O ROKR Bluetooth Stereo Eyewear


New Wireless Innovation Has Unmatched Optics, Stereo Sounds and Style

Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and Oakley, Inc. (NYSE: OO) today announced the unveiling of O ROKR™, the latest eyewear product to result from the companies’ focus on designing cutting-edge wireless products for the active consumer.

Motorola and Oakley are showcasing O ROKR as part of Motorola’s rapidly evolving vision of Seamless Mobility at the 2006 Consumer Electronic Show in Central Hall Booth 8545, where visitors can experience innovations that enable enriched wireless communications, home entertainment, and on-the-go productivity.

O ROKR delivers the design authenticity of an Oakley original and combines Oakley’s
High Definition Optics® (HDO®) with Motorola’s leadership in designing Bluetooth®-enabled companion products for the global wireless communications market. O ROKR enables hands-free mobile communications for compatible Bluetooth-enabled mobile handsets plus wireless music streaming via Bluetooth from a compatible music-optimized mobile handset or portable music player equipped with a separately available, add-on Bluetooth adapter.

“O ROKR builds on the success that we’ve had with RAZRWIRE™ the world’s first eyewear to combine patented Oakley optics with Motorola’s leadership in Bluetooth innovation,” said Bruce Hawver, vice president and general manager of Motorola’s Companion Products operation. “O ROKR takes wireless eyewear to a whole new level by enriching the mobile music experience for consumers - whether they’re using a mobile handset or their favorite portable music player.”

“The new O ROKR furthers our successful collaboration with Motorola by combining the best of both companies,” said Colin Baden, president of Oakley. “We’re integrating technologies to drive true innovation that changes the way consumers think about and experience personal electronics. Our innovations, our inventions, are raising the bar for functionality and fashion by taking features and functions that consumers most need and want and integrating them into what they’re already wearing.”

O ROKR uses the Bluetooth Stereo Music Profile (A2DP), which enables music to stream wirelessly from compatible products to the eyewear. At the touch of a button, a user can play or pause music and answer an incoming call. From the Motorola mobile handset line-up, O ROKR works with the newly unveiled Motorola ROKR E2 and the Motorola E680i (available only in Asia).

O ROKR features the patented technologies of Oakley’s HDO which includes unsurpassed optical precision and performance that optimizes clarity at all angles of vision - even at the periphery of lens contours that maximize peripheral vision and side protection. The semi-rimless design means there is no frame rim to block downward view, and the optically pure Plutonite® lens material filters out 100% UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light up to 400nm.
I've been keeping a close eye on this partnership between Oakley and Motorola.

Here are some more posts on the topic:
What If I'm Right?
Oakley/Motorola Electronic Eyewear
MVIS Blog News Scan 1/18/2005

Oakley has coined the term 'wireless eyewear' and Motorola is talking about 'seamless mobility'. Now bear in mind the electronics and mobility features of these glasses are audio-only. Apart from the earphones, these are regular sunglasses. But it is clear to me that this can not be the long term vision for this platform of wireless eyewear. There must be an integrated display or else there's really a hard limit on what this category is all about.

Fortunately for Microvision, their technology platform can be embedded in a pair of eyeglasses to allow you to see who's calling you on your cell phone, see what song's playing on your mp3 player, give you a virtual arrow to follow to get to your destination, and on and on.

The only alternatives to using Microvision are (what I consider to be silly looking) occluded clip-on LCD panels that completely kill the stylish vibe -- or transparent OLED panels that could theoretically be placed over the lenses -- but I don't know whether that's really viable or not.

This integration of personal electronics and fashion eyewear is just barely in its infancy. It won't and can't end at having a Bluetooth earbud or an mp3 player incorporated into your eyeglasses. It's too important to the future of the global economy. 'Seamless mobility' can never be really seamless when the graphical elements of your device are on an occluded screen that requires you to look down, get out of the daylight, or squint and cup your hand over the screen as a glare shield.

Most of the people of the world haven't heard of Microvision, and fewer still have actually seen any of their devices. There is no premium on the stock for the percentage chance that the future of the world's wireless infrastructure and the very concept of 'seamless mobility' could be dependent on the intellectual property owned by this little company in Washington. That awareness, that premium, that understanding by the world's investors that the company's IP is the single most valuable asset on Earth will have to come later in the story of Microvision.

On a related note, check out IDCC today.