What Makes SmartGoggles So Smart
Let's start by making clear what a "simple" virtual reality system currently looks like. As Yuval Boger, CEO of Sensics says, "'Off the shelf' virtual reality goggles currently on the market are essentially monitors that are small enough and light enough that you can support them on your head. That virtual reality goggle would accept video source that could come from an iPhone or Internet or Playstation, and so on" [source: Boger].
Many don't realize that most virtual reality systems are actually hooked up to a computer, tablet or phone, cheerfully playing whatever those devices tell them to. While SmartGoggles can work with devices, too, they can also operate wholly independently. They can download and run applications without an external connection and thus, won't have any wires to trip you up. Their power source is also battery-operated and charges like a cell phone. The heart of SmartGoggles is a 1.2 GHz dual core processor that runs the same Android 4.0 system that you'll find on a smartphone. And like your smartphone, they're actually running a computer as opposed to just receiving input from one.
Another unique advantage to SmartGoggles is the system-on-module (SOM) approach. Instead of installing an extremely customized and detailed computer in each product, the SOM is a microprocessor that has basic PC characteristics, like RAM and a processor, built directly on the carrier board. While the SOM controls basic processing activities, the carrier board is in charge of the special applications that are needed in a device (for instance, motion tracking for SmartGoggles).
Having basic processing functions simply "stick-on" to the carrier board is cost beneficial, as you don't need to customize the whole board -- the essential processing system, after all, won't need to be changed. The SOM can be bought off-the-shelf in bulk, saving money if you need to slap them on a whole bunch of customized carrier boards. This is great for a product like SmartGoggles, which would need to keep costs down when trying to compete in the gaming market.
But the thrill of virtual reality doesn't come from staring at a processor, as you'll discover on the next page.