Pivothead debuts next generation smartglass at Wearable Tech Expo

The new SMART line of wearable tech eyewear from Pivothead was introduced at the Wearable Tech Expo in New York.

The new SMART line of smartglass from Pivothead includes live streaming.
Image: Pivothead

Live streaming is one of the key features added to Pivothead's SMART line of smartglass introduced today at the Wearable Tech Expo in New York.

The new SMART, which stands for Simple Modular Application-Ready Technology, will retail for $299 and it includes the same 1080p HD video and 8 megapixel photo abilities of the original Pivothead eyewear, released in June 2012. The new SMART line also includes Smart Mods accessories that add power, connectivity and apps to the product. The accessory kits will be $99 each.

The new SMART line will begin selling in retail stores and online in October. Meanwhile, the price of the original Pivothead smartglass has already dropped from $299 to $199. The company has sold 30,000 units of the original Pivothead, and it is still a popular item and has stepped up sales since the price was reduced by $100, said Christopher Cox, founder and president of Pivothead. The original Pivothead is sold at more than 400 retail outlets, and it will be added to the entire line of Target department stores in early November. The next generation devices will not be sold at Target.

Livestreaming an in-demand option

"The number one piece of feedback that people have requested since we started is the ability to livestream. That premise behind livestreaming being the driving force has been a dominate theme in our design approach for the next generation," Cox said.

Original Pivothead smartglass, which debuted in June 2012.
Image: Pivothead

The original Pivothead product features hardware not connected to the cloud. It's simply an HD point-of-view camera.

Cox said one of the decisions his team made when developing the original Pivothead and the SMART line is that it would work best to focus on content consumption or content creation, but not both. Pivothead focuses on content creation. "I think it's very hard to do both well, and if you try to do both, you won't do either very well," Cox said.

Style matters

Making the product fashionable and stylish was another key component in the next generation version.

Pivothead's Christopher Cox wears his company's next generation smartglass.
Image: Teena Hammond/TechRepublic

"We often get compared to Oakley or other brands on the market in terms of 'hey, why can't you make thesethings more like Oakley, you're a little too thick.' We try to explain to them Oakley doesn't have a high definition video camera embedded in the frames. People expect you to look like Oakley. They want that fashion," Cox said.

So the new SMART line has reduced the thickness of the frame by roughly half when compared to the original design, making them less bulky. "If you're adding bulk up to your face and changing the profile of what you look like, you're getting in the danger zone. People won't want to wear them, especially the under 30's. They're very self conscious, even if they won't admit it. They want the coolest sunglasses and they're the ones looking in the mirror 30 times a day," Cox said.

"It's interesting because a lot of middle-aged men are huge Pivothead fans. They're also family men and they don't even care about the design, they're in it for the function," Cox said.

The SMART line will target "the people who are buying designer jeans and shoes. They buy Persol or Gucci glasses. It's those people who haven't adopted us at all. The people who are more fashion conscious. If we can tap into that and have those people be like hey, these are cool. This matches my designer jeans, my shoes, my cool new shirt, I think it has tremendous potential," Cox said.

The new SMART line includes the following features:

  • Live stream full HD video to web browser or mobile apps
  • Full HD video, 8 megapixel stills, auto-focus
  • SMARTMod accessories that add power, connectivity and apps
  • Two styles, can use prescription lenses
  • Removable micro SD with mods
  • Interchangeable fuel mod
  • Wireless control from smartwatch or smart phone
  • Get notifications, configure audio and LED alerts from Pivothead and third party apps
  • Pair via Bluetooth with integrated NFC
  • Develop and run Android-based apps on the Air Mod
  • Published SDK for developers
  • Configurable five-position touch control

By Teena Maddox

Teena Maddox is a former Associate Managing Editor at TechRepublic. She oversees TechRepublic's news team and TechRepublic Premium. She focuses on tech and business and how the two worlds intersect. Teena's lifelong journalism career has included wri...