Bose is developing what it say is the world’s first audio augmented reality platform.The company, known for its speakers and other sound systems, has built a pair of glasses with integrated headphones that “lets you hear what you see.”
The same way that augmented reality headsets superimposes a virtual layer over the physical world, Bose’s AR add an audible layer of information and experiences to the real world. The glasses use sensors to track head motions and works with GPS from a paired smartphone to track location.
Bose envisions its AR device being used to re-enact historical events or speeches from landmarks and statues as you visit them, or get audio directions to your gate when your GPS detects that you’ve arrived at the airport. Bose also wants to combine visual information with the Bose AR platform, too, so you could hear a translation of a sign you’re looking get, get a weather report when you look out your window, or hear the history of a painting in a museum, the company told Quartz at SXSW when it demoed the devices.
Bose says the choice of glasses as opposed to headphones is due to the latter’s impersonal nature, and reckons the public’s familiarity with glasses makes for much more natural interaction with the technology.
And the company wants to attract the developer community to its platform. It has released a Bose AR SDK and set up a $50 million fund to invest in companies to build applications to run on the platform.