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Google Glass competitor won't feature a camera, keeps privacy in mind

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Google Glass: Meet your competition. This competitor—Laster’s SeeThru—is missing one vital feature, however, but the CEO says it doesn’t matter, according to VentureBeat on Jan. 15.

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What Laster CEO Zile Liu says wearable tech doesn’t need are cameras. His device will feature all the other usual suspects—GPS data and real-time information displayed on a tiny eye-display. He plans on using these features to provide the function that Google Glass’s camera does.

Rather than using a camera to identify objects, SeeThru will use GPS and location sensors. Liu says, without the camera, people won’t have to be freaked out about their privacy. He also says it will improve location accuracy.

He told VentureBeat, “This is an augmented reality device, not a recording camera on your head. That’s our position.”

However, VentureBeat points out that there are some obvious limitations. SeeThru won’t be able to use the camera to translate text or have any hand in facial recognition. But it seems that’s what Liu was going for. His device is designed for activities that need to be hands-free, such as biking, hiking and other sports-like activities. It’s also aimed at appealing to those who are privacy-conscious.

The device is powered by the smartphone it is connected with, which kinda lumps it into the same category of Nokia’s smart watch: Kinda cool, but useless without its ball and chain. However, the SeeThru will only run you $350, as compared to the speculated cost of $700-1,500 for Google Glass.

Laster has launched a Kickstarter campaign for SeeThru and is hoping to reach a goal of $300,000. At the time of this writing, they’ve achieved $11,000 donated with 59 days to go.

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