Wearable Tech World Feature Article
October 15, 2014

Is 'Loupe' a Better Solution Than Google Glass?

Wearable tech has made rapid strides over the last few years, thanks to advancements made in related fields such as microcontrollers and M2M communication networks. One such device is Google Glass, which has reshaped the way users think about being connected to the Internet hands-free and at all times.

Despite the widespread hype surrounding Google Glass, it is not a hit among many customers, and has not become a mainstream product in the market today. One of the reasons is that people find it awkward to use in public because of what others might think. Moreover, when a person is wearing Google Glass, it makes other people feel uncomfortable because the attention of the wearer could be elsewhere. Some establishments have even banned patrons from using Google Glass while on their premises.

To overcome these downsides to Google Glass, a group of researchers came up with a solution. They have submitted a prototype for a small handheld telescope-like device called Loupe that will allow users to scan the Internet, check emails and even keep in touch on social media. This device, they believe, will make it more clear to passersby when someone is actively using the tech. Hence, the uncertainty and awkwardness that might be associated with a device like Google Glass is gone.

Loupe is about the size of a lip-stick tube and can be hung around a chain or tucked away in a pocket when not in use. It even comes with many built-in devices such as magnetometer and gyroscope to provide the right orientation for users when it is held in front of the eye.

Though this is an ambitious idea, there are many doubts surrounding its usage. Firstly, it can be used only on one eye, which means that, much like with Google Glass, its prolonged use can get dizzying for some people. Furthermore, it is not hands-free, which means it is similar to a phone—so why would someone buy this device when they can use their smartphone to connect to the Internet?

Maybe it is time for another idea. 

Edited by Alisen Downey

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