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There is a pretty wide spectrum between wearables like Google Glass, which you take around with you in your everyday life, and fully immersive virtual reality experiences like the Oculus Rift, which take you out of the real world and are experienced in a stationary environment.
Atheer Labs, a Mountain View-based startup, is building a set of wearable glasses that’s somewhere in between.
“In certain cases, people need to do something in the physical world but they also need information or have to interact with the digital world,” said chief technology officer Allen Yang, who was a researcher at UC Berkeley specializing in computer vision and sensor networks before joining the company.
Atheer‘s glasses let you see an overlay of information over the real world — like Google Glass — but they also let you manipulate digital fields or content with hand gestures. A sensor built into the pair of glasses can pick up the shape of your hands and whether you’re swiping left or right, or clicking on an augmented reality button. Sort of like the Thalmic Myo.
After an Indiegogo campaign back in February that raised more than $200,000, they’re releasing an enterprise-focused developer kit.
That kit includes the developer unit and glasses. Yang and co-founder Soulaiman Itani envision partnerships with all kinds of enterprise applications.
They’re thinking about use cases where a person might need to access online information but don’t have extra hands to tap on keyboards or tablets. Like oil workers in the fields, or doctors whose hands are unclean while they’re in the operating room.
“We’ve identified a number of these companies from airspace and industrial and machine companies and we’re engaging with them,” Itani said. “This could revolutionize workflow for large companies or it could change the way that hospital floors work with nurses and doctors being able to see vitals through the glasses.”
The initial developer kit went for $1,000 on the Indiegogo campaign, while the Atheer One glasses went for $350 to 500 depending on how early a backer joined the campaign.
Itani and Yang didn’t disclose the amount of funding that they had raised, except to say, “We have runway that we’re very comfortable with.” Investors listed on AngelList, however, include Georges Harik, who was one of Google’s first 10 employees and Hossein Eslambolchi, who was previously a chief technology officer at AT&T. A previous SEC filing also shows that they raised at least $1.5 million in January.