Google (News - Alert) Glass competitors aren't exactly new to the field—GlassUp, for example, is just one of the devices targeting what likely will be Google's major entry into wearable technology—but another new entry has made its presence felt, and brings with it a substantial sum of resources to take on the biggest name in the field. We're talking here about Telepathy, and its $5 million bid to unseat Google Glass before either device has even reached the field.
Telepathy's $5 million bankroll comes from a coalition of investors, led by the Firsthand Technology Value Fund, and will be used primarily to bring in hardware and software engineers to refine the company's eponymous model, the Telepathy One. Telepathy expects to release the Telepathy One in 2014, which will put it right up alongside Google Glass in the market.
Earlier this year, Telepathy showed off its prototype headset, a hands-free system that wraps around the user's head, thus allowing those who wear prescription glasses to better work with the device. Also included was a small screen for interacting with the device and a set of earplugs for sound. This fall will also see a software development kit arrive so that developers can start getting apps together for its release.
On the surface, this is a very viable release. It's got the necessary hardware, support for sound and video and the like, and what will likely be a complete app infrastructure put in place by the time it's released. That's all the making of a viable platform, and as long as the apps are sufficiently numerous and varied to make a decent value proposition, it has the potential to do reasonably well.
But by like token, this is a company that's comparatively unheard of going up against one of the biggest names and savviest marketing firms on the face of the earth. The term “David vs. Goliath battle” almost sounds out of line here; it's more like “David in a Little Cage vs. Goliath with a Shotgun battle.” But that's not to say that Telepathy couldn't put in a good showing, if it can get some particularly compelling apps on its side that offer an experience Google can't or won't offer right now.
Telepathy has every opportunity to make the Telepathy One into a distinct and valuable experience, and the better job it can do of that, the better chance it will stand against Google Glass overall. Additionally, there will likely be other Google Glass competitors looking to step into the fray, trying to get a slice of what may well be the next big development in mobile. Only time will tell, however, if Telepathy or anyone else can pull off such a feat, but it should be quite exciting to see how it tries to do that.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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