Facebook’s parent company has been spending billions of dollars attempting to make its vision for the metaverse a thing. But you don’t need to buy into Meta’s vision to play in the virtual & augmented reality space. There are plenty of other companies cranking out VR and AR headsets… and if you’re looking for something a little more hacker-friendly, there’s the Monocle from Brilliant Labs.

The Brilliant Monocle is a small circular device that you can clip onto any pair of glasses. It’s a heads-up display with a camera, microphone, Bluetooth connectivity, and touch buttons. And the design and software are all open source.

Brilliant has been working on the Monocle for a few years and announced the project to the world in mid-2022.

It’s currently available for purchase for $349 and, according to the Monocle website, it’s “now shipping in monthly batches,” although that message might be a bit premature – the latest updates posted in the company’s Discord suggest that manufacturing is nearly complete and the first batch should begin shipping soon.

That said, the hardware has been finalized: the Monocle features a 640 x 400 pixel color OLED display with a 20 degree field of view when clipped onto a pair of glasses. There’s an Gowin GW1N-LV9MG100C6/I5 FPGA that the company says can be programmed for computer vision, AI, or graphics and support for Bluetooth 5.2 for connecting to a phone or another device.

The Monocle is powered by a 70 mAh battery that should offer up to 2 hours of run time and comes with a charging case featuring a 450 mAh battery, allowing you to recharge up to six times on the go.

Other features include integrated touch buttons, a 5MP camera that can capture 720p video, 12MB of addressable memory, and 8MB of serial flash storage. The Monocle ships with a MicroPython-based operating system and it can be paired with your smartphone thanks to Brilliant’s mobile apps for iOS and Android. But the company says users can create and flash their own custom firmware as well.

While the Monocle is currently designed to attach to an existing pair of glasses. If you don’t normally wear glasses, you could probably pick up a cheap pair from a drug store and poke out the lenses. But Brilliant Labs says it’s also working on a “frame” accessory that will be available in the future.

Also, while the first Monocle devices to ship feature a transparent design, with all components clearly visible, the team is considering an updated design for future Monocles that uses a frosted finish to obscure the electronics.

You can find more details at the Monocle website, the documentation page, Brilliant’s GitHub page, and Brilliant CEO Bobak Tavangar’s LinkedIn feed.

via Hacker News, 

 

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8 replies on “Brilliant Monocle is an open source augmented reality device that clips onto your glasses”

  1. Just replace the eye sockets already. Just scoop the useless meat sockets out and replace them with this thick lens thingy!

  2. Did anyone get the $349 price mentioned in the article? The product page shows that price but it changes up to a $499 dev kit, once put into the cart.

    1. That is likely a bug: the very early dev kit was sold at that price, it is not sold anymore, only the Monocle at $349.
      Maybe something is stuck in cache on the website.
      Good that you pointed it out, I’ll tell them.

    1. Glasshole garnerer nay, it is a C=64 portal and will let you recognize and not see text about others as Ghosts n Goblins characters. Ghidra and Ada and Faraday users can become productive as symbols are rendered to palpable HexDasm symbols instead of verbose labels.

  3. Pretty cool!

    Something that should also be quite hacker-friendly In this space is the upcoming vrAse A2 by EYEDAK, which is supposed to release on the 3rd of March this year.

    Looking forward to seeing the next iteration from Brilliant Labs!

Comments are closed.