Italian startup GlassUp just launched a $150,000 IndieGogo campaign to raise money for its new augmented reality glasses.
But it’s reportedly stirring up some controversy with Google.
In March of this year, a Google trademark lawyer reportedly asked GlassUp to change both the company and the product’s name, claiming that consumers might get confused, the company says.
That’s a possibility, given that when I first read “GlassUp”, I envisioned it as some Google alternative to the current version of Google Glass.
In June 2012, Google filed trademark applications worldwide for “Glass,” as it pertains to computer hardware, computer peripherals, wearable computer peripherals, and much more.
But GlassUp doesn’t seem to be too worried.
“We all know that augmented reality is expected to be big in the near future; we will have AR glasses, jackets, hats, whatever,” GlassUp wrote to CNET in an email. “You cannot own those words. If we develop a glove that sends to a PC the movements of my fingers (it’s being done, as you know), we can’t be inhibited from calling it a Glove, even if it’s singular,” Giartosio wrote in an e-mail. “Here is even a better example: we have read in the news that Google is developing a technological shoe. Do you really think that you will own the word Shoe for tech shoes from now on?”
We have reached out to Google and will update this story if we hear back.
In the same vein as Google Glass, GlassUp serves as a second-screen to your iOS or Android smartphone. It displays text messages, emails, notifications, and more.
But there are a few things that set GlassUp apart from Google Glass.
For one, it’s cheaper. It costs $399 compared to $1,500 for Google Glass. Though, the commercial version of Glass will likely be much more affordable than the current cost of its developers version.
Second of all, they actually look like glasses, providing the wearer with a more discreet experience. The glasses also display the information closer to the centre of your field of a view, as opposed to near the top right of your field of vision.
Another big advantage is battery life. GlassUp will be able to last for 150 hours on standby and for eight hours with constant use. Glass, on the other hand, has been reported to only last two to five hours. That varies depending on how much video you record.
Finally, GlassUp doesn’t have a camera. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. You won’t be able to capture your life as seamlessly real-time, but at least the general public won’t have to worry about you recording them every time you have the glasses on.
You can pre-order the device for $399. At the time of publication, GlassUp has currently raised $21,206 of its $150,00 goal.
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