Valve's Hardware is a Wearable ComputerIt looks like it is the season of wearable computers. First comes the news that Google is, indeed developing a wearable Android computer codenamed Glass. Now we discover that Valve’s top secret hardware project is also a wearable computer. Who's next, Apple?
Valve developer and programmer Michael Abrash has spilled the beans. Previously the rumor was that Valve was developing its own console. That sprung from Valve developing its own hardware specifications and, most recently, hiring a hardware prototyping guy. But the company had greater ambitions than that. It wants wearable computers.
Abrash warns that this is still all in the conceptual stage. We might not see anything come from the project. Specifically, he said:
To be clear, this is R&D – it doesn’t in any way involve a product at this point, and won’t for a long while, if ever – so please, no rumors about Steam glasses being announced at E3. It’s an initial investigation into a very interesting and promising space, and falls more under the heading of research than development. The Valve approach is to do experiments and see what we learn – failure is fine, just so long as we can identify failure quickly, learn from it, and move on – and then apply it to the next experiment. The process is very fast-moving and iterative, and we’re just at the start. How far and where the investigation goes depends on what we learn.
The news came from a post Abrash made as a call for interested developers to apply, which detailed his own personal history and why he is working on augmented reality goggles.
In all reality, the only reason we have even heard about this project is probably because Google Glass has also been announced. Revealing the fundamental hardware work now keeps them from looking like a copycat.
We may never see a product emerge from this, but I’m hoping we do. Valve is one of the few companies that truly seems to get computing and what we want. Their Steam platform has taken over PC gaming, becoming the best place to keep and buy your games. Steam Glasses would hardly be a bad thing.