Google’s Project Glass has given rise to a gaggle of smartphone accessories with heads-up displays, like GlassUp, which made an appearance at this year’s CeBit conference in Germany. Unlike Project Glass, GlassUp will have the appearance of a full pair of glasses, rather than just the top rim. Instead of showing information strictly in the top corner, GlassUp projects images onto a transparent film that rests in front of the wearer’s right eye.
GlassUp is a read-only device, meaning that users will be able to view and read notifications, but it can’t perform functions such as voice recognition or smartphone navigation. There is, however, a touch surface that recognizes taps, double tabs, long presses and swipes, which will allow users to interact somewhat with the information shown on the display. According to its official website, the GlassUp eyeglasses will show text messages, emails, tweets, Facebook updates, RSS and Foursquare check-ins, among other information.
The display is a fairly limited, projecting a yellow, monochromatic 320 x 240-pixel image, so the GlassUp won’t be the best device for multimedia playback anytime soon. However, the microfilm slides are close enough to the eye that the small size and low resolution should still support clear viewing of messages and notifications with proper implementation.
Since the GlassUp eyeglasses are simply a smartphone accessory, rather than an independent gadget, the battery life promises to be pretty decent. The initial units should work for an entire day of moderate use, which might include periodic email and Twitter notifications, with standby time of up to 150 hours.
The GlassUp headset should work with both Android and iOS, with Windows Phone 8 support coming at some point after the initial release. These glasses are available for preorder, costing $399 (or €299), and should be shipping in September of this year. Compared to the $1,500 price of Google’s Project Glass, the GlassUp headsets could make a big splash if the consumer-ready product keeps all of its promises.