The next wearable for running or cycling could give all the information you need via your eyes, and it’s Australian, too.
Even though so many of us are rocking wearables these days, there’s a good chance the tech that you wear is being worn in your ears or on your wrist. That’s just where wearables go at the moment, though there are more parts of your body that can take wearable tech.
Your eyes could well be the next battleground, and not just because of a pair of sunglasses that can play music to your ears, or even a pair of sunnies that can snap a picture of your life using your voice. While both of those exist, they’re just a sampling of what smart glasses can do.
Google gave the world a glimpse of the innovative world of smart glasses with the now withdrawn and retired Google Glasses, but it’s not the only pair out there.
Designed by an Aussie start-up, the glasses sport OLED micro-displays to let you see a screen through the glasses themselves. This idea essentially projects an image through your field of vision equivalent to what is roughly a 63 inch display up to 3 metres away.
It’s not quite the same as the TCL glasses concept which is more about keeping you entertained. Rather, Minimis Glass is all about health, providing navigation information and stats for fitness while you run or cycle, or even just walk around.
“I started this to scratch my own itch,” said Joseph Guo, Founder of Minimis.
“I despise sticky running watches and also hate carrying my phone on workouts. I think bike computers are an ugly relic of the last century. It can be dangerous looking down and traveling blind for several meters at a time,” he said.
“The current endurance sporting experience is just so needlessly cluttered and outdated, and there’s no alternative. So I made one.”
The hardware will run on similar tech to what’s inside of a phone, featuring a quad-core chip, WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G, while audio is handled via Bluetooth and a custom variation of Android runs on the glasses to handle the apps and services you need. It’s a little like a watch, except made for your head, allowing you to view important details on the go.
Minimis says the tech will work for up to 7 hours of life with the display always on, though if you keep the display on only half the time, this can be extended to 11 hours. Like Facebook’s Ray-Ban glasses — which lack the screen — there will be a charging case that can replenish the battery life when not in use.
“This is the beginning of a new era for sports wearables,” said Guo, adding that “one day we’ll look back at running watches and bike computers as we do now with floppy disks and pagers.”
Pricing for the Minimis Glass is a touch complicated, with the Australian headset priced only for US dollars to begin with. Specifically, it’ll start at $699 USD, which translates to just over a thousand Aussie dollars, though that pricing seems geared specifically at Kickstarter, where Minimis has launched its idea.
Minimis Glass isn’t expected until mid-2024, either, so if you want one, be prepared to wait a good year or so for the privilege.