Wearable technology is expected to be popular in the coming year which is why various manufacturers are coming up with their own models. One company based in Venice, Italy aims to compete directly with Google Glass by releasing their own version of the device called GlassUp. While it has several similarities with Google’s device it may even be better in terms of cost and functionality.
GlassUp CEO Francesco Giartosio said that he started a virtual reality project two years ago called GlassUp with a scientist. The aim was to create a new type of wearable technology that used an always visible smart display that didn’t make the user look like an Android.
When they heard that Google was also working on a similar technology they stopped momentarily. Giartosio said that “It was quite a shock” but then added that “We considered that they would kill us, so we thought deeply about it, then decided to carry on for a few reasons.”
The reasons are that their device has an advantage in cost, fashion, and function.
When GlassUp will be released in the market it will only cost $399. That’s half the price of the Google Glass. Despite coming in at a lower price the device does not come with limited functionalities. It has various features that make it quite interesting. Some examples of what it can do are listed below.
- 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.
One important feature of GlassUp is that it displays information near the center of the field of view. This makes you look at the information naturally. Google Glass on the other hand has its information located off-center which makes it unnatural to view and is comparable to looking at a rear view mirror.
GlassUp has a big advantage in battery life. It can provide as much as 150 hours standby and 8 hours of constant use. That’s a 4 to 6 hour advantage over google glass. This is made possible since the device low-power Bluetooth and information is displayed in monochrome.
Right now the company has launched a campaign over at Indiegogo with a target of reaching $150,000. Check out their campaign at the crowd funding site.
GlassUp Technical Specifications
- Weight: around 65 grams
- OS: Android
- Sensors: accelerometer, compass, ambient light sensor, precision altimeter, perhaps more (the GPS is already on your smartphone, so we don’t need it)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth LE
- Optical system, made of a display and a set of lenses and mirrors. The resolution of the display is 320×240.
- Battery life: one day, recharge via mini-usb
- Lenses: Lenses will be slightly tinted
- Controls: A touch-pad, with the usual controls (tap, double tap, long press, swipe vertically and horizontally), we are deciding now which ones to keep for us to on/off the projector (probably the long press), the others will be left to the developers to manage the apps