Augmented Reality

Telepathy Walker eyewear lets you follow walking directions, possibly dreams

Navigation on smartphones provides enormous convenience to consumers. But the navigation on those devices -– just like on standalone GPS devices — tends to be designed specifically for driving rather than getting somewhere on foot. The screens on those devices can also be very hard to see while walking when it’s sunny out.

patent-claimedTelepathy Walker is small, Google Glass-like eyewear that’s been specifically designed to provide walking directions. It features a bright screen with patented display technology that enables it to be seen even in bright sunlight. It’s also been designed, unlike other smartglasses, so that the user can see both the screen and the world around them clearly at the same time.

Walker can also be worn over the user’s current eyeglasses and it can be worn over either the left or right eye. Its display rotates automatically, depending on which eye is being used for the device. In addition to the core navigation/discovery app, its makers are developing other outdoor applications. A full Web-based app marketplace will allow anybody interested to develop, distribute, purchase, and install apps for Walker. Walker ships in June at $699, but early bird Kickstarter backers can get one for a pledge starting at $299. Tokyo-based Telepathy hopes to raise $115,000 by April 17.

The device stands to be especially attractive for consumers who do a lot of traveling or hiking. But the Android-based Walker is not compatible with iPhones and other iOS devices, although users can take advantage of the iPhone’s personal hotspot for wireless connection. Battery life varies depending on how often Walker is used, but the battery will only last about 1.5 hours under normal conditions. Users, however, can connect an external USB battery to Walker. One other negative is that it’s not waterproof or water-resistant, so use while it’s raining outside could potentially damage it.


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