Omni Glass

By Mark Nuyens
4 min. read📱 Technology

With Samsung and Apple launching their latest gadgets, I couldn't help but reminisce about my college video where I predicted this technology.

With Samsung launching its new smart ring at CES, and Apple launching its headset, I can't help but feel a sense of recognition (and nostalgia, for that matter). Thirteen years ago, when I was still in college, I was tasked with coming up with my own technological idea. I dreamed up a highly capable AR glasses, which I named "OmniGlass." My team and I created a video showcasing its potential, and it's fascinating to look back on how some elements have actually stood the test of time.

The video demonstrates how the average day would look like wearing such a device, how we would interact in a society that had embraced the use of smart glasses. The way you would control your glasses was through the use of a ring that you would wear on your index finger, allowing you to swipe through your virtual list of options. Interestingly, Apple Vision Pro originally considered this method of interaction, just like mine. However, they ended up going for an even better solution: using your finger, having the headset to register its movements.

Our demo video of OmniGlass.

For full disclosure: reflecting on my idea, I noticed how I relied on speech to text in order to type. However, the last couple of years I've come to realize how this means of interaction is actually quite awkward, especially when you're in public spaces. If you ever used Siri for a simple command, you probably know what I'm talking about. I've actually addressed this aspect of wearables in my previous blog posts about the AI Pin and the Rabbit r1. Okay, so I guess not everything stood the test of time.

During the demo, we see our protagonist on his way home, communicating to his friend over text message and via Twitter. He then takes the tram after looking at a large QR code displayed on the street, checking in automatically and remotely. During his ride, he gets bombarded with ads that pop-up as he approaches and passes by certain locations, combined with useful information. This could very much resemble the way Google would handle things if it were in charge: providing both useful information along with advertisements.

After arriving home, he joins his friend in watching a film on the couch and then finds himself in an uncomfortable position that makes him drop his movie snacks on the floor. This detail is something I can actually envision with both AR and VR headsets once they become mainstream: people making all kinds of funny mistakes by the fact they can't see what they're doing in real life. This piece was actually added by me at the very end, because I wanted to end on a light note and I think we succeeded in doing so,

In any case, I very much enjoyed making the video with my classmates, and I look back on the fun we've had along the way. Furthermore, it was quite liberating to finally be able to create something that I had previously only imagined and now came to life with this video demo. It showed that only with the help of a bunch of talented people, a plastic pair of glasses, some special effects and music, your imagination can actually go a long way.

Fun fact: the music was recorded by two of our team members, who literally came up with the lyrics and then recorded themselves to create the song. The lyrics are included in the video description below, in case you want to sing along. 😉

🎁 Bonus part

Years after we published our video, I noticed that Google had released their own demo of their smart glasses, showcasing its capabilities through a "Day in the life" scenario of a person who owns such glasses. Interestingly, the initial scenes of Google's video bear a striking resemblance to the ending scene of our own video, which takes place in the apartment of two of our team members. The layout of the room, the position of the window, and even the couch are almost identical. Watch the ending of our video and the beginning of Google's video below to see the similarity for yourself.

To this very day, I couldn't help but imagine if Google had seen our video and drew inspiration from it, using a similar setting for their own demo. While it's more likely that it's just a coincidence, it remains an entertaining thought nonetheless. 😉

Google Glasses Demo.