Tech News

Sony Launches Ugly SmartEyeglass, Say Hello To A Smarter Barbie [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 18-02-2015

Sony eyes ugly, Hello Barbie speaks, BlackBerry sues Seacrest, Bing brings the Oscars, Modern Family loves Apple, and the fake selfie marriage proposal.


Sony Introduces SmartEyeGlass

Sony has introduced its SmartEyeGlass to the world, releasing the official app through the Google Play App Store, and is accepting pre-orders for the developer edition of the hardware. Unfortunately, SmartEyeGlass looks even nerdier than Google Glass, which Google has now taken back to the drawing board Google Glass Goes On Hiatus, Legally Share Movies Via Wavelength [Tech News Digest] Google Glass is dead, Wavelength offers free movies, KeySweeper spies on keyboards, using Facebook at Work, YouTube interviews Obama, and an iPhone 6 doesn't get lost in space. Read More .

Unlike Google Glass Google Glass Review and Giveaway We were lucky enough to get a pair of Google Glass to review, and we're giving it away! Read More , SmartEyeGlass looks like regular glasses, with a full frame and transparent lenses. A monochrome UI fills your field of vision without obscuring it, meaning you should be able to focus on the real-world as and when needed.

Rather than featuring its own apps, SmartEyeGlass connects to your smartphone, with a wired controller being used to scroll and control the display. This controller, which clips onto your clothing, also contains the microphone, speaker, and battery (with a maximum life of 2.5 hours).

SmartEyeGlass is priced at $840, which, while cheaper than Google Glass, is still a hefty sum of money. Still, for those with money to spare, SmartEyeGlass is available to buy in the UK and Germany, with shipping set to begin in March. That is if anyone is actually interested in this ugly technology.

Hello Barbie Gets Her Smarts

Mattel is developing a new Barbie that can actually interact with her owners in a meaningful way. Hello Barbie, as the model is tentatively known, can converse with her owners using ToyTalk’s PullString technology, which is similar to the technology used by Siri 8 Things You Probably Didn’t Realize Siri Could Do Siri has become one of the iPhone’s defining features, but for many people, it’s not always the most useful. While some of this is due to the limitations of voice recognition, the oddity of using... Read More and Cortana How Cortana Became The "Other Woman" In My Life She appeared one day and changed my life. She knows exactly what I need and has a wicked sense of humour. It's little wonder that I've fallen for the charms of Cortana. Read More .


ToyTalk CEO Oren Jacob revealed, “The most requested thing that kids have wanted to do with Barbie Help The Internet Remix Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer [Weird & Wonderful Web] It's fair to say Mattel hasn't had a good week. And it's all because of Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer. I can has remix? Read More , and Mattel’s done unbelievable amounts of research over the course of decades, is to talk to Barbie. That’s the number one request over all demographics, over all geographies, of all time. For the first time we’re doing that for real now.

Hello Barbie will recognize speech patterns and respond accordingly, even remembering past conversations to suggest she’s getting to know her owner. According to Fast Company, Hello Barbie will be connected to the Internet and constantly updating to add new topics of conversation and pop culture references.

A prototype of Hello Barbie was on show at the North American International Toy Fair this past weekend, which is where ChipChick shot the video embedded above. Hello Barbie could be released in time for the 2015 holidays, with Mattel said to be chasing an aggressive timetable.

BlackBerry Sues Ryan Seacrest Again

BlackBerry is suing Ryan Seacrest and his startup Typo for a second time for infringing on its design patents. This time it’s over the Typo 2, which Seacrest and his buddies clearly felt was different enough to avoid any legal issues. But no.


In its complaint, BlackBerry insists, “The Typo2 Keyboard still blatantly copies BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard trade dress designs that have been embodied in numerous BlackBerry smartphones from the 2007 BlackBerry 8800 to the current Q10 and Classic models.

BlackBerry originally sued Typo last year Dropbox DMCA, HTC One Benchmarks, BlackBerry Typo, Eat24 Facebook [Tech News Digest] Dropbox denies DMCA disaster, HTC One M8 benchmarks, BlackBerry blocks sales of Typo, Microsoft stops snooping, Avast launches Grimefighter, and Eat24 breaks up with Facebook. Read More over its physical iPhone keyboard, and a court order barred Typo from selling any more of the cases. When Typo tried to get around the injunction, it was fined $860,000. BlackBerry is hoping to secure another injunction over the Typo 2.

Bing Predicts Academy Award Winners

The 87th Academy Awards are being held on Sunday (Feb. 22), and you can now get the information on all of the nominees thanks to Bing Is Bing Better Than Google Search? We Find Out By many accounts, Bing is really giving Google a run for its money. On November 6th of this year, the Guardian reported that Google's search share in the UK dipped under 90% as Bing's share... Read More . Searching ‘Oscars Nominations’ on the Microsoft search engine reveals a wealth of information on all of the films, casts, and crews involved. Unoftunately, this seems to be reserved for U.S. visitors only.

