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ORA-X smart headphones begin crowdfunding for Android-powered AR experience

By Stephen Schenck October 20, 2015, 4:35 pm

What does the future look like for wearable head-mounted smart devices? Google Glass may have lost a lot of its initial buzz, but the effort should still live on as Project Aura, as recent reports of rebranding efforts reveal. And Microsoft has its HoloLens, but we’re still waiting to see if the final commercial product can live up to the promise of the company’s jaw-dropping demo displays. You don’t have to be a major player like a Google or a Microsoft to get into this game, though, and today we’re checking out a new crowdfunding effort that aims to deliver an Android-powered smart headset on the cheap, as the Optinvent ORA-X makes its debut.

The ORA-X may look a little chunky compared to the sleek Google Glass, but the feature set isn’t too far off. You can think of it as a pair of wireless headphones with a swing-down Glass-style heads-up display. There’s the same sort of touchpad control baked into the side of the headphones, as well as an autofocus camera at the end of the display arm. The whole thing runs standard Android apps, so you can watch videos with your favorite media player or control audio playback apps, all with the convenience and privacy of a built-in display.

ora-x-2

When you’re not using the screen arm, it folds up to stay out of your way – and when you hear a notification tone, you can quickly swing it back into place. With a full 180 degrees of travel, it easily swaps for left-handed usage.

The headset runs Android lollipop, has a dual-core SoC, 2GB of RAM, 8GB on-board storage, and offers WiFi connectivity. A 2000mAh battery promises eight hours of use. The camera packs a 5MP sensor, and while we don’t have full details on the hardware for the heads-up display, we’re told the resolution is HD and it’s supposed to simulate the experience of working with a 70-inch screen at fifteen feet.

Early backers can grab the ORA-X for just about $350, but those are going fast. There there are more early-bird units available at $400, and things will finally settle at the $450 price point. The first units should ship in May, with more arriving over the following two months.

Source: ORA-X (Indiegogo)

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