Augmented reality wearable technology is set to make an enormous impact in 2014. We’ve already seen what Fitbit and Google Glass are capable of doing, but other companies are looking to advance the technology even further.
One such company is San Francisco-based LASTER Technologies, which has launched a Kickstarter campaign for SeeThru, the first genuine Augmented Reality (AR) eyewear. The optical technology features a patented core technology that pre-dates all other consumer glass manufacturers (yes, including Google Glass) and a large glass lens that displays crystal-clear color images, text, and video. So the eyewear, which is blue tooth enabled, will allow users to view digital information (i.e. text, pictures, video or animation) clearly superimposed to the person’s environment.
Currently, the company has told us that SeeThru has six apps available, which includes Internet, telephone, GPS, SMS, email, and music capabilities. But there’s plenty more coming up the pipelines.
“We are very excited about the apps we are currently developing, especially AR navigation, AR GPS, AR Tourism, AR Skateboarding, and AR sailing,” said Zile Liu, CEO and founder of LASTER Technologies. “You’ll also be able to use it for everyday things like text messages, email, looking at images, listening to music, phone calls, etc. But we are even more excited about the cool apps developers will be able to create using our open source software development kit (SDK).”
SeeThru will likely appeal more to the outdoorsy types with many of its emerging apps suited for such things as skateboarding, motorcycling, sailing, traveling, etc. So if the user was riding a motorcycle, SeeThru could do everything from recommend speed on the road to alert riders of dangerous things ahead.
In that sense, it may have a leg up over Google Glass and other such wearable technology. But LASTER Technologies tells us it doesn’t stop there. Here are a few other advantages SeeThru provides over its competitors:
1. Many smart glass competitors require wearers to blink awkwardly or look up and away from the normal field of view. Meanwhile, SeeThru offers genuine augmented reality, which overlays digital images from real-life objects.
2. Unlike Google Glass, SeeThru has omitted the camera to protect people’s privacy. Instead, it has embedded the most accurate sensors on the market (3 gyroscopes, 3 accelerometers, 3 compasses) to support all of its AR contextual information.
3. SeeThru has considerably more battery life than its competitors, reaching up to 6-8 hours in one charge. Meanwhile, Google Glass only offers 1-2 hours in battery life.
4. SeeThru’s price tag ($349) is significantly less than Google Glass’ ($1,500). You can purchase one at LASTER’s Kickstarter campaign.
So what’s in store for SeeThru’s future?
“We think that AR will be pervasive and will be part of any connected object,” said Liu “AR and the Internet of Things will change the way we interact with the real world. Augmented content will be in your field of view without a screen between you and the content being displayed and pushed. Human beings won’t be inside a digital world, like a SecondLife experience, but the opposite – AR will help digital content be a part of the real world.”
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