An Australian hardware hacker couldn’t get his hands on Google Glass, so he made his own version called Flass.
You’re not the only one who missed out on dropping $1,500 for Google Glass Explorer Edition. An Australian geek, who goes by the “Evil Dead” name Ash_Williams on Australian PC hardware community forum Overclockers, doesn’t have one either. So he made his own.
The hacker’s version is called Flass, a combination of “fake” and “glass.” It’s powered by a Nokia N9 phone. The TV-out feature of the phone feeds the eye display, which is mounted on a set of real glasses using cable ties.
Ash_Williams has gone through four different versions of Flass so far.
The Australian maker got the eye display down to about the size of the real Google Glass. It uses a curved optic harvested from a Myvu Crystal 701 eye display to amplify the size of the screen when looking at it. The whole thing connects together with cables, so it’s not quite as hands and cords-free at the real deal. “It looks kind of funny,” the creator admits in a video demonstration.
Currently, Flass is controlled by a small keyboard. The hacker’s next challenges are creating a similar user interface to the one Glass uses and trying to integrate a camera into the device. He is currently working on yet another version of the concept that will leave him with two working prototypes. He has a 3D-printed version of the Google Glass frame on the way, which should give him a pretty sleek upgrade in the looks department.
Nobody is going to confuse Flass with Glass, but it certainly shows a high level of ingenuity and good dose of maker spirit. Plus, he made it from easily available devices.
“It’s pretty nice. It works for what it is,” he says.
It also means that Google hasn’t quite totally cornered the market on wearable smartphone displays, at least in Australia.