News & Views
Google Glass may have competition

Wearable gadgets are one of the most talked about areas of development in the technology world right now. And while a number of leading brands have been working on their own versions of the highly anticipated smart watch, only one company comes to mind when it comes to eyewear. Google Glass has not hit the market yet, but consumers applied in their droves back in February to Google’s “Explorer” programme, which would enable them to be among the first non-developers to test the product. All it took was an entry to the “If I Had Glass” site. Oh, and $1,500.

However, not every Explorer is loving their Glass experience. In a blog entitled “Why I’m Returning Google Glass”, technology journalist Ron Miller criticised both Google Glass and the Explorer scheme, describing Glass as “a beta device being tested by an enthusiastic group of early adopters who are paying for the privilege” and stating that “after much deliberation I decided the device wasn’t ready for prime time and my $1,500 would be better spent elsewhere.”

Miller outlined a number of design flaws which contributed to his decision to return Glass, including the rotating carousel that is used to browse applications, and oversights such as a lack of documentation. He did concede, however, that the service quality he received from Google was  “top notch”, but ultimately he felt that the entire experience was “anticlimactic.”

Sceptics like Miller may soon have the opportunity to try out an alternative, more affordable product; GlassUp. Much like Google Glass, GlassUp is a special set of eyeglasses that provides notifications and allows users to read incoming messages. Unlike Google Glass, however, GlassUp is a “receive only” device with limited functionality, which means it is considerably less pricey.


One advantage which GlassUp may have over Google Glass (besides cost, obviously) is the effect it has on users’ eyes. GlassUp projects information to the centre of the wearer’s vision, “like looking through a windshield”, which apparently will make users less prone to eye-strain. One of Miller’s issues with Google Glass was that it required him to constantly look up, which, according to GlassUp CEO Francesco Giartosio, is “not comfortable and can’t be good for you continuously.”

Developers are also looking into a prescription lens version of GlassUp, should their prototype make it through the crowdfunding process. You can support GlassUp’s Indiegogo campaign here.

There are no comments

Add yours