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July 17, 2013

Italian Company Develops Eyeglasses Computer

In the race to develop wearable computers, a small team of Italian entrepreneurs is ready to take on the big wigs.

A group of about a dozen tech-savvy developers have created GlassUp – stylish spectacles containing a petite computer that functions via BlueTooth and lets users view text messages, incoming e-mails, tweets, Facebook updates and other information, right in front of their very own eyes.

GlassUp CEO Francesco Giartosio says his company first took shape more than two years ago. A business man, Giartosio was receiving hundreds of e-mails and texts a day, and wanted an easy way to see his incoming messages on the go.

A few months into the project, he says, Google announced it was going to be releasing its own prototype. But the team wasn’t fazed by Google, and decided to carry on with the project, aiming to release a product that was sleeker, more user-friendly and cost-efficient for consumers.

While the product may appear to rival Google Glass, the two are very different.

GlassUp connects directly with Android, iOS and Windows Smartphones and receives incoming messages only. Users can see messages on the screen, but must use their handheld device to respond.

Glass, on the other hand, features voice controls and a built-in camera along with many of the same features as GlassUp.

But Giartosio believes the “possibilities are endless” with his product. Although its currently limited to incoming messages the CEO says the glasses will, in the future, have a multitude of uses – in the kitchen to cook a meal, in a foreign country to translate a language, or even for a deaf person to communicate with their friends.

What he and his team are looking for now is public support to raise $150,000. GlassUp has launched its campaign through IndieGoGo and has begun taking pre-orders for its product.

Consumers can expect to pay about $399 for the GlassUp, while Google’s product costs significantly more with a price tag of $1,500. The first versions of GlassUp are expected to ship March of next year.

GlassUp provides a full write-up about the glasses’ specs here, and more information about ordering here. There’s even a page for people to submit their ideas of what kinda of apps they’d like to see built for GlassUp here.