Meet Icis, a less dorky looking version of Google Glass

Face it, Google Glass is pretty cool. It is also unavoidably geeky looking. It is sure to be a hit when it becomes commercially available. People and businesses are looking at ways to embrace its functionality.  Some folks may not want to wear what obviously looks like an appliance on their face though. That is where Icis comes in. Icis is for those that think function should follow form. Icis has some style.

A gang of alumni from the Rochester Institute of Technology have come together and created a company called Laforge (yes, it is a Star Trek: TNG reference) to build upon this concept that provides a real augmented reality experience within a conventional form factor, agnostic to whatever vision prescription the user may have.

Icis is a Bluetooth accessory to your iOS, Android or Windows Phone device. The app being developed is called SocialFlo, and that is used to determine what appears in the user display of Icis.  As for applications, widgets or app that utilize the full screen will be blocked for safety reasons, but there will be widget functionality.

Laforge has taken to the crowd funding scene to get some early adopters and build a developer base to ensure practical functionality to Icis. The goal is $80,000 over the next month. The cost for a fully functional Icis BOLD kit (which includes a camera and a higher resolution display), the end-user consumer version, is $620 and you should have it in January 2015.  There are only 100 of those available though, after that the delivery is February 2015. There is also a regular beta kit for $420, which gets you the device by December 2014.

A special earlyBeta kit is available too.  It runs $820 and is for those that want to be a part of the testing action all the way through commercial release. The plus side of that is you would have your Icis in August this year and you get a free upgrade to the beta kit, or get a discount on the final design Icis BOLD eyewear.

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Specifications are not final, but the initial spec sheet is pretty basic, a Texas Instruments Sitara CPU clocked at 1GHz, 512MB of RAM and the underlying OS is Linux based. The final design will have a more robust spec sheet (1GB of RAM, higher resolution display, 720p video recording). 

What do you think of this stylish alternative?  This is not the first augmented reality wearable device we have seen, but this one makes up for that with quite a bit of style.  For some it is better to look good than to feel good.  Reserve your Icis via the source link below.

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sources: Icis (Indiegogo) via CNET

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