Hard as it might be to swallow, this is a real promotional video for a real product made by a real company with a $30 billion market cap. It’s the developer edition of Sony’s smart glasses, which are called SmartEyeglass (great name!) and will be available to the eager buying public in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan on March 10.
They cost $840.
I might argue that this is a better ad than anything aired during the Super Bowl, because I can’t stop watching it. Just for all the wrong reasons.
To be fair to Sony: Other current wearable tech looks pretty awful, too. I could not naturally place the word “stylish” anywhere close to the prototypes of Microsoft’s HoloLens or Facebook’s Oculus Rift. But unlike those and more like the notorious, now-shelved Google Glass, this promotional video suggests that SmartEyeglasses are supposed to be worn out and about in the world; the bar for “cool,” or at least “not totally repellent to fellow human beings,” then, gets much higher.
The video has gone viral within the Re/code newsroom, by which I mean I emailed the link to all my coworkers and demanded their thoughts. Here’s what they said.
Associate Editor, Tech Culture
Is this a satire? I think you’re trolling us, Eric Johnson, and I WILL NOT BE FOOLED.
“Hello, I have no friends.” This is why Sony’s in financial trouble.
Senior Editor, Copy
Golly, I want to wander around a deserted Italian town and take pictures of the featureless architecture with my absurdly wide glasses. I will speak into my tethered hockey puck so we can meet up!
Managing Editor, Reviews
Why is everything so blurry from the viewpoint of the wearer? Do these “smart” glasses actually make your vision worse?
Associate Editor, Copy
I like my smartphone, but you know what would make it better? If I could literally never look away from it, and it made me look like I shop for accessories at a Dollar Tree in a strip mall on a floating barge off the coast of Western Dystopia.
It’s like wearing a kick-me sign. … And nothing says “future” like a HOCKEY PUCK.
Deputy Managing Editor, News
I don’t feel good about this, but I found myself thinking, “Please, please let there be an open manhole on her route.”
Senior Editor, Tech Policy
I don’t know what Apple pays Jony Ive, but this proves it’s not nearly enough.
And if you think we’re all being too mean, well … deal with it:
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.