Google’s no longer the only player in the nascent wearable computer game. Telepathy, a company headed by Japanese entrepreneur Takahito Iguchi, is planning on releasing its own model later this year, called the Telepathy One. And, if it all pans out, it’ll be cheaper and can be worn with eyeglasses.
The most obvious difference is in design – instead of being worn like eyeglasses, the Telepathy One is more like a halo – it’s farther away from your head, being worn by securing a couple of earbuds on each side. The Telepathy One then wraps around the back of your head, instead of the front, with the screen hovering over the right eye. Already, you can probably see one enormous advantage over Google and one potentially enormous design flaw.
You’ll actually be able to wear Telepathy One with your own eyeglasses, which is huge – last time I checked, an awful lot of people wear eyeglasses. That seems like a market you don’t want to alienate. That’s also a market that Google won’t be getting in on, at least for the time being.
That said, blocking your ears with earphones to wear the Telepathy One means that while the video might be (very arguably) not too distracting, audio certainly will be – either because of the audio coming in or the fact that you won’t be able to hear what’s going on around you. It doesn’t seem like the kind of all hours of the day companion that Google Glass is trying to be, which might suit some people just fine.
Also, the distance between screen arm and eye seems perilously far – there’s enough space there to make me worry about accidentally getting it caught on something, or banging it against a surface, or accidentally smacking it with your hand. Those are all unlikely scenarios, but then again, they only need to happen once.
There’s a built-in camera, and conceptually, Iguchi sees the Telepathy One as the ultimate real-time sharing tool for pictures and videos. Telepathy One will have its own software, and it’s a good bet that you’ll have the option to link social media accounts to your device and automatically upload all pictures and video taken to those accounts, although I’m sensing that there will be few takers for that extreme of a level of sharing.
There’s no word on when we’ll see Telepathy One available, or how much it will cost (Iguchi says it will be cheaper than Google Glass), but just the fact that it’s being worked on is enough to make the wearable tech market an interesting one to watch for the rest of this year and especially next year. Competition is always a good thing, and it actually looks like Telepathy One is poised to offer a significantly different experience than what Google Glass is selling. Might not suit everyone, but what does?