AR 4 Life
For the past year, augmented reality and virtual reality have dominated technology headlines. The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear are some of the most prominently covered virtual reality hardware out there. Virtual reality can be an exciting experience and it inspires new forms of immersive creative content, but it is mainly a singular experience and has limitations. Augmented reality has much more practical usage in the world and can have a profound impact on many industries.
To experience augmented reality, many are turning to smart glasses. Smart glasses can be connected to any smartphone, can be voice controlled, and have the ability to project a 105” screen, giving the consumer the best seat in the house at all times to experience this new medium.
Osterhout Design Group, ODG for short, has been an important leader in the technology headwear space for the past three decades. For context, the founder created the first night vision glasses utilized by the US military. The ODG team is extremely experienced at constructing smart glasses comfortable for everyday usage. ODG’s glasses are specifically designed to both limit eye fatigue and movement on the head which disrupts augmented reality projections, helping pave the way to how smart glasses will be received by the general population.
Several weeks ago at CES, ODG unveiled their first consumer smart glasses, the R-8 and R-9. In demoing the units, the smart glasses fit comfortably and are not significantly heavier than a pair of standard sunglasses. This technology can enhance efficiencies within many different industries. For instance, warehouse workers can wear smart glasses and be guided to the exact item that needs to be removed from shelves. The same can be applied for consumers entering a grocery store or even a traveler attempting to find a flight gate at an airport.
ODG is going to be a force in the smartglasses vertical, however, the space is not without competition. Magic Leap has been in the news for being a very monolithic yet controversial AR company having received over $1 billion in investments without even releasing a product. Pokemon Go recently had it’s heyday, introducing AR to the masses with their app being downloaded over 100 million times, and further still, Snapchat may be the real winner, as they have a very large audience and have already introduced augmented reality to their platform a la their Lenses features, interactive filters and their new Spectacles.
Augmented reality smart glasses are the next big disruptive platform in computing devices and have the potential to displace tablets and smartphones over the next several years. Screens will disappear and humanity will get one step closer to singularity. There will be opportunity for all, with the potential to change how humans interact, blurring the lines of reality.