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Atheer Labs kicks off crowd-funding campaign for 3D smart glasses

HardwareNews
by Stephanie Mlot, 20 Dec 2013News

If you thought Google Glass wearers looked silly staring into space, just wait until Atheer One users are waving their hands through the air while walking down the street.

This week, 3D heads-up display platform Atheer Labs has opened pre-orders and launched a $100,000 (£60,000) crowd-funding campaign to drum up interest in its two pairs of augmented reality glasses.

Atheer's devices manage to cram Minority Report-level technology into a 75 gram pair of shaded glasses, with interchangeable lenses and a 65-degree field of view.

"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," Atheer's Indiegogo page states.

Based on the company's fanciful video (see above), developers have the hefty task of creating environments where multiple users can play a 3D game of Battleship, or athletes can train without the constraints of an exercise DVD.

"Let's look at what a day in the life could look like in a couple years when 3D glasses and natural gesture interaction are commonplace," the campaign site said, "running a full suite of applications and experiences created by you, the developer community."

So far, Atheer has developed a handful of software programs, including low-power gesture detection, voice and head motion control, and compatibility with Android – running in two pieces of hardware.

A chance to tinker with the Atheer Developer Kit – including SDK and access to gesture data – will cost backers at least $850 (£520). For the built-in 3D experience, try the Atheer One for the early bird price of $350 (£215).

The first 100 backers will receive the sleek, light, and immersive One headset (pictured below), for which everyone else will have to shell out $500 (£305). The device is estimated for delivery in December 2014.

Those not in the market for wearable gadgets, but who still want in on the ground floor can provide a $10 (£6), $25 (£15), or $45 (£27) donation to receive "a big 'Thank you!' from everyone at Atheer," a 3D poster (plus standard 3D viewing glasses), or a 3D T-shirt (with the same glasses included).

This has been a banner week for high-tech eyeglasses: Over in the US, the 3D holographic HD Meta Pro smart glasses went on sale for $2,985 (£1,840). They include a 40-degree field of view and an independent pocket computing power source.

Glyph, meanwhile, is gearing up for a 22 January Kickstarter debut, when its noise-cancelling headphones-cum-flip-down-video-mode display will be available for a pre-order price of $499 (£305).

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