If the overwhelming popularity of Snap Inc.’s Spectacles is any indication, there is certainly a market for glasses with cameras in them. But there are problems with the integrated-camera approach, primarily privacy concerns. PogoTec believes it has found a solution in the form of a miniature removable camera that can be attached to a pair of glasses made with a custom magnetic mount. With the camera removed, the glasses resemble an ordinary pair of eyewear.
This modular approach to camera glasses is both more and less elegant than the integrated approach, depending on how you look at it. The camera, while small, is still quite obvious when mounted to the glasses, and may be a bit sci-fi for many wearers’ tastes. However, the ability to remove the camera altogether and just have a pair of standard frames is pretty intriguing, and will permit the camera’s removal in situations where its presence might raise privacy concerns. It’s less striking, and perhaps less fun, than a pair of Spectacles, but it’s also less ridiculous.
PogoTec calls the magnetic mount the PogoTrack, and the camera, naturally, the PogoCam. The PogoCam is just the first announced product in a planned series of modular eyewear add-ons. The PogoTrack system will also feature health monitors, lights, and a variety of environmental sensors.
Integrating technology into traditional wearable devices without compromising style is one of PogoTec’s primary goals. The company has partnered with “a number of glasses frame companies” to integrate the PogoTrack into its designs. “We wanted to create a platform so we could put electronic wearables around this neighborhood of vision, speech, and hearing, and not have them detract from the fashion,” said PogoTec’s VP of communications, Richard Clompus, as reported by The Verge.
However, the PogoCam currently carries several technical limitations that may hold it back. The internal storage can hold just 100 five-megapixel photos or 12 10-second video clips (which are recorded at 720p resolution). The camera also won’t automatically send photos and videos to your phone, a feature that is undoubtedly integral to Snap’s success with Spectacles. Instead, PogoCam users will have to put the camera into a case that then connects to a computer in order to transfer files. PogoTec is apparently working on a Bluetooth-enabled case, but that still leaves a couple extra steps between snapping a photo and sharing it on your phone.
PogoTec plans to show off the PogoCam at CES in January, and will be selling it for $129, about the same price as Snap’s Spectacles.