5 Google Glass alternatives: GlassUp, LaForge Acis, WeOn Glasses

For one day only this week anyone (well, anyone in the US with cash to burn) could get their hands on a pair of Google Glass.

However, with such a small window to buy them, a large price tag and a lot of criticism about how they look, we bet a lot of early adopters will be on the hunt for alternative options now instead.

We’ve collected together our top five Google Glass alternatives, including a pair that looks the same, a pair that are as stylish as regular glasses and a few that aren’t launching until the summer.

Let us know in the comments below which you’re most excited about.


1. Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses

The Moverio BT-200 glasses are Epson’s attempt at building a state-of-the-art augmented reality experience attached to your face. Although they may look a little bulkier than others on the list – think Geordi La Forge in Star Trek – they have a dual-screen for a 3D display and a front-facing camera to capture video and pick up markers for AR apps.

The BT-200 glasses are also packing a number of head-motion sensors, a gyroscope, accelerometer and compass sensors. Like most of the devices on the list it’s running on a version of Android.

The Moverio BT-200 glasses are expected to launch in the next few months and will cost around $700. For more info take a look at the BT-200’s specs over at the Epson website.

2. GlassUp

The GlassUp finished a little short of its Kickstarter funding goal, but it went ahead with Indiegogo instead and received all of its money to make the project a reality.

The glasses are designed to alert wearers of real-time information that’s happening on their phones, like incoming emails, texts and social media updates.

Although this may just sound like a glorified smartwatch or hands-free headset, it comes with apps built-in, like apps and TripAdvisor that provide wearers with turn-by-turn directions and ratings on places to visit and hotels.

The GlassUp is due to have a June 2014 release date and is available to pre-order now for about £184.

3. LaForge Optical Acis

The LaForge Optical Acis is designed to look like a regular pair of glasses, and – like many other devices on the list – you can get your prescription lenses added into them.

Their functionality is fairly basic in comparison to the Glass, serving up a series of notifications about what’s going on on your smartphone, but it also has a built-in camera and microphone too.

The Acis is only available as part of a beta testing programme for now, and for $820 you can get on the list to start trialling the glasses in the summer.

4. Ion Eyewear WeOn Glasses

The WeOn glasses may look a lot more stylish than every other competitor on the list, but their functionality is pretty basic. These glasses will alert you of notifications on your phone with a series of colourful LED lights, and that’s about it.

They’re much more for the style-conscious and allow you to add your own prescription lenses, which for $125 makes them cheaper than some non-flashing designer frames.

5. Vuzik M100

Vuzix claims its M100 glasses are the world’s first commercially available smart glasses and they certainly beat Google Glass as they’ve been available for the past few months and are much cheaper at $999.99.

Unlike Glass the device only covers one eye, but it does come with the same on-board 5 megapixel camera with the ability to record in HD. Funnily enough, it also runs an Android-based operating system, meaning it’s compatible with a whole load of apps.

The M100 has a range of sensors on-board, like an accelerometer and a compass, which makes it ideal for a more industrial, medical and retail focused target audience.

For more information visit Vuzix.com.

Becca Caddy