Google Envy GlassUp : A Cheaper Alternative to Google Glass
GlassUp aims to give customers a less-expensive alternative to Google Glass with its own pair of augmented reality spectacles. Italian company GlassUp was recently added to crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise funds (US$150,000). This flexible funding campaign will continue to receive funds till August 8, 2013. Whether or not the project is fully funded, the company said backers will receive the device after it goes into production next year in February.
GlassUp is similar to Google Glass, the eyewear works with your smartphone and makes it easy to see emails, text messages, Facebook updates and news right in front of your eyes. The company is calling GlassUp a “receive only” device, which means users can’t respond to text messages and emails or even take photos.
Its maker, Gianluigi Tregnaghi, says he created GlassUp two years ago – before Google ever announced its Glass product.
With GlassUp you can control your apps directly from your glasses. Messages and notifications are shown for only a few instants, on the side of the field of view, in an unobtrusive manner. The whole thing weighs about 65 grams and lasts a day on a full charge, also it is rechargeable via mini-usb. Battery life averages about 150 hours of standby mode and a prescription lens option could come in the near future.
The information in the smartphone is sent to the glasses via Bluetooth. The notifications are displayed on GlassUp’s lenses, projected in front of the user. Similar to Google Glass, the notifications are based on which apps the user downloads.
But unlike Google Glass, it “projects the information close to the centre of vision (like looking through a windshield), which causes less strain on the wearer’s eye,” the company says.
GlassUp is made up of four elements: the frame, the optical system, a touch-pad and electronic circuit. The optical system sends the message from the circuit to the eye of the user, and allows him to see the status towards the centre-bottom of his vision – so if you’re talking to another person, it would probably appear on their tie.
The technology actually makes a conscious effort to not mess with your vision. All the messages have a transparent background so your vision isn’t blocked in any way. And they are monochromatic, using only green – so you won’t be able to see rich photos with GlassUp.
Currently, it can be operated only with the touchpad – there’s no voice control on it. But future versions might incorporate elements like voice control as well as a camera to capture what you’re seeing.
The company says it has already been getting “trademark attention” from Google, which has asked GlassUp to change the product name.
Details on GlassUp:
GlassUp displays to the user any kind of message, super-imposed on reality. See it as a convenient “second screen for your smartphone”
- Emails, text messages, Facebook updates, tweets, RSS, calendar events, incoming calls
- Breaking news, weather, stock exchange, sport results
- Real time feedback display for running, biking, sailing, action sports
- Turn by turn directions to riders (motorcycles, bikes,..)
- Aid for hearing impaired
- Translations display when talking in different languages
- Patients’ body data to a surgeon
- Instructions to workers in warehousing or maintenance
- Teleprompter for public speaking
- Subtitles at the movies (for hearing impaired and for different languages)
- Details about works of art at a museum
- Domotics, etc.