Thursday, October 30, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Google Glass Alternative ‘Icis’ For Affordable $200; Second Batch Will Retail For $400 On Kickstarter

By Sam Lehman | Nov 29, 2013 04:06 AM EST

Google Glass Alternative ‘Icis’ For Affordable $200; Second Batch Will Retail For $400 On Kickstarter
Google Glass Alternative ‘Icis’ For Affordable $200; Second Batch Will Retail For $400 On Kickstarter (Photo : Reuters)

Google has a new rival for its futuristic Glass with fewer limitations on its purchase. Icis by LaForge Optical can hold prescription lenses in addition to features offered by Google Glass for just $200 initially, which will go up to $400 once it hits the Kickstarter campaign.

Google may have competitors in various fields, but the company ran solo with its first futuristic Glass. To create more anticipation, the web giant restricted access to a chosen few and recently announced that the current owners can nominate up to three friends for its Glass purchase. Google calls them Explorers.

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As no company can remain unchallenged for long in an intensely competitive market, Google finally has another rival to add in its long list. A Google Glass alternative has set its foot out in the world, which delivers 80 percent of what people are looking for in smart glasses and only 20 percent of the complicated stuff, say the makers of the Glass alternative, Icis.

"We designed the simplest most minimalist device that we could," LaForge Optical CEO Corey Mack told VentureBeat. "Anyone who wants Google Glass ... in a more conventional form factor can have it. Additionally our lens technology allows for people who need prescription lenses (about 65 percent of the population) to be able to use our glasses."

Icis brings the ease of having prescription lenses, which is currently not an option with Google Glass but the company has announced that it will be added soon. In addition, the new smart glasses can give directions, takes pictures, record videos and display updates from social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The glass can be controlled with an app and connectivity to the cloud is via the phone.

The founders, mechanical engineers, developers and CAD designers of Icis are five former and current students of the Rochester Institute of Technology, who started off working on a home automations project. The pre-orders for the new glass will be opening on the LaForge Optical official website in a week and will go on sale for $200. Only 100 of those will be hitting the first batch and to create more interest, the company will head to the Kickstarter campaign where the price will be about $400.

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