Google's Project Glass recently got a new blast of publicity for its augmented reality specs with the video "How It Feels," which purportedly shows what it's like to be wearing Google Glass. The project also held an #ifIHadGlass competition, in which applicants were invited to submit what they would do if they were given Google Glass. The competition's winners, yet to be announced, are eligible to receive some of the first copies of Glass, provided they're willing to cough up $1500.
But projecting information on a transparent medium and putting it at eye level isn't new technology; it's been around for a while, and it's called a heads-up display. And given that it's been around for a while, it's no surprise that Google isn't the only company making waves with heads-up technology. Other companies have projects ranging from Glass imitators, to spy gadgets for police, to specialized contact lenses. Check out this gallery for some of the coolest non-Google innovations in the world of heads-up.
Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses
<a href="http://www.vuzix.com/augmented-reality/products_m100ag.html">This Google Glass competitor</a>, recently tested at the Consumer Electronics Show, can be tethered to Android devices to provide a heads-up display of what's happening on your phone. Given the <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/augmented-reality-apps-2012-3?op=1">slew of augmented reality apps</a> coming onto the market following the Google Glass announcement, this has the potential to be more than just a glorified smartphone display. <strong>Price</strong>: <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/specialized-electronics-accessories/vuzix-smart-glasses-m100/4505-7847_7-35536668.html" target="_hplink">Under $500</a> <strong>Available</strong>: <a href="http://www.product-reviews.net/2013/01/07/ces-2013-meet-the-vuzix-m100-smart-glasses/" target="_hplink">Summer 2013</a>
Epson Moverio BT-100
The <a href="http://www.qrcodepress.com/augmented-reality-glasses-may-find-competition-from-epson/858840/">Moverio BT-100</a> acts as an at-home entertainment system embedded in a pair of wraparound glasses, letting you watch TV, view videos in 3D, and surf the Internet. The glasses are controlled by something that looks suspiciously like a TV remote, bringing to life the idea of "<a href="http://bcove.me/gpxrkw6w">a movie theater screen right in front of your eyes</a>." Still, compared to Vuzix or Google Glass, the <a href="http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?sku=V11H423020">Moverio's</a> features are limited. Price: <a href="http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?sku=V11H423020">$699.99</a> Available: <a href="http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?sku=V11H423020">Now</a>
Innovega iOptik Contacts
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation have <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/5474-virtual-reality-contact-lenses-2014.html">given money to Innovega</a> to produce <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/04/innovega-ioptik-super-soldier-vision_n_1477678.html">augmented reality contact lenses</a>. The contacts could provide vital information for soldiers on the go, and <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/5474-virtual-reality-contact-lenses-2014.html">TechNewsDaily reports</a> that Innovega hopes to produce the contacts for civilian use by 2014 or 2015. Price: <a href="http://www.dvice.com/2013-1-9/eyes-innovegas-augmented-reality-eyewear-future">Approximately $500 (Estimated by Dvice)</a> Available: <a href="http://www.technewsdaily.com/5474-virtual-reality-contact-lenses-2014.html" target="_hplink">Company wants commercial launch in 2014 or 2015</a>
Golden-i Police Pro
For military and police who can't wait for contacts, there's Golden-i Police Pro, which is chock full of spy gear, according to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tpBwRX68fIY">the demo video</a>. The headset will apparently let police view the world with night vision, "see through walls" with infrared technology, stream information to their comrades, conduct face recognition, and even pull up the blueprints of buildings they're about to storm. <a href="http://www.ikanosconsulting.com/solutions-for-golden-i/">Ikanos Consulting</a>, which also makes similar Golden-i displays for firefighters and paramedics, created the headset's software. Price: N/A Available: N/A
Many, Many High-End Cars
Heads-up displays are relatively old news in the car business; luxury cars like the <a href="http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/content/vehicles/2013/3/default.aspx">2012 BMW 3</a> and the <a href="http://www.cadillac.com/ats-luxury-sport-sedan.html">2013 Cadillac ATS</a> now have them as a matter of course. These displays aren't as exciting as the kind found in Google Glass; they won't let you text your friends or join a Google hangout. But <a href="http://www.techradar.com/us/news/car-tech/top-5-huds-in-modern-cars-today-1092312">they will</a> help you navigate the roads, tell you to brake if you're about to crash, help you save fuel, alert you if you're going over the speed limit, and more. Price: <a href="http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/content/byo/newbyo.aspx?Series=3&BodyStyle=Sedan">$32,550</a> - <a href="http://www.cadillac.com/ats-luxury-sport-sedan.html?cmp=OLA_DISPLAY_7315594_93206740_267606254_52432328">$55,000 (with car)</a> Available: Now
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