A couple of months ago, I got the opportunity to get a sneak peek at a new media interface for ODG's R-9 Smartglasses, and the experience was impressive. Now, after weeks of keeping it under wraps, I can finally show off what I saw.
The interface is part of what ODG calls the ReticleOS operating system, and while a beta of the software was released months ago, many haven't seen the interface in action showing the media player shot through the device itself.
Those who are familiar with ODG smartglasses know that users can interact with self-curated content for reading text and watching video using the device, but this latest demo shows off how the R-9 can interact with a forthcoming commercial media app using head tracking.
The video demo shows off pretty much everything I experienced using the prototype app back in June, including the ability to select and launch movies with nothing more than head movements. The same functionality worked flawlessly while I opened up documents and books, which were surprisingly easy to read despite the fact that I was using the device in a very well-lit area.
In fact, I'll admit that I was so impressed with the experience, made possible by ODG's head of UX/UI software design, Morgan Fritz (pictured below), I considered buying one on the spot while at the recent AWE conference. All that said, there's currently no release date for the app, the company is showing it off to help users understand just how powerful the device is when it comes hands-free to media consumption.
To get a sense of the overall capabilities of the R-9, you can look back to our hands-on experience with the device last year. The R-9 features dual 1080p stereoscopic displays, a 50-degree field of view, 128GB of internal storage, 6GB of RAM, a 14-megapixel 4K camera that shoots at 60 frames per second, and 6DoF (degrees of freedom) tracking.
The reason this latest demo is particularly important is that it's becoming clear that one of the most robust aspects of immersive mobile computing, whether via AR or VR, will likely reside in consuming various kinds of content while you're out and about, but stationary for short periods of time. Showing us what high-end, commercial content apps for movies and books will look like on the R-9 with hands-free functionality is a compelling taste of the future of ODG's offerings.
Currently, the R-9 is "shipping in limited quantities," but if you're interested in getting a head start while ReticleOS is still maturing, you can reserve one on the company sight for $1,999 per unit ($2,199 for international orders).