CES 2014 is dominated by wearables, as many companies have come out of the woodwork to show off their goods in hopes of capturing the public’s attention for the next year or so. So far we have seen the likes of many different smartwatches, like the Pebble Steel and the Cogito and Cogito Pop by CONNECTEDEVICE, one of the most interesting wearables though has to be the Augmented Reality Contact lenses from Innovega called the iOptik.
These seem to directly compete with Google Glass, in that they offer you the ability to see panels of your information like your social feeds, information on the web, map routes, etc. and it places them all in your peripheral vision in an almost arch like fashion. The contact lenses themselves are not the sole part of the tech, as they’re paired with a set of glasses that have mini projectors on them to give you the HUD(Heads Up Display) feature, which allows you to see the information you wanted. The iOptik actually looks a little more stylish than Google Glass itself, but heck from a personal standpoint Google Glass would still be worn on my face all day, socially acceptable or not, but I digress. The major benefit to a system such as Innovega’s iOptik system, is that it can offer your more content at once compared to the one panel you get with Google Glass. This is made possible because the entire system is actually made up of more than just one piece, integrating the contact lenses with the Glasses and their projectors to make the full setup.
Having multiple windows is nice, but it does sort of take over your peripherals almost entirely, and it isn’t always the best idea to give yourself blind spots. That’s why Innovega’s iOptik system has the ability to cut down the multiple panels of information to just one if you so choose, giving you your peripheral vision back. What iOptik is lacking that Glass is not, is mainly Camera and Audio, however it also lacks the touch controls and the accelerometer as well, which Google Glass also has. Even without these features however, (which a final revision of the product could end up with) the iOptik system is still pretty impressive. The few things that remain uncertain is when and if this product should ever make it to market. Innovega isn’t actually planning on releasing the iOptik itself, as it wants to license out the tech to another company. If this happens we may end up seeing a real strong competitor to Glass. Currently, innovega still has to submit their product to the FDA since it relies on the use of contact lenses, which they say will be done sometime by the end of this year or the beginning of next, and that the FDA approval shouldn’t take long. Would any of you consider buying this over Google Glass if it was offered? Let us know what you think in the comments.