What brand of recording eyewear would match your style: Gucci, Armani, O’Neill… Or: Apple, Sony, Nokia…?

A few years ago my DJ friend taped a small condenser microphone to his glasses to record audio samples on the street, in elevators, wherever he went but couldn’t bring a conventional mic. Now the smallest affordable camera optics are about the size of his mic, so I wonder who’s going to be the first to integrate fashion with function and introduce eyewear that doubles as a stylish and intuitive image capture device.

A pair of such glasses might be built like this: the left framing could house the camera, the right one a directional mic. Behind one ear could be a jack for connecting to an iPod or a cell phone for power and data transfer. Perhaps on some models, behind the ears there could be pull-out earpieces and a pull-out handsfree mic tube.

It’s not hard to think of applications: no more hassling with digital cameras or camera phones, just touch your eyewear to start recording. OCR for reading glasses would be cool, and glasses that stamped each captured image with a GPS location and the direction the camera is pointing would enable someone like Google to build virtual walkthroughs of places by combining imagery from different viewers’ eyes.

Steve Mann has of course been inventing and using wearcam stuff for a couple of decades already, but now the technology is approaching a price point that warrants more commercial speculation. So I wonder, will one of the big technology players be first to bring recording eyewear to the market, or might the first-mover opportunity be seized by a new entrant perhaps joining forces with some well-known designer?

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