Google Glass Alternative GlassUp Draws Backers, Legal Ire

glassup-sportyGlassUp is a Google Glass competitor currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo. The device has drawn interest not only from 200+ campaign backers, but also Google’s legal team.

In June 2012, Google filed trademark applications worldwide for “Glass,” as it pertains to computer hardware, computer peripherals, wearable computer peripherals, and much more. [Business Insider]

Google is reportedly taking issue with the name of the device and has reportedly asked for a name change.

The team behind GlassUp is standing firm for now. They have raised just short of $40,000 at the time of writing via Indiegogo in a flexible funding campaign.

The device displays notifications from Bluetooth-enabled devices. The obvious play here is smartphones; social networking, emails, etc. It is a “receive-only” device, so it won’t integrate a front-facing camera, facilitate voice communications or have other features that Google Glass can boast.

The GlassUp does look more like a traditional set of glasses as compared to Google’s offering. A sporty design is noted, bearing some resemblance to sporty brands like Oakley. There is also a more traditional design, although the campaign itself is vague on whether or not both designs will be offered out of the gate.

Notifications are displayed on a lens via an optical projector embedded in the frame of the glasses.

A good metaphor is that with Google Glass it’s like seeing something in the rear-view mirror of a car, whereas with GlassUp it’s like seeing it on the windscreen.GlassUp Team

The device is pretailing on Indiegogo for $399, significantly cheaper than the $1500 developer version of Google Glass. It’s unlikely that Glass will be that expensive when finally available to consumers, but regardless the GlassUp’s price point is enticing many to jump in.

The campaign page outlines the team behind the GlassUp:

  • Francesco Giartosio, CEO, a passion for applied technology and man-machine interaction
  • Gianluigi Tregnaghi, CTO, exceptional experience developing optical systems, including for car windscreens and air force pilots’ helmets
  • Andrea Tellatin, COO, managed the development and industrialization of I’m Watch, a successful smartwatch
  • Alfio Giuffrida, Business Development Director, a long experience as a technical sales manager in the telecommunications industry
  • Luca Escoffier, Mentor, who we chose particularly for his wide experience in intellectual property, licensing agreements, Asian markets (he follows us from Japan), and strategic partnerships.
  • Optical Team: Fabrizio Liberati, Tommaso Occhipinti, Fabio Frassetto, Ivan Capraro
  • Hardware and Firmware Team: Fabio D’Alessi, Alberto Scarpa, Stefano Bianconi and their kidz.
  • Product Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics: Fabio Patron and his team.

The team will release companion apps for the device but are also providing an API and hoping developers will embrace the device in the future.

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