Comme vous l’avez découvert dans notre article sur le CES 2016, les modèles de lunettes de RA emergent un peu partout depuis un an. KickStarter reste la source la plus impressionnante de projets. Nous avons posé quelques questions à l’entreprise Telepathy, qui développe son propre modèle, les « Walker ».
Hello Ryutaro, could you present yourself and the Telepathy’s team ?
I’m Ryutaro, marketing manager at Telepathy Japan. Founded in 2013, Telepathy has specialized in smart eyewear technologies. Jumper, the company’s first product, has been widely used in business fields and remote diagnosis in particular. Telepathy is now crowdfunding its first consumer product Walker on Kickstarter, aiming to raise funds for manufacturing. We have successfully reached our funding goal on April 14th.
Telepathy made a wondefull AR glass, the Walker, what is it precisly ?
Telepathy Walker is the world’s first eyewear specifically developed for discoveries while walking.
With the device and augmented reality applications, including its highly intuitive navigation and local discovery app, anyone can get around safely and see things they’ve never noticed before. Telepathy Walker will add more to its app lineup, from location-based AR games to simultaneous translation app, so that users can enjoy discovering the world in easier and more entertaining ways. Anyone with prior Android app development experiences can easily develop and distribute their apps for this Android-based smart eyewear via our developer-friendly marketplace.
We have seen many propositions for AR device at CES this year. Why is it the good time for you to propose another one ?
First of all, competition is a good thing for the future of smart eyewear technology. We were really excited to see various smart eyewears intended for various purposes at CES. However, there are only a few AR eyewear that one can bring out and use in outdoor settings. We believe that characterized by its portable design and sunlight-proof display that doesn’t interfere with natural vision, Telepathy Walker is highly competitive in today’s crowded AR eyewear market.
Do you think the Walker is more a B2B or a B2C product (or both) ?
We developed Walker with general consumers in mind. Compared with Jumper, our B2B product, Walker has a bit shorter battery life. However, Walker is much lighter and smaller so that users can comfortably get around with the device.
Battery size is one big obstacle facing the portability of smart eyewear, but we dealt with this challenge not only through technological efforts, but also by focusing on a few applications that provide a great deal of utility in relatively short times (e.g. navigation) instead of trying to replace smartphones entirely.
What do you imagine to facilitate development on the Walker ? Do you want to create a dev community ?
We believe in the power of vibrant developer community, which is why we provided the Hacker edition for $299, a price way below the break-even point. For a small startup like Telepathy Japan, setting such a price was a risky bet, but we wanted to ensure that anyone interested in AR glass app development can afford our product. We are also setting up a developer forum and developing our own developer-friendly app marketplace.
Any next steps for you ?
We are single-mindedly focused on enabling people to explore the world around them in ways they’ve never experienced before
For example, location-based augmented reality games are one of the things that we are currently trying our best to provide via Telepathy Walker. Imagine virtual characters popping up in your vision and interacting with you as you walk around cities and streets with the device. An application like this is not only fun and exciting, but it is also potentially beneficial to local small businesses.
How do you imagine AR usages in the next 10 years ?
In 10 years, I am pretty confident that AR and AR glasses will have become an essential part of our day to day life, just like smartphones are today. Not only will AR glasses replace smartphones, but they will also provide new experiences as well as add depth to the UX of what we do with smartphones. There are countless examples, including personal navigation, shopping, education, and communication, but I often fantasize about people wearing plain t-shirts with embedded AR markers to which AR glasses react and project 3D images on them. As a big movie fan, I’d definitely love to watch AR movies whose stories take place in the real environment around us as we walk around cities.
Many thanks Ryutaro, and rendez-vous on the Telepathy website to found more informations on Walker.
Grégory MAUBON est consultant indépendant en réalité augmentée (animateur et conférencier) depuis 2008, où il a créé www.augmented-reality.fr et fondé en 2010 RA'pro (l'association francophone de promotion de la réalité augmentée). Il a aidé de nombreuses entreprises (dans plusieurs domaines) à définir précisément leurs besoins en réalité augmentée et les a accompagnées dans la mise en œuvre.