XR in 2019
2019 is already set up to be an exciting year. We are a little over a week into the year, and the excitement is palatable with all of the great announcements coming out of CES (but we will get into those in next weeks blog). With new headsets coming out, better technology, and more XR use cases than ever before, the Trivver Team is excited to share some things we are looking forward to in 2019.
Augmented reality has really taken off over the past couple of years in advertising and branding. With consumers already being equipped with devices that support AR experiences, it makes sense that brands are jumping on to the AR bandwagon. Now, AR experiences are cool, but our team is even more excited for AR wearables! Ever since Google Glass came out in 2013, and fell flat with adoption rates by the general public, the question has been who is going to be able to bring AR glasses to the masses. Snap Spectacles have made it culturally appropriate to wear an inconspicuous camera on your face in public, and even though they are lacking AR capabilities, they have defiantly paved the way for brands like North to succeed in the AR smartglasses category.
North, which launched out of secrecy at the end of 2018, now has two brick and mortar stores to give the public some hands-on time with the emerging technology. The price of North’s Focal glasses is steep, clearly aimed more at the early adopter group, but we hope that more competition in the glasses wearable space will make these cool accessories a more affordable experience.
So who may unveil AR smartglasses in the next year an bring some competition into the space? All signs point to Apple unveiling their version sometime in 2019/2020 based on company acquisitions and patents. Apple has already supported AR with the launch of ARKit, and CEO Tim Cook has shared his support for AR over VR numerous times in the past couple of years. Some other competitors in the AR smartglasses market are the Bose AR sunglasses, Vuzix’s Blade, and Tencent’s Spectacles. Let the smartglasses war begin.
Don’t listen to the naysayers, virtual reality is strong and growing. Case and point, the IDC issued a report in December that showed the VR market saw 8.2 percent year-over-year growth in the third quarter of 2018. This growth was led by two headsets from Sony PSVR and Oculus, and more launches in 2019 promise more growth and new technology. Last year was an exciting year for VR, we received the launch of Oculus Go, HTC Vive Focus, Magic Leap Creator One Edition, and more.
2019 promises more competition with Facebook’s new standalone headset, Oculus Quest, shipping out this Spring, and Mircosoft Hololens 2 launching sometime soon. Just this week at CES 2019 we learned of the HTC Vive Pro Eye, which promises to be an upgraded version of the already premium Vive Pro with integrated eye-tracking hardware. VR now has the ability to reach new markets as standalone headsets allow VR enthusiasts who don’t have an expensive gaming computer or want to travel with their HDMs now have the ability to. Maturing technology, more standalone headsets, and dropping prices mean that VR is going to be more accessible in 2019, and we can’t wait to see that growth!