In addition to the trailer, listings, and basic information about each movie, Bing is predicting the results. As an example, Bing predicts Birdman will edge out Boyhood to win Best Picture. Cortana was successful at predicting the results of the 2014 World Cup Router Limits Kids' Internet Time, Facebook Knows How To Party, And More... [Tech News Digest] Android Wear apps added to Google Play, Samsung ends plasma TV production, BIC needs you to create the universal typeface font, Cortana predicts the results of the 2014 World Cup, and the Transformers ditch Michael... Read More , so let’s see how her older brother does here.


Modern Family Loves The MacBook Pro

Modern Family is getting, well, more modern with a new episode airing on ABC on Feb. 25. Called Connection Lost, the episode takes place entirely on the MacBook Pro of one of the characters. The story focuses on Claire Dunphy, who tries to track her daughter down while waiting at an airport.

As well as the Mac, multiple iPhones and iPads were used to shoot the other side of the video chats that will appear on screen. While this will inevitably come across as product placement, the Modern Family producers insist Apple did nothing more than provide the products used.

This is the latest example of an emerging genre, with Unfriended being a full-length feature shot in the same way.

From Selfie To Marriage Proposal

And finally, thanks to a wealth of modern technology, we get to see a guy propose to his girlfriend up close and personal. He uses a smartphone to lull her into a false sense of security, turning a simple selfie into a down-on-one-knee marriage proposal 4 of the Best Wedding Proposals on the Web Fact: I'm a romantic. I'm one of those guys who loves love, believes in strong, lasting relationships, and... well... watches chick flicks. I watch them quite often (don't judge me, okay?). Now, I'll be honest... Read More .


Thankfully, she says yes. But then if she had said no this video would never have turned up on YouTube in the first place. Still, as selfies go 5 Things To Avoid When Taking Selfies Selfies shouldn’t be taken lightly, and there are many things you need to avoid. Read More , this is a pretty adorable one. [H/T Reddit]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

What do you think of Sony’s SmartEyeGlass? Is BlackBerry right to sue Ryan Seacrest over Typo? Will you be watching the episode of Modern Family filmed on iPhones?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Related topics: BlackBerry, Microsoft Bing, Television.

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  1. John Williams
    February 19, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    "While this will inevitably come across as product placement" - No, we just wrote a soapy sit-com to blag some free Apple goodies .... What a lark! How we larfed ....

    Sony glasses are like a pretty standard industrial development kit. Note that they are being released in the UK and Germany - even before Japan and the US. This is not stylish finished product, certainly not Apple - everything is locked down already - not even Google's lets cram it all into a tiny box on one side of the frame in the hope it will catch on with the hipsters.

    Sony is at the start of hands free for everything - not just driving.
    I would love to have both hands on my test probes and see my oscilloscope or voltmeter. I'm sure the dentist or surgeon would find some accurate numbers in front of them very useful - there are some jobs you just can't take your eyes off, even for a second.

    No, they're not stylish, but they aren't aimed at the fashionistas. No-one worries that Oculus Rift is a bit bulky, they are just stunned by the possibilities of the tech. Sony glass maybe monochrome green, but often that is all you need. A bit of NASA, a pinch of Neil Armstrong and you could land on the moon with Sony's "pure tech" and "to hell with fashion" approach.

    Finally, not everything desperately needs to be wireless. The bomb disposal officer wearing Sony won't care about the wire from his ear and the beltpack if he can use both hands to save his own life .... The North Sea diver, The Fireman will have Sony built in to their eye protection.

    This appears to have come from Sony professional imaging. Just because Sony has an entertainment division and they are using Android doesn't mean eveything they make is a plaything.

    • Dave Parrack
      February 20, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      I personally cannot see these things selling in large quantities. It would help if they looked better, and at least Google Glass removed the need for an extra handheld controller.

      Having said that, I'm sure there will be some industries which make use of this tech in the future. I just cannot see it being exactly this version.

  2. Joe
    February 19, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Talking Barbie. What a nightmare! It sounds so cool until you realize that all that data will undoubtedly be used to profile the user (a young minor with few social filters in place), store all the details of her (or his, if you roll that way) life, and who knows what else. It makes Google's data collection look lame!

    Next, they'll probably add GPS.

    What if Barbie overhears things with financial or legal ramifications?

    I'm sure we can trust another big corporation to protect our privacy and make sure that no one can hack into it and steal our kids' personal identities, not just their IDs.

    And, don't ever go anywhere there isn't wifi! Kids are inseparable from their dolls and this one won't work if you go camping somewhere besides an RV "resort".

    • Dave Parrack
      February 20, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      The point about going off the grid is a good one. I can imagine a young girl wondering why Barbie can no longer talk to her.

      As for your other point, I'm sure like all the smart TVs and other things, Barbie only listens when you actively tell her to do so, which should ensure random snippets of conversation don't get saved for posterity. We hope.

    February 19, 2015 at 5:14 am

    you said " ugly" 6 times in your review of sony eyewear...why do you hate sony? this is a lot more beautiful than the google glass!!

    • Dave Parrack
      February 20, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      It isn't a review, it's merely a report on the launch of the product. But I happen to think the SmartEyeglass is fugly. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder :)