A Japanese startup is developing an alternative to Google Glass call Telepathy One.
Like Google Glass, Telepathy One is a wearable computing device with a small display that delivers information to a single eye and a camera that takes photos and video.
There are some significant differences in the design though. Telepathy One takes more design cues from headphones than from glasses. It wraps around the back of a person’s head from the right eye to the left ear. It’s held in place with in-ear earbuds.
A micro projector shows an image on a virtual five-inch display. The camera is so small it’s almost invisible.
Just like with Google Glass, a user controls the device with voice commands, touch, and hand gestures.
Telepathy One was created by Takahito Iguchi, a smartphone app developer. In an interview with Nikkei, Iguchi sees the device as something that will make the smartphone user experience better.
“Using a smartphone itself is cumbersome. You pull out the device and start an app. It involves 13 different steps just to share photos with your friends,” he said. “I want to eliminate these steps as much as possible. Sharing your thoughts instantly is what social networking is all about.”
Remarkably, Iguchi created a working prototype in just two months and took it to SXSW in Austin, Texas last month to demonstrate how it works.
“The core components already exist at Japanese manufacturers. We’ll also team up with major electronics makers for mass production. Our role is to bring together excellent Japanese technologies in a way that appeals to customers,” Iguchi said.
Iguchi distinguishes Telepathy One from Google Glass by focusing sharing life experience with friends and family in real time.
“Its functions are quite simple, so people can photograph, record and share what they see with their friends.” Iguchi said.
Telepathy One will go on sale in the US later this year. Iguchi hasn’t set a price, but expects it to be less than Google Glass.
Judging by this video from SXSW, it seems to delight people who got to try it out.