Not everyone is a fan of Google Glass. While few doubt the utility of the augmented reality (AR) headset, privacy concerns have made just as many headlines as actual usage of Google’s devices. The company has banned the use of facial recognition software, but people have already figured out workarounds, making the ban appear rather worthless.
Solutions to the problem of the camera embedded in every pair of Google Glass have included a cap to block its recording capability in public, a red light to show the camera is on, and so forth. The eventual solution to the camera conundrum may eventually just be to remove it. A new challenger has already gone this route with GlassUp, a set of AR glasses that has no camera and has been designed with a more limited set of capabilities.
GlassUp offers AR streamed directly from your mobile devices, via Bluetooth. Rather than attempting to replace your smartphone, a la Google Glass, the new AR device acts more like a second screen. You could almost think of the new glasses as a Pebble for your head. The display can show all your emails, text messages, Facebook updates, tweets, RSS, calendar events, and incoming calls while your phone remains in your pocket.
It also has the potential to display vital patient statistics to doctors during an operation, act as a teleprompter, offer directions for travelers or tourists, or provide an interactive gaming experience. Pretty much any use you can think of for low end AR is possible with GlassUp.
Now, to be fair to Google Glass, you can order your GlassUp to include a camera, but it isn’t mandatory. The standard model costs $299, which is way less expensive than the $1,500 Google is charging so far to essentially borrow a Glass device. Adding a camera or prescription lenses bumps it up to $399.
Below you’ll find a video about GlassUp.