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Boston Start-Up Launches Google Glass Alternative

Boston-based Laforge Optical has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for Icis, a line of "fashion-friendly" prescription eyewear that includes a display with a user's smartphone notifications in their field of vision.

Icis "keeps users connected to the cloud while preserving a crystal-clear view of what is going on in front of them," the startup said in a news release.

Icis also includes a camera, microphone and speaker, the company said.

The glasses start at $420 on Indiegogo. The campaign had raised $10,500 as of Wednesday morning, toward its goal of $80,000. The campaign runs through March 20.

Investors in Laforge Optical include Boston-area angel investor Joe Caruso.



From the news release release:

“We wanted to design something that would keep people connected to their social networks, and not be intrusive,” said LAFORGE Optical CEO Corey Mack. “We want to blur the line between people’s virtual lives and their real lives. We want to create an environment where people can interact with their phone, without necessarily having to go through the hassle of pulling it out of their pocket.”

Icis has a stunning 680×480 display that presents data from the user’s phone right in front of their eyes. Icis pairs with a smartphone app, which converts existing apps into widgets before displaying them. Widgets are created with an API, and are used to relay app notifications. Icis will be available in different styles, and can accommodate those who do not need prescription lenses.

Icis looks to set the standard for technology embedded in eyewear. Users will be able to interact with Icis using the touch pads on the temples of the frames. LAFORGE Optical wants to get this technology into the hands of developers who will help unleash its true potential.

Icis will be available for pre-order February 18th on indiegogo starting at $420 (US). Icis Bold, its higher-end counterpart, will be available on indiegogo for $620 (US). The Bold version displays at a higher resolution (1280×680) than that of Icis, and also offers a finer degree of customization for the customer.

LAFORGE Optical designs and markets eyewear equipped with an embedded heads-up display (HUD). LAFORGE Optical is looking to revolutionize the way people interact with their smartphones.

Read the whole story at Boston Business Journal »

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