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ORA-1 Glasses to Put Android On Your Face

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 9 comments


Existing smartglasses like Google Glass put some neat camera and voice recognition features right in front of your eyes, but they have a ways to go before they provide true augmented reality experiences. Optinvent is looking to move closer to that future with its ORA-1. This Android-based pair of smartglasses promises rich AR experiences and wide app compatibility. A developer version of the wearable has hit Kickstarter, where you can pre-order a unit starting at $300.

The ORA-1 packs a bit more bulk than Google Glass, sporting thick frames that house a pair of see-through photochromic lenses that darken when exposed to sunlight. A panel on the right side hosts a trackpad, camera and light sensor, with the device's battery stored on the left.

MORE: Will Wearables Replace Your Smartphone?

One of ORA-1's standout features is its ability to run lots of Android apps natively. The current list of ORA-1 ready apps includes dedicated AR experiences like Wikitude, Layar and AR Invaders, as well as common smartphone social apps like Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.

Another highlight is the headset's dual modes. You can use the ORA-1 in Augmented Reality mode to get a view full of your apps and notifications before your eyes, or lower the projector for Glance mode, if you'd rather the AR content not distract you and only occupy the bottom portion of your field of view.

Inside, the ORA-1 packs a 1.2-GHz dual-core ARM Cortex 9 processor with 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, a 5-MP camera and Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi support. The headset is built to last through 7 hours of everyday use, or 2 hours if you're putting it through its paces.

An early demonstration video shows the ORA-1 running a fully-functioning version of Android's home screen and app menu. The official Kickstarter video shows more ambitious concepts, such the headset's ability to tell you the wind speeds during a golf game or to let you know how close you are to other cars when parking. The $300 headset will ship in August 2015 if it meets its $100,000 funding goal by late this October, so we hope to eventually get our eyes on a pair. 

Mike Andronico is an associate editor at Tom's Guide. He's ready for the AR takeover. Follow Mike @MikeAndronico. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook.

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  • 3 Hide
    anthony8989 , August 29, 2014 7:21 AM
    They look ridiculous. It'll be great when this technology is mature and more streamline.
  • 3 Hide
    whiteodian , August 29, 2014 9:15 AM
    I don't want Android on my face. I want Oculus Rift already damnit!
  • -1 Hide
    whiteodian , August 29, 2014 9:17 AM
    I don't want Android on my face. I want Oculus Rift to be released already damn it!
  • Add your comment Display all 9 comments.
  • -2 Hide
    whiteodian , August 29, 2014 9:19 AM
    I don't want Android on my face. I want Oculus Rift to be finished already damn it!
  • 0 Hide
    gnarr , August 29, 2014 10:04 AM
    I'd rather duct-tape my phone to my face...
  • 0 Hide
    whiteodian , August 29, 2014 3:18 PM
    LoL at all my posts. I would try to post and nothing. Closed the browser and return to attempt again. I had given up on my posts making it. Not sure if this is Tom's or Linux/Browser.
  • 0 Hide
    Blazer1985 , August 30, 2014 6:50 PM
    Just because you CAN move on three axis around a 3d model it doesn't mean you HAVE to. These animations were a nice example of what to avoid.
  • 0 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , August 31, 2014 3:32 PM
    The AR seems intelligent. I'd be surprised if it is as stable as the demo would have you believe with that setup. However...

    They could have made it look like something Bono would be happy to wear. But now you just look more like a trekkie. Actually no... That's insulting to a degree. Even trekkies would feel akward wearing that.

    It must surely be way better to keep the computing horsepower in your pocket and the display wirelessly linked. Heck even if there was a wire I would prefer it over looking THAT shit.
  • 0 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , August 31, 2014 3:34 PM
    So tech companies. I will hold an impromptu vote.

    Fellow geeks! Would any of you mind it if there was a wire connected to a something you kept in your pocket if it would prevent you from looking like a glasshole or a bono-hole like here?
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