We are now into the final months of 2020 with no real announcement on any mainstream AR wearables--despite considerable talk of an Apple Glass announcement by 2021.
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A few months ago, goHere® Insights highlighted the Augmented Reality HUD technology in the 2021 Mercedes Benz S-Class, one of the many applications of AR operating without a headset or glasses. We are now into the final months of 2020 with no real announcement on any mainstream AR wearables--despite considerable talk of an Apple Glass announcement by 2021.
The only options for AR wearable headsets currently serve the enterprise and business community versus the consumer industry. Google Glass didn’t pick up much traction in consumer use. It failed to innovate and integrate holograms and eye/hand tracking capabilities, relying more on the purely informational Apple Watch-type interface, rather than the truly interactive future of augmented reality. Google did, however, acquire Focals by North earlier in 2020 which does promote a positive outlook on their future with AR glasses. The question is, what is the hold up?
Microsoft is currently the only company that has a hologram AR headset available to the market with the HoloLens 2. This mixed reality headset is far superior to wearable headsets from the past, but the price point of $3,500 reflects the technology packed into the Hololens 2 including numerous sensors for hand and eye tracking.
It’s apparent that this is where the augmented reality wearables market will shift--away from simple informational applications like Google Glass and into the interactive hologram applications like HoloLens 2. The current challenge is integrating the holographic display and all of the tracking sensors into a consumer size glasses package. Nobody wants to walk around all day with a huge headset on; consumers want portability, convenience, and style.
Facebook/Oculus, Microsoft, Google, Magic Leap, and Apple are all racing to create the first consumer AR hardware. In the meantime they’re working to acquaint consumers with augmented reality technology in general. The focus centers on getting consumer interest behind engaging 3D content, which is now being implemented into Lens and AR in Google Search. Users will now be allowed to engage with 3D content through search queries for products, information, education etc. This transformation will effectively bring the showroom to your smartphone.
We have seen this push towards consumer use of AR applications from Apple implementing lidar sensors into the iPhone 12 lineup. Lidar technology uses lasers to bounce off objects and measure the time of travel and flight characteristics of the light pulse emitted. This allows the smartphone to map out the dimensions of any space. This technology benefits AR developers in their pursuit of creating augmented reality experiences for smartphones by using lidar to scan the users’ environment the same way high end AR headsets from Microsoft and Magic Leap do.
This is a great step towards mass adoption, and as more companies realize the potential and return on investment opportunities augmented reality solutions provide, the more unique consumer applications will be developed. To stay ahead of the competition, reach out to goHere® today to discuss how your company will benefit from AR with our Augment Your Reality™ consulting and development services.
The focal point of the 2021 S-Class is the new augmented reality heads up display (AR - HUD).
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