During Computex 2013 in Taipei, Taiwanese vendor Oculon Optoelectronics revealed a lower-cost alternative to Google Glass but with reportedly better specs.
According to Laptop Magazine, Oculon's Smart Glasses has a similar form factor to Google's AR specs, but promises a better screen and a longer battery life at less than half the price. The hands-on report states that it's extremely lightweight thanks to a thin black plastic frame, and an eyepiece that hovers comfortably over the right eye. A version with dual-screen layout for both eyes is also in the works.
The prototype seen at the show reportedly looped a video in the eyepiece at a 640 x 480 resolution, but the final model will have a 720p display. The images appeared translucent, making them easy to see through when needed. The report noted that it was easier to focus on the video when the free eye was closed, and that Google – which hasn't revealed a full list of specs for Glass – require apps to be 640 x 360 pixels.
Mounted on the right side of the specs is the actual hardware provided by ChipSIP. It contains a SoC packed with two ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores from Rockchip, supposedly the same cores that are used in Rockchip's RK30xx series (which is similar to Samsung's Exynos 4). This chip will presumably run Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" and high-end Android games like Dead Trigger, meaning it will provide more than enough horsepower to run Oculon's Smart Glasses (but don't expect it to play games).
The specs will also have a 2,100 mAh battery mounted on the left side which will last longer on a charge than Google's more expensive version, a 5MP camera, bone-conduction speakers, a microphone, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity, depending on the configuration. That said, it will be able to tether to a smartphone, or receive its own data connection through the cellular component.
"Depending on the software build its partners chose, the Oculon Smart Glasses will provide speech recognition, gesture control or the ability to connect to a Bluetooth control pad for navigation," the Laptop Magazine report states. "Such a controller would require users to carry a separate object with them but would likely offer superior accuracy. If the Android version isn’t heavily modified, you might even be able to attach a Bluetooth keyboard."
Oculon's Smart Glasses are expected to go into mass production within the next few months, and is shooting for a $500 pricetag. Because Oculon is an ODM, it will white label the device, meaning the specs will be purchased by other vendors who will in turn brand it as their own and re-sell to customers. The company would not disclose the names of any specific partners.