Android dominates the AR smart glasses space powering 60% of devices
Google Glass might be dead but Android rules the AR smart glasses space according to the newly published The Definitive Guide to Augmented Reality Smart Glasses
2016 has been a strong year for augmented reality with the release of new AR smart glasses from Meta, Microsoft, Vuzix, Epson and ODG with many others in various states of development. To help better understand the market, non-profit organization, AugmentedReality.org, and business intelligence expert, Ron Padzensky, have published The Definitive Guide to Augmented Reality Smart Glasses. This interactive guide is an in-depth look at over forty products which are already on the market or are in advanced stages of development and is aimed at helping organizations and consumers find the right AR solution.
One of the clear winners in this space is Google’s Android as over 60% of the products documented in The Guide use this operating system including devices from ODG, castAR, Atheer, Vuzix, and Epson. This early dominance in the AR operating system space echoes a similarly successful strategy Google has taken in the mobile market with Android powered smartphones. Microsoft’s Windows is also in play which powers its own HoloLens device in addition to the Meta 2 and the upcoming Windows 10 mixed reality devices expected from the likes of ASUS, Lenovo, HP and others. Currently missing in action is iOS as Apple has yet to officially announce any AR plans despite numerous hires, acquisitions and interviews which suggest a focus in this area.
While virtual reality has taken a consumer-first approach, it is clear that the augmented reality smart glasses market is aimed squarely at the enterprise. Sixty percent of the devices listed in The Guide are intended for commercial or industrial purposes. In addition, the median cost of a pair of smart glasses is about $1,000 which can easily be justified by corporations who are using these devices to realize workplace efficiencies resulting in operational cost savings but out of reach for the average consumer.
“AR is extremely active in the enterprise with many organizations moving past the pilot stage to rolling out full solutions using this technology,” says Ori Inbar, Founder and CEO of non-profit organization, AugmentedReality.org. “From construction to automotive, AR smart glasses are making employees smarter, safer and more efficient which results in real ROI and a competitive advantage to justify the technology spend”.
Despite recent additions to this product list adopting helmet and/or visor form factors, such as DAQRI and HoloLens, The Guide finds that over half of the products take on a spectacles form factor such as glasses from Epson and Recon. The majority of these spectacles use monocular optics such as devices from Vuzix.
The optical qualities of AR glasses are its most important attribute when it comes to rendering compelling experiences. The delivery of information to the eye also presents the hardest technological problems to solve. The holy grail of AR is to be able to place visual information in the real world almost anywhere in one’s surroundings and we still have a long way to go until this is achieved. In fact, The Guide found that the average field of view (FOV) across all forty-two devices was only 33 degrees compared to the 180 degrees which we naturally possess with human eyesight. Meta and DAQRI had the widest field of view reaching up to a maximum of 88 degrees.
“The Guide is based on a database of product specifications that was painstakingly assembled to allow the user to first learn about the technology behind AR glasses then interact with the data to see which products possess the various qualities,” said analyst, Ron Padzensky. “The result is the gaining of an unprecedented level of insight into this fledgeling industry.”
As an online report, The Definitive Guide to Augmented Reality Smart Glasses is a living resource which will continue to be updated as information becomes publicly available. Such expected updates include stealth-AR company Magic Leap, and possibly Apple, Facebook/Oculus, and others which are rumored to be working on AR solutions. The most up-to-date information can be found at www.arglassesguide.com.
About the Author
Ron Padzensky is the creator of The Definitive Guide to Augmented Reality Smart Glasses. He is also the author of Augmera.com where his global audience reads about his writings on all aspects of augmented reality. He serves as an analyst at AugmentedReality.org and is a facilitator of their annual Augmented World Expo. He also co-hosts the Augmented Reality Chicago (ARCHI) meetup and has been featured on the InnovationNavigation XM Radio show.
About the Publisher
AugmentedReality.org unites hundreds of companies, and thousands of entrepreneurs, engineers and designers — committed to advancing Augmented Reality — an emerging technology that digitizes interaction. The non-profit organization has a moonshot goal of driving adoption of AR to over 1 billion active users by 2020. Its members tap into valuable members-only resources: major discounts to industry events, networking opportunities with industry leaders, up-to-date educational programs and technical training, unparalleled market research, exposure in extensive promotional programs, and representation in the voice of the industry. AugmentedReality.org also owns and produces AWE (Augmented World Expo) — the world’s largest international event for augmented reality which takes place in the USA, Europe and Asia. AWE USA 2017, which is now in its eighth year, will take place on May 31-June 2