SAN FRANCISCO — A couple dozen entrepreneurs trying to leap ahead of today's smartphone juggernaut invaded San Francisco's Old Mint building to show their smart watches, smart glasses, and other digital accoutrements at the inaugural Glazed Conference here.
The former chief technology officer of Citibank fueled the excitement by previewing what he called a "virtual retinal display for the connected self." Yobie Benjamin (below) briefly flashed a black cube he claimed will "fundamentally alter the way we view and create data and media."
The unnamed device basically is a high-resolution heads-up display based on a MEMS micromirror array from startup Avegant. The company aims to show working prototypes at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and ship product in October 2014 at a target price of $799.
"This is not for every teenager out there," said Benjamin, who joined the startup as chief operating officer and chief software officer.
The device comes with its own operating system, called Nix. The OS aims to more fully exercise an unnamed off-the-shelf multicore mobile SoC that drives the array.
The MEMS chip was developed by Allan Evans who holds a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan. He holds at least two patents for MEMS used in drug delivery. The startup has taken $1.5 million in seed funding and is about to close a Series A round.
Avegent was perhaps the most secretive of a handful of hardware startups with glasses and watches at the Glazed event.