Glasses are really in style this season. Well, for techies anyway.
After Google unveiled its concept video for Project Glass, gadget companies and startups have been scrambling to unveil their own tech-enhanced eyewear. Vergence Labs is the latest to show off its prototype for computer-enabled glasses that record reality.
The Ray-Ban-style glasses have the ability to capture first-person audio and video and can also share what the wearer is seeing with his social networks through a website of Vergence Labs' own creation, YouGen.Tv.
Check out how the spectacles work in the video above.
Vergence is currently developing the device and raising funds to produce the computer-enabled sunglasses through a crowdfunding initiative on Kickstarter. Erick Miller and Jon Rodriguez, who founded Vergence Labs at the end of 2011, have set their goal at $50,000.
The glasses can be turned on with a click of a button, and the wearer can also control the tint of the lenses for indoor or outdoor conditions. This "magic glass" -- chromatic shifting conductive glass -- allows wearers to switch between regular spectacles and electric-powered sunglasses.
The video is saved on a microSD card, so uploads must be made manually, unlike Google's Glasses, which will have access to the internet. However, the Vergence team is already discussing the idea of adding Wi-Fi to the device in order to live stream video. Enabling the glasses with 3G or 4G capabilities is not unlikely for the future.
Aside from the obvious ease of use and sharing, Miller and Rodriguez have loftier aspirations for the computer-enabled eyewear:
Our goal for the video sharing site is to integrate with other wearable computers that output video and embedded sensor products that output biometric data, to enable people to optionally synchronize all available life data together, with their point of view videos so it's all time-synchronized; such as pulse, body temperature, blood pressure, calories burned, even in the future basic brain signals, and more. Uploading biometric data along with the user’s 1st person point of view, can be encapsulated as a person’s “life memory” data, time-synchronizing the biometrics with the 1st person video.
Despite its main objective to record the wearers' every view, the battery life is limited to two hours. So don't expect to record your entire day just yet.
Vergence's eyewear is not the first model of it's kind. ZionEyez, a similar model created by a Seattle-based firm, has a three-hour battery life and is bluetooth-enabled. ZionEyez pre-orders cost $199 as well.
Vergence Labs is also working on other prototypes in the digital eyewear field. Another model in development is an immersive 3D reality visor. The mask-like glasses -- as seen in the video above -- cover a majority of the face and enables the wearer to enter a virtual reality.
Check out the gallery below to see other wearable tech options.
Google Project Glass
Google's Android operating system allows user to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/project-glass-google_n_1403174.html" target="_hplink">interact with app icons</a> through the frameless, glassless interface, effectively augmenting reality.
WiMM Lab's One gives users access to several smart phone apps on their wrist with speciality <a href="http://mashable.com/2012/01/13/wimm-one-android-watch/#43347WiMM-One-Charging-View" target="_hplink">Android-powered smart watches</a>.
From the University of Arkansas, this e-bra <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/e-bra-tracks-health-stats-sends-smartphone-replace-conventional-blood-pressure-monitors-article-1.1076442" target="_hplink">tracks your health stats</a>, such as your heart rate, and sends them to your smart phone for tracking and number crunching.
Digital Ticket Wristband For Concerts
MissionTix recently introduced a <a href="http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-05-02/business/bal-wristband-tickets-by-missiontix-20120502_1_wristband-new-tickets-concert-goers" target="_hplink">reusable digital wristband</a> concert-goers can wear so they don't lose track of their ticket during the show.
Vuzix Smart Glasses
The functional prototype seen in the video was originally developed for the military. Wearers view a <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/12/vuzix-augmented-reality-smart-glasses-prototype-hands-on-video/" target="_hplink">1.4mm holographic picture</a> through a special lens, which is attached to the powerhouse of the gadget -- a proprietary display driver.
The wristband monitors your activity throughout the day and <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/nike-fuelband-the-wearable-fitness-computer/12813" target="_hplink">calculates your your "NikeFuel" score</a>, based on your rate of motion and oxygen consumption, along with calories burned and number of steps taken.
Dancepants Kinetic Music Player
These speciality pants require you to keep running in order to <a href="http://www.ecouterre.com/power-your-music-player-with-your-running-pants/" target="_hplink">keep the music pumping</a>. (Photo via Designboom.com, designers: Inesa Malafej, Inesa Malafej and Arunas Sukarevicius)
CLARIFICATION: Pre-orders for Vergence Lab's eyewear will sell at $199.