Now don’t laugh. I see what you’re about to say: this project looks like a mess. But trust me when I tell you this thing could be slapped to your face sooner than later, provided you prefer not to trust Google with your location, photo, and activity data and provided you’re a lover of open source hardware.
The guy in the picture, Arvin Sanjeev, is an inventor. He built an open source, Raspberry-Pi-powered Google Glass clone using Linux and a little bit of voice recognition software. It’s called the Smart Cap and it’s connected, for some reason, to a fairly ugly hat. However, by using off-the-shelf, commodity components and a little software, he’s been able to create a fairly solid facsimile of an augmented reality headset. That’s an amazing thing, if you think about it.
To be clear this is not the best of all possible AR headsets. You could probably build a better one yourself, given the time and effort. What’s interesting, however, is that everything here can be cobbled together by hand at very little cost and, thanks to the power of the Raspberry Pi, can work as a real wearable computer.
What I find fascinating is that these sorts of projects – of which there are hundreds if not thousands online – have become so simple to build. A relative amateur can build a Rasp Pi-powered cellphone in a few hours and truly smart people can make tiny arcade cabinets, satellites, and Bitcoin kiosks. Five years ago it would have been difficult to make these things without a research grant. A decade ago it would not have been possible. Today it’s trivial.
So hat’s off Sanjeev and his Smart Cap. Here’s to the crazy ones.