Laforge Shima

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Laforge Shima
Shima 1.jpg
Category Smartglasses
Developer LAFORGE Optical Inc. [1]
Announced February 2014 [2]
Released Developers: 2015 [3]
Consumers:
Price 420 USD USD (BOLD variant)[2]
Operating system Linux [4]
Display projector
Resolution 680x480 pixels[4]
Field of view
Weight g (unknown)
Controls

inertial, touchpad, smartphone

Data available
Risk factor
Not Standalone
www.laforgeoptical.com

Laforge Optical’s Shima smart glasses were first known as Icis smart glasses, but due to the same pronunciation as the name of an infamous terrorist group, the company changed the name of the glasses to Shima. The glasses look no different than any regular pair of glasses and the company focuses on stylish design, offering a number of different frames to suit the personalities and tastes of consumers. Additionally, prescription lenses can be embedded into Shima. While Laforge’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for Icis glasses was still running, the page stated:

Most products headed into the smartspecs market are clunky, ostentatious, and draw attention away from you and toward the product itself. We are creating a device that extends your personality and capabilities instead of aiming to replace them. IcisTM takes on the form of conventional eyewear by employing a special set of optics that are blended into the lenses. The frames come equipped with a battery and embedded electronics system. This is all wrapped in a beautiful skin that makes the components disappear. IcisTM is as much aesthetic as it is functional.[5]
Features of Laforge Shima
Features of Laforge Shima.

Main Characteristics

Shima displays notifications from Android, Windows, and iOS devices via Bluetooth, using its socialFlo app, which automatically catalogues all user’s apps. Notifications from the apps appear to float in front of the wearer and they are displayed around the outside field of vision. The user interface (UI) operates in three modes: Drive mode (blocks all notifications and only displays the content that is relevant to driving), Normal mode (keeps the user up to date on notifications, and keeps the camera just a tap away), and Active mode (activates user’s favourite fitness or on-the-go widgets while exercising).[6]

Shima glasses run on 1 GHz processor and have 8 GB storage space. There is a binocular WQVGA display and built-in microphone, aux jack, on-board audio chipset, and camera that can shoot 5MP photos and 720p HD video (in 15 seconds bursts). Embedded sensors include three-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, and touchpad. The device charges wirelessly, its connectivity includes Bluetooth, WiFi, and FM chip, and it is compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device running iOS 7, Windows Phone 8, or Android Ice Cream Sandwich (or later operating systems).[7]

Purpose

Entertainment, Cloud access.

Company & People

Laforge Optical was founded in 2013 as a company that designs stylish eyewear with embedded heads-up display. LAFORGE’s design ethos is: "Products should be designed because of people, not in spite of people."[8] The company launched an Indiegogo campaign in February 2014, to raise $80,000 by the end of March.[9] Not only the campaign was fully funded, but the company closed a $1.1 million dollar seed round from partnering with SOMO Optics in November 2014, which enabled them to expand to Seoul, Korea; Cambridge, England; and Venice, Italy.[10]

Founders: Corey Mack, CEO and Head of Design; A. Franklin Rice, Sr, COO & Sr. VP, Finance; Brian Vanger; Andrew Kowalczyk; and Stephen Hammack.

Board of Directors: Corey Mack, Chairman; A. Franklin Rice, Sr, COO & Sr. VP, Finance, Board Member, Bay Bio; Rudy Mazzocchi, CEO, Elenza; and Eddy Shin, President, SOMO Optical.

Board of Advisers: Ami Gupta, PhD, CTO, Elenza; Bill Kokonaski, CTO, LAFORGE Optical; and Joe Caruso, Bantam Group.

Important Dates

  • The shipping was first announced for December 2014 - January 2015.[9][5] However, the information on Laforge official website now show that for Shima Developer Kit, reservations open in Spring-Summer 2015.
  • For Shima Beta Model, reservations open in Spring-Summer 2015.
  • Shima Launch Edition reservations will open in January 2016.

Ethical Issues

Privacy. Specifically in the case of Shima glasses, the camera is hidden in the glasses frame and gives no indication (e.g. red light) of recording.

Health Risks

Enhancement/Therapy/Treatment

A mock-up of the HUD of Laforge Shima
A mock-up of the HUD of Laforge Shima.

Public & Media Impact and Presentation

Laforge Optical’s website and reviews based on the information provided there by the manufacturer are, so far, the only sources on Shima glasses. The device is still not demonstrated to the public, apart from a promo video and updates by Laforge on the company’s YouTube channel.[11] Despite the lack of “hands-on” with the device before its shipping, Shima (and previously Icis) is expected to be a true competitor to Google Glass and there is a general positive attitude towards the device.

Public Policy

Related Technologies, Projects, or Scientific Research

SOMO Optical [1]

References

  1. http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapid=272542797
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.laforgeoptical.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Tech-Press-release2.pdf
  3. http://www.laforgeoptical.com/how-to-get-shima/
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://www.laforgeoptical.com/techspecs/
  5. 5.0 5.1 EHRENKRANZ, Melanie. Google Glass vs. Icis: Can Laforge Optical's Prescription Smart Lenses Deliver More Functionality, Fashion Than Google's Wearable Device? IDigitalTimes [online]. 2014, Feb 19. Available online at: http://www.idigitaltimes.com/google-glass-vs-icis-can-laforge-opticals-prescription-smart-lenses-deliver-more-functionality (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
  6. The UI. Laforge Optical [online]. Available online at: http://www.laforgeoptical.com/the-ui/ (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
  7. Technical Specifications. Laforge Optical [online]. Available online at: http://www.laforgeoptical.com/techspecs/ (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
  8. Our Story. Laforge Optical [online]. Available online at: http://www.laforgeoptical.com/about/ (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
  9. 9.0 9.1 LUZAR, Charles. On Indiegogo: Laforge Crowdfunding For The Icis, A Prescription Google Glass Competitor. Crowdfun Insider [online]. 2014, Feb 21. Available online at: http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2014/02/32437-indiegogo-laforge-crowdfunding-icis-prescription-google-glass-competitor/ (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
  10. PITTS, Joshua. Laforge Optical Update: Name Change, New Materials and More. Glass Apps Source [online]. 2014, Dec 16. Available online at: http://www.glassappsource.com/icis/laforge-optical-update-name-change-new-materials.html (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)
  11. Icis by Laforge. Youtube: LAFORGE Optical [online]. 2014, Feb 18. Available online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuz_IswuxNM (Retrieved Jul 28, 2015)