We’ve already told you about two innovative mobile interfaces (see ibeam and Grip UI) unveiled by NTT Docomo (NYSE:DCM) at its CEATEC preview yesterday. As cool as those projects were, perhaps the gadget that was attracting the most attention yesterday was its set of video-phone glasses.
The concept device is headpiece/glasses combo, with seven cameras that capture the wearer’s facial image to send to the person he/she is communicating with. There are three ultra wide-angle cameras located on each side of the glasses’ frame, six in total which produce an image of your face. There is also a camera on the back of the head piece which captures an image of whatever is behind you. What the other person will see is an image of your face, overlaid of top of the background you are positioned in front of.
As for the mouth, when you speak the device will animate your mouth movements based on sound input. As I understand it the cameras’ view will not quite extend to cover your mouth and lower face while you are speaking, but rather the face is reconstructed based on images previously taken.
The problem that this device aspires to solve, says Docomo, is the trouble of having to hold your mobile phone steadily in front of you while you do a mobile voice call.
Of course, as you can see from the pictures the device is quite big and bulky, and perhaps not quite the most comfortable trade-off for your tiny mobile device for video calls. But it should be pointed out that this is still a concept device that is part of Docomo’s research into what could be a wearable, eye-glasses device for the future.
Astute readers may recall that in previous years Docomo has displayed another futuristic glasses concept. It AR Walker glasses prototype was demonstrated at CEATEC 2010, providing you with useful information about your environment on a tiny LCD in front of you, two years before Google Glasses came along.