Google unveiled “Project Glass” earlier this week, an undertaking that it hopes will bring eyewear equipped with heads-up display technology to the masses. The new glasses currently in development include an integrated transparent display that projects images and data in the wearer’s field of vision. HUD technology such as this could allow users to pair Google’s glasses with a smartphone and view data while the handset remains tucked away, or they could operate as a standalone product with an integrated chipset and embedded flash memory. The project has stirred up a healthy amount of intrigue within the media and among consumers, and Google’s competition has apparently taken note.
Though Project Glass was revealed just this week, rival companies already have similar products in development according to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White.
White is currently meeting with supply chain companies in China and Taiwan, and he shared several insights from meetings in Taipei in a note to investors Thursday night. White observed an overall optimistic tone during his first day of meetings as companies prepare for a seasonal ramp-up in production. This is sharp contrast to the tone White observed in similar meetings late last year.
The analyst saw cautious optimism for the ultrabook market and LCD trends that are seemingly stabilizing. As an interesting side note, however, he also stated that multiple companies are already working on responses to Google’s just-announced smart glasses.
“Our meetings today indicate that Google glasses (a.k.a., Project Glass) already has competitors working on similar initiatives to improve consumer’s mobility around Internet access,” White wrote. “We expect to be hear more about projects such as this and others in the coming years. This could drive a new wave of innovation across the mobility space.”
White did not elaborate on what distinguishing features these rival devices might include, and he did not indicate which Google competitors might currently be working on HUD glasses to rival Google’s Project Glass.