Laster Technologies has been in the augmented reality (AR) business since 2005. Since 2011, we've been hearing word of an imminent AR headset from the Paris-based company, and this year we've finally got it. The SeeThru AR headset is most assuredly a Google Glass competitor, but how it goes about augmenting your reality is a little different.
For starters, the SeeThru headset doesn't come equipped with a camera. That means no video recording or pictures, and for some headsets out there, it could mean a real decrease in AR data, too. Thankfully, the SeeThru headset makes up for its lack of visual data with a whole suite of built-in sensors. Three separate gyroscopes, accelerometers and compasses make sure that your headset knows exactly where you're looking at any given time.
As for choosing what data to show you, that sort of thing is handled by a group of apps and games that are downloaded to your smartphone. The SeeThru wirelessly connects to your phone via Bluetooth 3.0, allowing it to access your phone's apps, data connection and sensors. Everything from driving directions to AR gaming goals pop up on one of the largest and highest resolution AR screens we've yet seen. Covering a 25 degree field of view, the screen boasts 800 x 600 resolution. The unit's battery can keep that sucker powered for a full 6-8 hours, plenty of time for even the most epic of outdoor activities.
The headset's other chief benefit is its relative cost to competitors like Google Glass. You can get a $349 kit and assemble the wearable yourself. Or you can pony up $399 for a ready-made unit. Either way, you'll save hundreds of dollars compared to the $1,500 you'd need to fork over for a Explorer Edition of Google Glass. (That's if you don't mind SeeThru AR's lack of a camera.) Head on over to Kickstarter if you'd like to see what a cheaper, creeper-camera-free headset can do for your game.