astronauts advanced computing and visualization technologies.
These glasses have positional sensors to enable precise AR and VR experiences. “ODG’s smartglasses are revolutionizing the way we explore information and interact with our environments and each other,” said Ralph Osterhout in a statement. “As electronic directions and instructions replace paper checklists and longer duration missions are considered, there is a need for tools that can meet evolving demands,” said Lauri Hansen, engineering director at NASA . But imagine the possibilities as a commercial product.
Looking at the consumer model, which should be available later this year, it weighs five ounces and still maintains itself in the realm of fashionable sunglasses. Visibility is normal, yet the inside surface has a viewing capability of a 720 HDTV. They’ve been shipping its R‑6 smartglasses for 18 months, and showing off the R‑6S next week.
If you go onto their site, they are allowing developers to sign up for a small fee and get access to
guides, tutorials, example applications, sample code, forums, and coming soon: ReticleOS Marketplace. The real test will be if Android application developers take advantage of its capabilities in hands-free augmented reality, high-definition video viewing, and 3D entertainment. A whole new way to approach media.
Wearable technology is where it’s at people. Seriously a smart person could turn this technology into something that could really shine. To top that, how awesome would it be to call ODG your home, think about it!