Update 3/16: Augmate has reached out to clarify the situation, noting that CEO and founder Pete Wassell is indeed not leaving the company. The previous “team” page we linked to on the company’s site didn’t list Wassell’s name, but it appears the page — which has now been taken down — was inaccurate.
CrowdOptic, widely known as one of the larger and more successful of the dozen-or-so Glass at Work partners, has today announced its first in-house developed hardware product. The CrowdOptic Eye streams video via the company’s video streaming stack at the flip of a switch, adding additional opportunities for clients that have until now primarily used wearable devices like Google Glass for a wide variety of purposes ranging from medicine to sports…
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The company says that many of its clients that used Google Glass and other head-mounted devices for video streaming were looking for other options. Sometimes teaching someone to use new wearable hardware isn’t the most convenient option, and sometimes you might want your streaming to be from a static location. Google Glass and other devices bring the benefit of providing a first-person perspective, but have a downside of being a new platform that users had to become comfortable with.
“This is push 1 button to stream from anywhere to anything that we can bring in with or without glasses,” CrowdOptic co-founder and CEO John Fisher said. “This is often what our Glass clients wanted as well — simplicity.”
This release marks a turning point in the history of Glass at Work partners, only some of which seem to be having any success as startups in their own right. Wearable Intelligence recently pivoted to provide an enterprise collaboration app called Sera (and renamed itself Parsable)
, and Augmate seems to have lost one of its founders recently — a guy by the name of Pete Wassell. Pristine is also in a bit of a mess, with its Kyle Samani, founding CEO, suing an Austin venture capital firm.
It seems that while most of these Google-partnered companies are struggling, CrowdOptic, which has long been proud of its streaming-focused approach to taking advantage of Glass hardware, is doing pretty well. This CrowdOptic Eye device looks pretty compelling, offering 1080p and 720p video at 30FPS, a 5MP camera, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, up to 10 hours of streaming on a charge, and LTE capabilities. The device is priced at $499 and is designed to be used with the CrowdOptic Enterprise Console, which lets administrators control multiple streams from many sources — including Glass.
It seems likely that a lot of these companies — even with the new Glass Enterprise Edition hardware that we’ve unveiled in detail finally beginning to ship in recent months — will soon face death or acquisition. There are obviously some losers and some winners, and it looks like the winners might win big. Video streaming is really picking up steam (using Glass hardware and others), and CrowdOptic recently signed a partnership with Sony that kicked off with the Broncos earlier this year.
Meanwhile, it seems Google has its eyes on building the next “Glass” in the form of an audio-based product under the umbrella of Project Aura.