Brilliant Labs, a company known for its dedication to open-source technology, has recently made waves in the tech world with the introduction of the Monocle. This pocket-sized Augmented Reality (AR) device is designed to cater to the needs of hackers and creatives, offering a unique blend of accessibility, affordability, and aesthetic appeal.
The Monocle is a compact device that packs a punch despite its small size. Weighing in at just 15g, it comes equipped with a camera, microphone, and touch sensor. One of its standout features is a 20° Field of View (FOV) super bright display optic, providing users with a fresh perspective on their surroundings. The device pairs with other devices via Bluetooth and can be programmed through a web interface, with the user’s device providing additional computing power.
Brilliant Labs has also worked to cultivate a community around the Monocle. Users can join a Discord channel to see what others are working on and gain inspiration for their projects. The company provides continuously updated documentation to assist users in their hacking endeavors. This community-focused approach is a testament to Brilliant Labs’ commitment to fostering an open-source ecosystem.
Its capacity for rapid prototyping sets the Monocle apart from other AR devices on the market. Users familiar with Python can write AR apps directly for the Monocle, with intuitive APIs allowing easy access to the device’s hardware. This feature positions the Monocle as more than just a device; it’s a platform for iterative development and testing of AR ideas.
The Monocle is designed to clip onto a pair of glasses, fitting both thin and thick frames. It comes with a charging case and a USB-C cable; the case can recharge the device up to six times. The battery life of the Monocle is about an hour under normal use, making it a practical tool for on-the-go exploration and programming.
While the Monocle represents a significant step forward in the AR space, it’s worth noting that it’s entering a competitive market. As AR technology continues to evolve, devices like the Monocle will need to continually innovate to stay relevant.
If you are thinking about buying the Monocle, it is worth mentioning that the “next batch ships at the end of June.”
The Monocle is a promising product, but its success will ultimately depend on its ability to meet the needs of its target audience and adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of AR technology. It’s clear that Brilliant Labs has put a lot of thought into the design and functionality of the Monocle, but the real test will be how it is received by the hacker and creative communities.
On May 25, 2023, Reuters published a report about RizzGPT, an AI project by Bryan Chiang, a Stanford University computer science student, that uses Brilliant Labs’ Monocle and hooks it up to OpenAI’s ChatGPT API.