Updated 04:50 PM EDT, Sun, Sep 22, 2019

A New Google Glass Competitor in Atheer's 3D Immersive SmartGlasses

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Atheer is a little-known startup with an IndieGoGo campaign that's only reached a little over 10 percent of its goal. Why is that interesting? Because the tiny company is planning on offering a pair of smartglasses that offers something Google Glass can't do: immersive 3D augmented reality.

Google Glass may be many things - relatively lightweight, versatile, and backed by one of the largest tech companies in the world - but with a display over only one eye, Glass cannot offer 3D stereo immersion. That's what Atheer plans on bringing to its smartglasses, if it can get the $100,000 in funding that it's trying to raise on IndieGoGo.

Atheer's rival to Google Glass, the Atheer One and Atheer development kit (also a pair of glasses) are still a little rough around the edges, but that's because the company is literally trying to invent a new kind of technology right now - 3D stereo displays with "air touch" interaction. Atheer's "air touch" is a little bit like Leap Motion controllers mixed with an Occulus Rift-type 3D virtual display that users reach out and "touch," "grab" or "slide" with their hands. "We have been living and dreaming in this 3D immersive world for a while now, and have many great ideas of how our glasses could change the way we live, work and play," says Atheer's pitch on IndieGoGo.

Atheer says that its Atheer One, which has a 65-degree field of 3D stereo view with 1024 x 768p resolution (per eye, of course) "is the equivalent of a 26-inch 3D high definition tablet in a pair of smartglasses weighing only 75 grams." Atheer has a lot of plans for that virtual tablet, and judging by the fantastic video the company has put together, it has a lot of work to do in order to deliver.

Like Google Glass, but even more, the Atheer smartglasses are not going to look cool on your face at the moment (and reaching out in front of you and grabbing at air intensely may never look cool, but you never know what becomes normalized). And the 75 gram (lighter) "refined" glasses means you're still carrying over a tenth of a pound on the bridge of your nose. Plus, there's the fact that constantly wearing sunglasses everywhere is a bit... weird (maybe K-Pax came from an Atheer future).

(IndieGoGo: Atheer)
(IndieGoGo: Atheer)

But Atheer says that leveraging Android, their system can already run 800,000 applications on Google Play, and damned if that 3D environment doesn't look like an amazing possibility. And the hardware has certainly gone through a lot of changes from its prototype beginnings.(IndieGoGo: Atheer)

(IndieGoGo: Atheer)

While Atheer is providing an SDK for 3D immersion app developers, along with the physical developer kit smartglasses for $850, enthusiasts who want to wait for the smaller, more capable Atheer One can pledge $500 for the glasses, which the company hopes will be available sometime next year. That's a third of the cost of a Google Glass Explorer edition, and you don't have to win a Twitter competition in order to obtain the privilege of buying them. Right now, Atheer has about $13,000 in pledges, with 43 days left to its $100,000 goal. You can check out more about the 3D immersive smartglasses at their webpage.

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