Yet another player is joining Meta, Japan’s Telepathy One, China’s (allegedly real) Baidu Eye, and big Google’s Glass at the face-mounted AR table. GlassUp, the newest kid in town, claims precedent on the concept. Google just shrugs and pays its legal retainer.
• • •
First of all, as contemplated here before, and as we all learned from the The Great Virtual Boy Tragedy of 1995, it could be, it just might be, that aside from early adopters, the geek elite, and a tiny slice of industry – nobody really wants the PIA of having AR in their glasses. Plus, there’s also the ongoing debate on how unusable and silly AR glasses would be in actual human life.
Something to consider.
Okay, on to the new:
GlassUp, Heads-Up, Read-Only
Yep, another competitor jumps into an as of yet non-existent market: Venice, Italy-based GlassUp’s angle is to Bluetooth its way into a user’s smartphone and display email, SMS, Tweets, Facebook notifications, etc. as they arrive. If developers get hip, other possibilities include translations, directions, and location-specific info displayed in real time as one arrives at a given waypoint.
With zero subtlety, GlassUp promotes their product as:
“Receive only.” No photos or videos involved, no privacy issues. (As opposed to? -Ed.)
The projection is Monochrome (currently green, but we may switch to amber).
Longer battery life (Than? -Ed.)
GlassUp projects the information close to the center of vision, with less strain to the eye of the wearer. (Whereas those other guys make you look up and to the right. -Ed.)
CEO Francesco Giartosio and co-founders claim to have begun work on their AR glasses two years ago, about two months before Google went public with Glass. Should their indiegogo crowdfunding campaign prove successful ($41,169 of $150,000, 20 days remain), they hope to come to market around February of next year – ahead of Google Glass, and, at $399, hitting a much more realistic price point for the average individual or bulk-buying corporate consumer.
Possible Legal Problems & Precedential Issues & Stuff
It’s unclear if “GlassUp” is an attempt at drafting off of Google’s marketing campaign, or if it’s been there all along (maybe it was “VetroUp?”). In any case, if, for example, one has an invention in their basement that only 3 people know about, and they’re calling it “1234,” but then one of the largest, most powerful corporate entities in the history of humanity invents something similar, gets patents and trademarks, and years before anybody hears of your stuff, happens to name their product “123,” then one’s kinda hosed.
But, Google does occasionally surprise, and they might Don’t Be Evil and simply concede that the word “glass” is like, you know, common, and that it’s also part of the word “eyeglasses,” which is also like, you know, common; indifference, pity, or straight-up common sense could prevail. Or, Google could decide to lawyer the name “GlassUp,” perhaps even the whole product, out of existence.
People do love an underdog story, so should Google go aggro, at least GlassUp will get a pile of publicity. Either way, for Sig. Francesco & Co., using the word “glass” is kinda win-win.
More images & video below:
• • •
Reno J. Tibke is the founder and operator of Anthrobotic.com and a contributor at the non-profit Robohub.org.