While it still remains to be seen exactly how many people will be willing to get about town with a wearable computer strapped to their heads, the market looks set to be a competitive one. Google got the ball rolling with the announcement of Google Glass, then reports surfaced that Chinese search company Baidu and Microsoft were getting in on the act with their own devices. Now Japanese designer and self-described augmented reality entrepreneur Takahito Iguchi is throwing his hat into the ring with Telepathy One.
Unveiled in prototype form at South By Southwest (SXSW) – where Google Glass also made an appearance – and recently presented to the press in New York, the Telepathy One is a slim, lightweight number that wraps around the user’s head like a futuristic techno halo. The device is designed to connect to the wearer’s smartphone via Bluetooth to enable photos and video to be streamed from the phone to the unit's projection display, or from the device’s camera to the phone.
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Although no technical specifications of the camera or projection display have been announced, Iguchi promises a distraction-free experience, thanks to the quality and size of the projected virtual display.
The first prototypes presented in New York were built by Yukai Engineering, which also builds the Necomimi, and featured Manga Camera, a photo editor that converts user’s photos into Japanese manga style cartoons that can then be posted to Tumblr.
Those in Silicon Valley in the next few days have a chance to check out the device during an event that will take place in Mount View, California. On May 6th, Telepathy will be hosting an ideathon at Hacker Dojo, a hackers’ platform for ideas exchange and for participants to opine on the future of Telepathy One and wearable devices in general. Attendees can also participate in a brainstorming session with the management team on potential applications that will allow users to integrate Telepathy One into their daily lives.
There's no word on a release date or pricing, but Iguchi says he is aiming for a significantly lower price than the US$1,500 that is being bandied about as a potential price for Google Glass, which is set to launch later in the year.