Various campaigns for wearable smart glasses have been launched via crowdfunding efforts. The latest comes from Boston-based Laforge Optical, who is seeking to crowdfund a pair of smart glasses for the optically challenged set.
It’s called the Icis, and it’s a pair of smart glasses for those of us that wear prescription glasses. The flexible funding campaign ends on March 20th and is seeking $80,000 in crowdfunding cash.
Of course, you can wear them if you have perfect vision, too. Sets with non-prescription lenses will be made available. No bifocal or trifocal versions, though.
Of note here is the promise of cross-compatibility with all three of the major smartphone OS’s: iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Laforge has an accompanying app called socialFLO that is said to allow the user the ability to choose which apps can display notifications and information within the user’s field of vision. Icis is the moniker for the bluetooth-enabled component that turns glasses into smart glasses. That promise has caused headaches for crowdfunding projects in the past, so it will be interesting to see if Laforge can deliver here.
The campaign page states that Laforge is working with a wholesale optics lab in New York to develop lenses for their product. That lab will be creating the lenses on behalf of Laforge, which the company says will help them to keep costs down.
Laforge is very upfront about the fact that the company’s expertise does not lie in manufacturing, and that is the primary risk with this campaign. Having said that, the management team is comprised of a slew of graduates from the Rochester Institute of Technology, one of the premier tech-focused colleges in the US.
Two versions of the product have been made available during the campaign. For early adopters that want their rewards faster, the Icis Beta kit with a 1GHz chip and 512MB of RAM is available to 50 early adopters at a price of $320. The Icis BOLD ups RAM to 1GB and includes a 5 MP camera said to be capable of shooting video in 720p. Pricing on the BOLD starts at $620. Beta kits are said to ship in December of this year, while BOLD backers will have to wail until early 2015 to receive their rewards. The battery is said to last for 6 hours of continual use and 3 days on standby.
At the time of writing, the campaign has raised just over $33,000 with 28 days left to go. The campaign seems well on its way to being fully funded.
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