Google Glass is neither the first or last device of its kind, but its more popular due to Google’s marketing efforts and the advanced technologies it incorporates. It also uses Android 4.0.4, which is an open-source and highly supported operating system, allowing developers to build apps easily and deploy them instantly. But there are also other wearable devices either in production or development that compete with Google Glass and each has its own way to differentiate from Google’s device.
Thanks to DigitalTrends, who managed to setup a list of them all, we will present you all the known or rumored Google Glass competitors. It was pretty clear that Google Glass won’t be the single device of its kind and other companies are going to start producing a similar device. Some will come with less features, being cheaper, while others might OEM them to fashion designers and price them accordingly.
Sony Smart Glasses
Sony already produces 3D glasses for its TV sets, along with their Personal 3D Viewer that aims to replace your ordinary TV set. The 3D Viewer is a device similar to Google Glass, though you can see through it, but they could probably change it pretty easily in order to turn it into an ordinary pair of glasses with a mounted display and camera, along other features.
The Japanese maker already has two patents submitted for smartglasses and rumors are talking about a release next year, though nothing is certain. But if smartglasses get popular, we don’t believe Sony will stay apart, being one of the biggest tech companies in the world.
Microsoft also has patents for smartglass, submitted back in 2011 and 2012, so we do have a sketch of them. Microsoft glasses look more casual, though the final version might look different. Some rumors have been talking a year ago about Kinect Glasses, able to enhance your gaming experience while connected through WiFi to Kinect. The Xbox One has been released, but there’s no sign of the Kinect Glasses yet, though maybe they’re still working on them.
Apple doesn’t make too many consumer electronics and only relies on a few markets, with their iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMacs, MacBooks and the Mac Pro, though they are probably trying to expand into different markets and an iGlass is to be expected. Being one of the most popular consumer electronics company, it wouldn’t be hard for them to grab a decent piece of the market share. They already have the hardware experience, along with their iOS software, which runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod.
They have head-mounted display patents too, though they denied working on such a device. But Apple is known as probably the most secretive company, so we didn’t expect them to let us know what they’re working on.
Recon Jet Pilot Edition
We’ve told you already about Recon Jet, which is a $600 Google Glass competitor, but oriented to sports. The device come with lens too and feature the design of a bicycling pair of glasses. It also features a 1 Ghz dual-core Cortex A9 CPU, 1GB of RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and a 720 HD camera.
The Recon Jet Pilot Edition is already available for sale and it’s one of the first head-mounted devices to become available.
Vuzix Smart Glasses M100
Vuzix is a less-known company that announced their first smartglasses at CES, in January 2013. Their Vuzix Smart Glasses M100 should be released by the end of the year, being priced at under $500. This smartglass features a different design that the others. It’s similar to the bluetooth ear pieces and doesn’t stay on your nose like casual glasses. It’s advantage is that it can be worn on either eye.
It features a WQVGA display, WiFi, GPS, a 720p HD camera, speaker and microphone. It’s built-in display only mirrors your phone screen, so it doesn’t come with its own apps. It can be connected to the iPhone or Android devices.
Oakley Smart Glasses
The Oakley Smart Glasses are designed for skiing, in order to provide you navigation and allow you record videos, without the need of a third-party head-mounted camera. Oakley holds a lot of patents related to wearable computers, so we can expect them to release this pretty soon. At the moment it remains only at the patent phase, as far as we know.
The company is currently raising funds on Indiegogo, as it needs $150,000 to start production of GlassUp, a Google Glass competitor. The smartglass is designed to connect to your Android device through Bluetooth LE and it features a touchpad, a 320×240 pixels display and a touchpad. It’s a bit more simple than Google Glass and it’s priced at $299, without a camera or $399 for the built-in camera version. For $399 you can also get prescription lenses and if you add $100 more you get both the prescription lenses and camera.
Oculon Smart Glasses
Oculon demoed a prototype of their smartglasses at Computer in Taiwan, this year. They are aiming to build a high-end device, which features a dual-core Cortex A9 CPU, a 720p display, 2,100 mAh battery, microphone, Bluetooth, WiFi, along with cellular connectivity. We’re still wondering where are they going to pack all that and by looking at their prototype it does look really bulky. Hopefully they will be able to reduce its size and weight and release a good product.
Epiphany Eyewear is different than Google Glass, as it doesn’t come with a display and only features a camera, build-in storage and WiFi. It comes with either 8GB ($300), 16GB ($400), or 32GB ($500) and it’s headed for those that only to record POV videos or live stream them.