With major sports figures and even congress exploring the features of Google Glass, it's clear that, despite privacy concerns, wearable computers are here to stay. But Google hasn't cornered the market on such devices, with Recon Jet offering its own version of the construct for about a third of the price. Now another company has tossed its hat into the computer-glasses category with a device that has already raised the legal ire of the Google Glass team.
Created by a team in Venice, Italy, GlassUp is an Android-powered pair of augmented reality glasses that operate in conjunction with your smartphone, allowing the wearer to get directions, check emails and text messages, and view social network updates from Twitter and Facebook. However, unlike similar devices, GlassUp doesn't take photos, does not respond to voice commands, and is designed to only receive information rather than send it up into the cloud. Additionally, the imagery projected in front of the wearer's eyes appears in the middle of the wearer's field of vision rather than over one eye.
Of course, the first thing that stands out about the device is its name which, to be fair, sounds like a pretty blatant ripoff of Google Glass. According to a report by CNet, Google has already asked that the GlassUp team to change the name of the device, fearing marketplace confusion.
GlassUp CEO Francesco Giartosio, who claims he started work on GlassUp two years before Google Glass was introduced to the public, told CNet, "we all know that augmented reality is expected to be big in the near future; we will have AR glasses, jackets, hats, whatever. You cannot own those words. If we develop a glove that sends to a PC the movements of my fingers (it's being done, as you know), we can't be inhibited from calling it a Glove, even if it's singular."
The device, which is currently available for pre-order for $299 via Indiegogo, is scheduled to be delivered by February 2014. You can check out a presentation detailing more about the device in the video below.