Are you pulling your hair out waiting for Google Glass to launch? One company has an alternative that you can pre-order right now. There is, however, a big catch. Actually, make that several big catches – as the device’s limitations might be too numerous for you to bother.

Glass rival?

A subtle "on button" may be the most obvious indication that these aren't ordinary sunglasses

Epiphany Eyewear is a Google Glass alternative ... sort of. Before we get to the drawbacks, it actually has one big advantage over Glass. Namely, you can wear it without looking like you have a computer attached to your face. The glasses, created by Vergence Labs, look mostly like a regular pair of sunglasses.

The drawback, though, is that this computer doesn’t do much more than a regular pair of sunglasses does. Okay, so it will capture point of view videos. It will also adjust the degree of shade that its lenses provide (yep, we're talking computerized transition lenses). Hell, it even has up to 32 GB of on-board storage.


At least you'll look a bit less nerdy than you will wearing Glass

As for its other features ... well, there are none. Google Glass should come to market with a suite of Google apps (expect modified versions of Google Now, Google Maps, Gmail, etc.) and the fruit of countless third-party developers’ imaginations. Epiphany Eyewear ... uh ... takes videos and stores data.

Okay, so that’s not entirely fair. As we already mentioned, it adjusts the lenses’ tint. It also lets you share those first-person videos on your favorite social networks. And you can take those videos without looking like a character from Star Trek.

But Epiphany Eyewear’s biggest limitation is that it has no display. So after you record those videos, you’ll have to watch them elsewhere. It also has no voice recognition capabilities. No turn-by-turn navigation, no video chat, no notifications, no augmented reality of any kind. Just ... recording lots of POV videos. Maybe amateur pornographers will find something useful here.

A different product

These aren't your mother's Ray-Bans

So the Google Glass comparison isn’t really fair. While Glass is an entirely new computing platform, Epiphany is a camera and some flash memory attached to a regular-looking pair of sunglasses.

Epiphany will almost certainly cost much less than Glass. Google hasn’t announced its pricing, but Epiphany starts at US$300 for the 8 GB model (it also comes in 16 GB and 32 GB versions).

Though you can pre-order Epiphany Eyewear today, it might only beat Glass to market by a few months. Vergence Labs estimates a “late [Northern hemisphere] summer” ship date. We expect Google Glass to ship by the end of 2013.

You can read up more on these not-as-smart glasses at the source link below.

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