November 24, 2014

New Smartglasses Raise Nearly $83,000, Rival Google Glass

Athere GlassesEdit

There have been many companies jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon since the introduction of the Pebble.

But so far, one company has clearly led the way in the development of smartglasses. In fact, Google has been so closely associated with the smartglass revolution that one tech writer coined the term glogging to describe blogging with Google Glass.

Of course, all of that may be about to change.

Atheer Labs Introduces Immersive Experience

The word you hear repeated most often by developers at Athere Labs to describe their new smartglass prototypes is “immersive.” And a glimpse of what the company says these devices can do certainly seems to bear that out.

Check out this video shared with the Indiegogo community, where Athere Labs is trying to raise $100,000 for release of two devices (nearly $83,000 has already been raised) :

Google Glass offers a computer display projected against one lens of the wearable glasses. The device allows you to check online information and control the taking of point-of-view video and photos.

The new devices from Athere create a 3D experience with a 36 degree field of vision. The glasses create the impression of a tablet display screen floating just in front of your eyes.

The 3D effect is visible through both lenses on the devices. And gesture recognition technology even makes it possible for you to scroll through online documents, turn pages and do searches with a swipe of your finger.

New Athere Devices Set for 2014 Release

A consumer device called the Athere One starts at $350 and can be pre-ordered now on the company website for estimated shipment in late 2014. The device allows you to connect to an Android smartphone and use it to access online information, games and even videos.

Developers say connecting with an Android device means you have access to around 800,000 apps in the Android app store.

A developer version of the glasses called simply the “Developer Kit” starts at $850. And it should be available in early 2014. It comes with USB and other connections designed so that developers can hook up a tablet and use it to develop new applications.

A Truly Mobile Business Tool

Just based on initial impressions, it looks as if the new devices may have real potential as business tools.

While news on Google Glass has focused mainly around its ability to capture images and to be a source of multitasking distraction, the Athere devices may be different.

There have been stories of Google Glass users being banned from businesses due to privacy concerns. And there has even been one run-in with the law by a Google Glass wearer.

However, Athere developers have focused on accessing data rather than taking photos or video. There is no way to use the new devices while driving or performing any other activity. However, there may be a benefit for business owners away from the office to be able to immerse themselves in important work online. And that’s without the need to carry a laptop or even a tablet along.

Image: Athere Labs

10 Comments ▼

Joshua Sophy - Staff Writer


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering technology and business news. He is a journalist and editor with 15 years experience in media. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Joshua also serves as President of the Board of Directors of a curling club and is editor of a regional newsletter focused on the sport of curling in the Eastern U.S.

10 Reactions

  1. It’s pretty amazing; Google Glass has a competitor.

    I’m confused.

    The product from Google hasn’t really been released to the general public yet, right?

    Isn’t this company taking a huge gamble-competing with a product that’s not even out?

    And the product itself-Google’s product, opens up a huge can of worms because of real privacy concerns on how people and companies may use the GG.

    This one doesn’t make much sense to me. Maybe I’m just not “seeing” it.

    The Franchise King®

    • Joel,

      I understand what you mean… It seems that, today, there are also competitions on promises and trends, too… It’s pretty much like an IPO, in my opinion.

    • Agreed, Joel. It is a risk competing with something on the market anyway, not to talk of something that’s yet to be released. But, I guess they’ve done their research. Well, I hope so. Plus, I’m assuming the money raised is a reflection of interest in the product.

    • I think that Google Glass will still get some pretty good sales. Even though they tried to build the hype without the release, we still cannot deny that the word ‘Google’ is still appended on that smart glass.

  2. I guess it may have been they are trying to compete even before it is out. While there may be some privacy concerns, it is not that different in the first release of mobile phones. I just don’t know how business establishments will react to this. I guess they need to come up with another name for this aside from Google Glass.

  3. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. I can see the competition heating up in this segment and that will be good for consumers.

  4. After smart watch its time to get adopted to smartglasses, which is making waves even before its introduction in the market. Hope the same is easy to be accessed & bring a new ray of hope for better development in the field of business.

  5. There are chances that Google might just end up picking up this Company. Interesting trends as we head into 2014.

  6. Wow. It’s like everything now has an advanced counterpart gadget. If this smart glasses becomes a hit to people, we might be seeing more gadgets getting smarter and smarter. I wonder what gadget or item is next to this.

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