It looks like Google Glass might not be the only wearable computer exciting consumers this year. A new startup called Telepathy has developed Telepathy One, a wearable, computer-enabled device that was demonstrated at a press event in New York City last night.
The brainchild of Japanese augmented-reality entrepreneur Takahito Iguchi, Telepathy One is a slim, lightweight computing device that wraps around a user's head. Relocating from Tokyo into a new San Francisco headquarters this month, Telepathy aims, Iguchi said, to advance social communication by allowing real-time video broadcasting and image sharing.
"We live in a world where we share everything already," Iguchi said. "Telepathy makes it more real-time and more intimate."
Unlike the more versatile Glass, Linux-based Telepathy One is designed for a specific use case -- two-way, real-time communication in which Telepathy users share photos and videos that others can access online. The Bluetooth-enabled Telepathy One relies on your mobile phone for wireless internet access.
A micro camera with a small projection unit is positioned in front of the wearer's right eye. When wearing the device, the projected screen hovers in the top right of your visual field. Telepathy One also comes with earbuds that hold the device in place and will theoretically provide audio (which wasn't available on the demo model).
In video mode, the screen shows what you're seeing, which is also what you're broadcasting to viewers. If someone responds to what you're broadcasting -- like, say, clothes advice when you're shopping -- the comment should pop up on screen for you to read. While Iguchi said his team is working on integration with existing social networks such as Facebook and Tumblr, firm details about how and where content will be streamed are currently unavailable.
Telepathy One is still just a prototype and there are additional issues to iron out. For instance, the micro-projection unit has to be positioned just so, or else the screen is invisible to the user. While the goal is to make the final consumer version of Telepathy One available to the public by the end of the year, a price for it has not been determined yet, Iguchi said.
As for Google Glass, Iguchi said his intention is not to be a competitor. "I don't think Google is my enemy," Iguchi said. "I would like to shake hands and create a new industry with them."