GlassUp Opens Preorders for its AR Specs

Italian wearable tech startup GlassUp has launched an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign to take preorders for its AR glasses.

The device will enable users to view notifications from a linked smartphone, including messages, Facebook updates and news.

Lets get the unavoidable comparison out of the way – its an alternative to Google Glass. GlassUp says its product has the advantage of projecting information at the centre of vision, whereas Glass requires the user to look up to see the virtual screen, as well as a longer battery life.

Theres also the question of price: the first wave of Glass devices cost $1,500, whereas GlassUp will have an RRP of $399. For Indiegogo backers, the price is even lower, starting at $199 for the earliest batch of devices.

At least part of this difference can be accounted for by the fact that the devices projected display will be monochrome. GlassUp argues this makes it easier to read, but does go some way to limiting the devices range of functions. Thats exacerbated by the fact that the initial version is receive only, meaning it cant be interacted with in the same way as Googles device. Theres no camera or voice controls in the first model, which could hurt its appeal in the long run.

GlassUp has set a goal of $150,000, to be raised on IndieGoGo by 8 August. At time of writing, its around a sixth of the way there, with $25,000 pledged. If successful, the first devices are set to ship early next year.