In recent months, we’ve been hearing more and more about Google Glass, where it is and isn’t allowed, and most importantly, what impact it will have on our lives. For anyone out there who is unaware of what Google Glass is, it is a wearable computer in the form of glasses that allows the user to use functions like GPS or messaging without actually glancing at a screen. It has been highly controversial however, because many are wondering what it could do in the wrong hands. Google Glass isn’t the only contender in the half glasses, half computer field anymore. Here are five interesting contenders that could give Glass a run for its money.
Glass Up is similar to Google Glass in that it is a pair of glasses. What is not similar is the price. Google Glass asks $1500 USD for a pair, whereas the smaller Glass Up company asks only $399. Glass Up is slightly different in that it shows relevant information in the center of your field of vision as opposed to Glass, which shows in the top right corner. Glass Up connects to your smartphone and gets its information from specific apps, but surprisingly it doesn’t feature any sort of camera. The lack of shooter might just give Glass Up an edge, because lots of Glass’ controversy is over the ability to take pictures of sensitive information. As odd as you might look wearing Glass Up, people nearby can feel secure in the fact that you’re not snapping pictures of them.
Vergence Labs brings an interesting device to the battlefield of wearable computing with Epiphany Eyewear. Epiphany offers a much more normal and even stylish pair of glasses, and has many of the same features as Google Glass. Boasting 10 processing cores, wifi and USB connectivity, and the ability to shoot in 720p, Epiphany is available now for preorder in 8, 16, and 32 GB models.
Unlike all of the other offerings in this article, Innovega doesn’t go the glasses route with their eyewear. On the contrary, Innovega has been contracted by the Defense Advanced Research Agency to develop a contact lens that superimposes computer generated images onto a live terrain. This is a very interesting idea, and the Innovega iOptik contact lenses will be available for consumers at some point in 2014 or 2015.
Compared with the other devices, the Recon Jet definitely has the most style appeal. Designed for athletes or anyone with an adventurous lifestyle, the Recon Jet runs Android 4.2 Jellybean and has a dual core processor. In addition, it boasts an HD camera, GPS, and even has polarized lenses. Again coming up far cheaper than Google Glass, you can buy the Recon Jet in white or black today, for only $599 USD.
Definitely the most futuristic looking of the bunch, the Telepathy One doesn’t have a screen at all. Much slimmer, the Telepathy delivers your information to you by superimposing a 5″ virtual display in front of your face. Like most of the others, it can take pictures and video, and connects wirelessly to your smartphone. There’s no word on when it will be released yet, but the company says you can expect it sometime this year.