Google’s Project Glass certainly isn’t the only show in town when it comes to wearable computers. One of these Google Glass alternatives is from UK-based TTP.
This company’s unique glasses solution not only could potentially be better than Glass, but looks better too. Unlike Google’s somewhat odd looking design, the TTP glasses look much more like real eyeglasses.
It’s not just the looks that are different. The technology in TTP AR glasses makes use of a micro-projector in one arm of the glasses. From there it beams an image via a mirror onto a special reflective pattern etched into the lenses.
This means that you get an image in front of you that is truly blended with what you are looking at and acts sort of like a tiny projector show that only you can see. This approach is in contrast to Google’s method. Project Glass doesn’t use projectors or mirrors, just a tiny screen inside of the glasses. The downside to the ‘screen inside’ approach is you actually have to shift your eyes to look at the screen with Google’s method.
The catch? TTP’s glasses are still in the prototype stage and have pretty big limitations at the moment. Right now the projected technique used in these glasses only shows a monochrome image with a 640 x 480 resolution, not moving video.
According to the developers behind the glasses, new hardware is coming in the next few weeks that will allow them to take things to the next level by adding moving video. It’s unclear how quickly the next-gen prototype will be up and running, though.
Is TTP’s approach better? That depends on what you are looking for. Once it has moving video and more advanced capabilities, it offers a better “heads up display” approach like seen in Iron Man. This has a ton of possible uses. On the other hand, you also have to have software that properly overlays images with real world stuff, which can prove to be a bit complicated.
In time, the technology in use by TTP will likely be the best route. For now, Google’s solution is actually here and doable. Research and development is great, but having a truly functioning product is even better.
Unlike Google, TTP is not interested in building their glasses down the road. Instead, the company hopes to license the technology to 3rd parties.