GlassUp Takes On Google Glass

Google Glass has its first competitor. GlassUp, an Italian startup that recently added its product to Indiegogo, has raised $25,000 towards its version of augmented reality specs that will cost a fraction of the Google Glass. The eyewear works with your smartphone and makes it simple to see emails, text messages, news, and driving directions right in front of your eyes. Gianluigi Tregnaghi, GlassUp’s founder, claims to have created the product two years ago, before Google announced Glass. The information in the smartphone is sent to the glasses via Bluetooth, and the notifications are broadcasted on GlassUp’s lenses – but it projects information closer to the center of vision, much like looking through a windshield. Though there are fewer features as of yet – the company calls GlassUp a “receive only” device – the $399 price point is significantly easier on the wallet than Google’s $1500 asking price. 

Virtual Mob Launches PAM, a “WordPress for AR”

With the rise of Google Glass, it’s looking like augmented reality may gain renewed focus from many brands in coming months.  UK startup VirtualMob has geared up to help ease that process by launching what’s being called a “WordPress for AR.”  Their Point-at-Me (PAM) app allows the creation of AR experiences without the need to code, which can then be accessed via VirtualMob’s PAM app, or through a brand’s own app.  Several big players are already giving the service a try, including Time Inc, Cartier, and Hyundai.  The effectiveness of this form of simple development is yet to be seen, but for brands looking for a first step into the AR sphere, PAM could be a great place to start.

Augmented Reality Supermarkets

I disagree with the assertion in the article that this has larger implications. It seems to me to be a lot more difficult than just accessing the supermarket mobile website from anywhere, rather than having to go to an empty lot and wave your phone around just to get the same stuff. This project strikes me as an example of making something unnecessarily difficult. 

New Video From Google Glass

The Google Glass project is one of the most hyped tech advancements this year and for good reason. Google just released some video showing the promise of their AR glasses that deliver digital experiences based on your environment. The glasses should be dropping later this year and seem to feature voice controls quite prominently in Google’s entrance into the wearable computing market.

Google’s ‘Ingress’ Mobile Game Turns Duane Reade Into Your Next Adventure

Google took social gaming to the next level with its Augmented Reality adventure game, “Ingress,” and it recently partnered with Duane Reade to expand its boundaries inside of the pharmacy’s locations throughout New York. In brief, Ingress is a sci-fi AR game for Android handsets where the player collects exotic matter (XM) to be spent at other locations, known as portals – which can be found at accessible public locations like libraries or subway stations – to unlock missions. Now, players can pick up that XM or start new missions in Duane Reade stores. Each Duane Reade location will have a participation sticker outside, alerting gamers that game items are hidden inside. Once gathered, players can scan the asset for one-time use codes or in-game weapons, adding a live-action scavenger hunt aspect to the game. Zipcar and Jamba Juice were already ahead of the NYC-based Pharmacy chain in partnering on Ingress, creating an advertising strategy for Google that’s specifically designed to combat in-game banner ads. The game is currently in closed beta, but when it goes public it has the potential to bring AR to Android users in a very tangible manner.