Usually, when people think of augmented reality, they think of visual tech — like using a smartphone camera to digitally insert Pokemon into the real world or a motorcycle helmet with a heads-up display. Bose, however, doesn’t think it has to be limited to optical alteration, as they’ve just unveiled their “audio augmented reality” Frames sunglasses.
As you might expect from a brand like Bose, these sunglasses aren’t focused on visual information, but rather audio — incorporating immersive sound into the world that surrounds the user. When off, the Frames function like normal sunglasses, and they’ve even got roughly the same footprint (lacking any bulk found in other AR headset devices). But once you turn them on, they give you seamless connectivity to your smartphone and the web — all through audio. That means you can play music, take calls, and even listen to audio books. However, unlike bone conducting headsets or earbuds, you’ll still be able to hear the world around you and, therefore, be aware of your surroundings. The glasses also feature UV protection and scratch-resistant lenses, run for about 3.5 hours on a full charge, and can sit in standby mode for 12 hours. When they’re released, the Bose Frames will sell for $199.