Wearables: Here come the Google Glass competitors


Now as we consumers sit and wait patiently for Google Glass, other companies are slightly more motivated. Rather than slacking off and dreaming of a day when they may be able to Twitch stream their entire lives, they’ve been building similar products.

One company doing this is the Kopin Corporation, which has built its own head-mounted optical display that works in a similar way – with a small “heads up display” appearing just in your line of sight. At the Wearable Technology Conference in London yesterday, they were showing off a few example devices.


The main difference between the Kopin and Glass is that in the case of the above model, the overwhelming majority of the processing is handled by your phone (which is connected via bluetooth). I had a very brief chance to try it out as a spokesperson for the company explained it to me.

What was clear is that it is still at a very early stage in development – the software didn’t seem too responsive yet (though I was trying to use voice commands at a very loud tech show) – and in any case, they lacked the slickness you’d expect from a finished product. To be fair – they themselves admitted everything on show was only a prototype – including the glasses.


Perhaps the biggest takeaway from their offering was a thought spurred by the above protoype – which shows some work goggles with a mounted display. Whilst we’re busy worrying about how the likes of Glass will help us chat with friends or post to social media – when Glass finally arrives there’s going to be a revolution in industry too. Imagine construction workers who are able to better visualise what they’re doing, or scientists able to get real-time analytics on the test tube that they’re looking at.

Who knows, wearables might turn out to be useful, and not just a bit of fun?

James O’Malley
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