Review of the Sensics SmartGoggles by

  • January 12, 2012
  • Tech
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Review of the Sensics SmartGoggles by

The Consumer Electronic Show, or CES, is the place where new hardware and gadgets get introduced all the time. This year is no different, and CES 2012 was home to a lot of new releases. One of which was the Sensics SmartGoggles 3D, a massive helmet and screen combination that reacts to your movements to provide real time display feedback from your own actions. But will this prove successful, even useful at all? Not everything from CES ends up as an actual product.

The Sensics SmartGoggles looks like a big helmet, along with a visor. Except that this visor is actually a display, providing 1280×800 resolution for games or other applications. The company describes it as entertainment goggles, providing 360 degree view and tracking. Indeed, when the system is on, moving around or turning your head is registered. Even jumping will produce the desired effect. The way it works is an array of cameras are mounted on top of it, and scans the environment around you. Then, the virtual world you see, whether that’s a game or other, is updated in real time as the world around you changes from your movements. Even your hands can be recognized and integrated into the display. This would allow someone to control a virtual avatar simply by spinning around, rather than spinning a mouse. It could bring Minority Report style technology to the real world, which could be pretty useful.

However, the technology isn’t without it’s problems. First, these goggles, which are really more like a helmet, are massive. They weight a lot, although the weight is well balanced. You probably couldn’t wear that for a long period of time without feeling it. Then, when you do all kind of movements with this on, you do look very weird, and it also takes a lot of space around you to do those movements safely. It wouldn’t work in any small or crammed home. Finally, it would require specialized software to go along with it, since the input methods are completely different. Still, it does have the advantage of being completely self contained into the device, along with a 1.2GHz dual core processor and a 3D accelerator graphics chip, which is pretty powerful. There are use cases when it may be useful. The helmet may look gigantic, but in the proper work environment, like for training pilots, it could replace much bigger devices.

Overall, while this isn’t exactly new technology, it’s been implemented in a new way that makes it fairly easy to use and could potentially become useful. It might not catch on amongst gamers or home users, but there could be specialized use cases. There’s still no hint at a price or release date, although it’s doubtful a lot of software would support it quite yet.

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