Dyson Halo Could Have Been The First SmartGlass 10 Years Ago

Dyson could have very well changed the mobile computing landscape if not for the fact that it shelved the Dyson Halo or N066 project in 2004. The principle behind the Halo is very much similar to that of the Google Glass in which it makes use of a heads up augmented display projected onto glasses to display relevant information.

There are however several differences in the overall design of the Halo project. The first lies in the Halo being powered by a 'Walkman" like pocket device through a cable running from the frame of the glasses to the device itself. If Dyson had actually gone ahead and produced a commercial product, it could have very well revolutionized the mobile industry by skipping past smartphones and moving straight to wearables as the next evolution to dumb phones. The need for a cable to power the device could be seen as cumbersome, but having a good 10 years to polish and refine the tech such that the wearables today becomes essential aka the equivalent of smartphones, rather than being experimental at this point of time. This could also have translated to a cabled option to power the Halo or utilising a built in battery similar to how the Google Glass operates.

Halo's control interface could have beaten Apple to the punch in developing a voice-activated digital assistant which enabled users to utilise voice commands and allowedtext to speech feedback. In addition, a wrist mounted controller functions as a virtual keyboard and a trackpad which could be used on any surface or direction thanks to its built in solid state gyroscope.

The headset itself is another intriguing aspect of the Halo as it allowed for a 10-inch projection up to a meter away and could be detached from the 'Walkman' and attached to a monitor to use it as a traditional PC. Sadly, as Dyson chose to focus on the development of core products for the US in 2004, the project was shelved and never saw the light of day.

In short, Dyson could have been the very first to create the wearable industry as a whole in which the idea of a mobile device integrated a smartphone, smartwatch and smartglass rather than an array of different devices which has to talk to one another. This could have major implications on other technology as well such as virtual reality headsets a la Oculus Rift or even the traditional desktop itself as it would have leapfrogged our current technology by two generations (instead of having to develop both smartphones and wearables) . It does however points to the future of convergence in which technology seamlessly integrate as a whole rather than being obtuse and limited to a specific manufacturer products. Perhaps someday in the future, we would actually see such a 'device' which is able to do all the things that the Halo does and more. The future of technological evolution has never looked brighter.

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Joshua Koh

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I have always enjoyed playing around with technology. My motto is that technology exist for us to manipulate. Android has fit very much into this philosophy due to its openess & flexibility. This passion for Android is what I would like to share with the rest of the world. Besides Android, I am a lover of music and gamer at heart.