Vufine Enters Crowd Funding for Low Cost Smartglasses

Vufine 2

Vufine, a California-based start up has announced its development of a smartglass that provides just the display component without any computer functionality. The company is also entering a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter, which seems to be a necessity for new product developers these days.

The Vufine offers an HD 720p imager in a package that provides 80 to 90 minutes of continuous use when running on the internal battery. It also has an external power input to attach an external battery that allows the device to run for 8h without overheating.

The device is a monocular design similar to the Vuzix M100 and the Recon Jet. The design is also close to these two in respect that they are all of the none see-through type. The device is meant to be attached to the arm of a set of normal glasses, as can be seen in the first image. Overall the design could easily define the term ‘nerd’ again.

Source: Vufine

The second image shows how the device can be attached via a magnetic connector.

Vufine 1Source: Vufine

The magnetic connection allows the user to easily attach and detach the device, while the swivel action allows for the display to be moved into the part of the visual area that is most convenient for the user, or the least obtrusive.

The Vufine has no computing functionality itself, but acts as a second screen for any mobile device that is connected to the headset. While it does not specifically identify which devices are compatible, it relies on an HDMI out signal for the connection. In case there is no HDMI out connector, one may need an HDMI adapter, as would be the case for iOS devices, for example.

There is also no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection available, everything relies on a thin HDMI cable in addition to the optional external battery cable. As mentioned above, from this perspective, it is a real ‘no frills’ design. It also has no direct input functions and stays away from every high end feature other smartglasses are offering. By design the device is aiming for the low end of the smartglasses market. This does of course also impact the expected sales price. With $150 as the planned MSRP, the device beats Google Glass by a factor of ten, and more importantly enters the realm of impulse buy for many technology enthusiasts.

From a use standpoint, Vufine sees the device as a perfect second screen for cameras, drones and other devices that need to be accessed but would require another set of hands to accomplish this task. One of the key uses mentioned is the ability to use it as a viewfinder for a GoPro camera.

The device will become available in November 2015, assuming that the Kickstarter campaign is successful. After one day the company had already reached over half of the $50,000 goal. – NH