June 2 - A Japanese startup company is taking on tech titan Google, with a wearable computer it plans to have in stores by the end of 2013. Called Telepathy One, the device looks much like Google Glass but differs in at least one important way - it's compatible for people who wear glasses. Tara Cleary reports.
This is Telepathy One's vision of the future - a new interactive headset which streams video and audio in real time. Creator of the device, Takahito Iguchi, says Telepathy One lays down a challenge to Google, and its much discussed headset, Google Glass. SOUNDBITE: TELEPATHY INC CEO TAKAHITO IGUCHI SAYING (Japanese): "You can instantly convey what you're seeing to your friends or family. So your friends or family can then also instantly comment back or respond with their own voice and all this happens completely hands free." Telepathy One has a display and camera located in front of a wearer's eye. Using wireless Bluetooth technology, the camera will send live images of what the wearer is seeing, via their Smartphone, to a recipient to view on their own device. Those images can also be seen by the wearer via a virtual, 5-inch screen suspended in the line of sight, which can simultaneously display incoming video or photographs, also in real time. Earbuds deliver audio and help to keep the headpiece in place. And unlike Google Glass, Iguchi says his device can be used by people who wear conventional glasses. SOUNDBITE: TELEPATHY INC CEO TAKAHITO IGUCHI SAYING (Japanese): "It's a very cool design that one can use in everyday life, it's very fashionable. Also in terms of how it's used, while there are functions like browsing, calculating or searching, we think that connecting people and creating a better form of communication is more important." Telepathy One hasn't yet generated the publicity enjoyed by it's much larger rival. But it has also so far dodged the satirical skewering dished out by of smart tech sites like Mashable. Neither company has announced official pricing for their devices but Iguchi say his headset will cost a lot less than Google Glass when it comes to market. He says there will be room for cooperation between the two companies but in the end ... the final choice will be in the eye of the beholder.