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Bulky Ora-S AR Eyewear more goggly than Googley (hands-on)

At CES 2014, another Google Glass competitor focuses more on augmented reality, less on wearability.

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Jessica Dolcourt
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Jessica Dolcourt

Editorial Director / CNET Money, How-To & Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Money, How-To, and Performance teams. A California native who grew up in Silicon Valley, she's passionate about connecting people with the highest standard of advice to help them reach their goals.

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Ora-S AR Eyewear takes smartframes further
Watch this: Ora-S AR Eyewear takes smartframes further

LAS VEGAS -- It's hard not to gasp when laying eyes on the ridiculously enormous Ora-S AR eyewear smartglasses. But in this early stage of smart spec development, looks take a back seat to demonstrating functionality. In this case, Optinvent, the company behind the Ora-S, is focused on augmented reality.

Sure, the Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth-capable smartglasses will display notifications, directions, and all the rest, but what really gets Optinvent going is the software developer kit that is designed to engender more AR apps. For instance, the Ora-S will launch with the Wikitude augmented reality browser.

The company also sees beauty in the glasses' gawky, geeky design, especially of a pivoting arm that pushes the display up into the center of your vision field, or down to the bottom, so that you're viewing info peripherally.

Ugly as it is, this pair of cheap plastic smart frames has some pretty good chops, like a 5-megapixel autofocus camera that can also shoot video, a mic for voice activation, a headphone jack, and a dual-core TI processor. The compass, gyroscope, and accelerometer all make an appearance, and there's a 600mAh battery as well.

In addition to the prototype we saw, the Ora-S smartglasses will come in a thinner variety, in white and silver shades. Developers can buy a pair for $950, which will ship in March. The consumer model will cost $350 and will arrive in the third quarter of this year.

Ora-S AR Eyewear is clunky, but techy (pictures)

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