Pivothead video sunglasses get SMART with live streaming and modular architecture


January 12, 2014

Pivothead SMART glasses are a smarter, more functional pair of video glasses

Pivothead SMART glasses are a smarter, more functional pair of video glasses

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Already one of the most intriguing combinations of sunglasses and camera technology available, Pivothead glasses just got a little SMARTer. The Pivothead SMART debuted at CES 2014, combining 1080p filming with a new suite of wearable technologies. They allow you to live-stream video, control filming remotely with a smartwatch or mobile device, and run apps.

The base SMART glasses are similar to first-generation Pivothead sunglasses with a few key improvements. They have the same 1080p HD camera integrated between the lenses, 8-megapixel Sony sensor and 44.1 kHz microphone. The memory capacity has been doubled to 16GB, which Pivothead estimates is ample for about two hours of 1080p footage. With the help of Bluetooth 4.0 LE, the glasses now offer wireless capabilities such as remote control via smartphone or smartwatch and video upload.

Where the Pivothead SMART glasses really take off is in their modular architecture. The caps in the product name aren't just for effect, they're an acronym that stands for Simple Modular Application-Ready Technology – in other words, a bunch of new accessories that add some nice features. The glasses have ports at the end of each earpiece for accepting the three different SmartMods.

The Live Mod adds Wi-Fi and live streaming capabilities. Instead of simply filming footage for later view, wearers can share real-time POVs with Web and mobile app viewers. Such live HD streaming may sound like the latest way for people to over-share the minutia of everyday life, but Pivothead shows some very intriguing, though potentially morally/legally ambiguous, ideas like streaming from a concert or sporting event. Of course, if you're doing something significant or exciting of your own, say getting married or BASE jumping, you could make live footage available for family, friends and followers around the world.

The second module is the Air Mod, which turns the SMART glasses into smart glasses. In addition to live-streaming capabilities like those on Live Mod, the Air Mod tacks on an Android OS, GPS, a 9-axis sensor set, a built-in speaker and more. It doesn't seem like Pivothead has figured out everything that it wants to do with all that hardware, but it has opened its SDK and is hoping that developers will come up with all kinds of apps for the glasses. It also mentions the idea of being able to use voice and gesture control with the Air Mod.

While the SMART is a step closer to a full-blown smart glass like Google Glass, Pivothead is careful to draw a line. It explains that the glasses are designed for content creation, not content consumption. Their features are reflective of the difference.

"Our camera glasses are designed to encourage social interaction, active sharing and the effortless documentation of your life in ways previously unimagined, in real time and in full HD," explains Pivothead founder and president Christopher Cox. "HUD’s in their current technological iteration are anti-social in more ways than one and therefore counter to our objectives."

Instead of a full-on HUD with data and imaging, the SMART glasses use an LED Lightguide. Located in the upper part of the frame, these lights convey information about battery power, recording status, and available memory so that you don't have to remove the glasses to check. When powered by the Air Mod, Pivothead also envisions a variety of new app functions, such as GPS navigation prompts.

Both the Live Mod and Air Mod also include microSD slots for expanded storage up to 32 GB.

The third available mod is the Fuel Mod, which is essentially a secondary, 1,000 mAh battery that triples battery life over the hour of filming the primary battery offers. The Fuel Mod can also be used to charge external mobile devices.

One thing we like about the original Pivotheads that carries over to the SMARTs is that instead of just building a novelty product with cheap hardware, Pivothead seems to have blended quality tech features with a nice pair of sunglasses. The SMARTs will launch with two sunglass options: the half-framed Colfax with photochromic lenses and the full-framed Teller with polarized lenses. After launch, it plans to offer accessory lenses.

Pivothead recently completed a successful Indiegogo campaign. On the campaign page, it estimates that a bundle with the SMART glasses and all three Mods will retail for US$629. It plans to start shipping in April.

Source: Pivothead, Indiegogo

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

This is what i have been trying to find for a couple years now wasting hundreds of hours on google searches finding all the device technology in separate ways getting the run around being unable to figure out a way to combine and connect these technologies without having to buy multiple large expensive devices and services. I want to stream live concerts i attend and share with my community of fans that cant make it to the shows a quality HD video stream without having to hold up a phone or video camera that needs other expensive large devices and a laptop or tablet to capture the video because these consumer electronics sold by the big corps hold out on and block this technology yet advertise that it does certain things like live video streaming however all the live streaming is on their devices is an extremely low quality video feed to your smartphone to a worthless app that lets you control the camera to zoom in and out however with a 2 or 3 second delay when you zoom which renders it useless because you don't know where it zoomed to till its too late then you zoom back and u battle between the two as the video you are recording through the cheesy app is not only extreme low quality like 250 x 120 your footage is worthless because it is zooming in out in out causing you to miss capturing what you are recording with over and under zooms. I researched these issues and the technology exists to do what i wanted to do and the conclusion was that the product developer Canon for example purposefully blocked the ability to do something it could do no problem then build a few different consumer device options by price and features then advertised and marketed live video streaming and charged more for the camera yet the only difference was that crummy worthless smartphone control option i mentioned. The list goes on..they want you to buy their worthless false advertised products so you have to keep buying newer devices when they come out. Example i had a sony camcorder made in 2004 or before that when i plug in the camera to the usb port of a computer it recognized it and you could use the camera as a webcam or in a quality video recording program and have the same quality video from the camera live on the screen as if you recorded it and watched later but instead you do a screen capture of the video and stream it to a live service such as live stream, My sony camcorder can do this that was built over 10 years ago windows xp unfortunately not windows 8, but the newer futuristic high tech piece of shit in 2015 has lost this ability. youy can use the hdmi port to get the feed on the screen but it does not work as a recognized device on the computer and if you are buying a laptop that advertises HDMI Port assuming you could plug your hdmi camera into it and get the feed you better make sure it has HDMI IN as a feature because they too want to sell you BS cheap products that insinuate features that dont work yet cover them legally a half truth, in 2015 I bought a $460 Canon camcorder and an $865 HP laptop both advertising they do the things i was looking for and i learned after it was too late to return that none of it worked as it should, like my camera from 12 years ago did, It turned out the HDMI port on the HP laptop was only an HDMI out which just gives you the abilty to view the screen from the laptop to another monitor which you can do wireless anyway, They sold me an $800 laptop advertising HDMI port knowing we would assume its both ways in and out because thats normal but they trick you and sell you an HDMI OUT port which they forget to mention purposefully see where im going with this,? we need smaller privately owned company's like this who are willing to stand up for us and create a quality product using existing technology that works as advertised at a fair price. I got sidetrack cause im still upset over that BS so I thought i might save someone else the same grief if they happen to read this. NOW as far as these video streaming glasses i actually just came across the these on a search so i dont know if they work as advertised or as i would need but I am getting closer but i doubt these are the ones..gonna have to wait another year or 5...I want zoom and mic input with a high quality audio output...Audio is just as or more important than the video for what i want to do...IM OUT]


Google Glass is antisocial, but this isn't? Hmm, I thought the most common objection to Google Glass was their ability to video-record others surreptitiously -- a property this definitely shares.

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