Like the idea of a wearable display that lets you interact with your phone, but wonder why it needs to have a separate brain?

Google Glass is leading the way in the wearable face computer space, and the $1500 device basically puts the guts of an Android phone on your head so that it can project text, pictures, video, and other graphics on a small prism just above your eye.

Toshiba Glass is a much simpler device that’s basically a wearable, external display for the smartphone in your pocket. It’s expected to launch in 2015, and it’s expected to be much more affordable than Google Glass.

toshiba glass

That’s partly because Toshiba Glass has no battery and no wireless communication features. It’s basically a projector attached to a pair of glasses. The projector beams content to the lens of the glasses rather than to a separate prism, but the whole system only works when it’s connected to your smartphone with a cable.

In other words, your phone does all the heavy lifting while Toshiba Glass lets you interact with smartphone apps in new ways.

For instance you could view health data in real-time while using fitness apps, get directions while driving, or view instructions while working in the field.

With a cable connecting Toshiba Glass to your phone at all times, it’s tough to imagine anyone wearing a device like this 24/7. But for the right price, it could prove attractive as a device that you’d use just in certain situations. For instance it could help mechanics look up diagnostic data without getting their phones dirty, or help health care professionals view charts without breaking eye contact with their patients (well, without breaking it too much, anyway).

Ultimately, it’s too early to say whether face computers are the future or not. But with Google Glass leading the way, it’s not surprising that companies including Toshiba, Samsung, and Lenovo have all begun working on their own head-mounted wearables just in case they turn out to be the next big thing.

Toshiba’s showing off an early prototype of its Glass device at the CEATEC show in Japan, where it was spotted by reporters from PC World and AFP.

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4 replies on “Toshiba Glass is like Google Glass, but less so”

  1. I’d liked the idea of having a HUD i could fill with data from my phone right from the start.
    What i don’t get is why everyone goes the same route with devices displaying as much as possible and thought for beeing worn all the time.

    That’s not what i would build. I’d like a much more primitive system, i.e. just showing a single line of via BT4.0 modifiable text. This shouldn’t need much Power, the battery would last forever without gaining too much weight and it would be by far enough to display notifications/current speed or similar.
    I’d need no complete computer inside, i’d need no sensors, i’d need no huge battery or friggin’ cables.

    Then i’d build this into different glasses for different purposes. I for one would buy some kind of sun-glasses i could wear for biking. Then showing current speed, traveled distance, directions and recieved text-messages would make a lot of sense.
    Maybe you could even sell multiple similar single-purpose devices to the same person, so that would even be great from the point of who ever tries to sell such things.

    Google glass doesn’t work for this because of it’s design (and beeing a totally over-the-top-approach thats far too expensive, so i’d never wear it while biking, where it could break at any accident).
    That Toshiba-Thing doesn’t work either, because of that stupid cable (and again unusable design for my needs).

    So still: i get wearable devices, i get putting displays into glasses but i get neither of those devices.

  2. Man, this thing is ugly! Like a Fisher Price toy. Only a Toshiba engineer could love this…

  3. It was also hard to believe that people would leave their bluetooth headsets on but we sure found out didn’t we?
    Few people are going to want to connect a cable to that thing to use it.
    Say what you want about functionality but Goog’s offer is aesthetically more attractive than Toshiba and their re-engineered dollar store safety glasses.

    1. The cable is a serious limit, but so is the battery life issue on the Google idea. That is the elephant in the room, we can solve every problem with wearables except the power issue. And until somebody cracks that one, wearables will always steal the attention at tradeshows but forever be ‘a few years from widescale use’ just like fusion power has been thirty years away for the last fifty.

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