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Smart glass taps AR to take on consumer, industrial apps

Posted: 11 Jun 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:AR? augmented reality? smart glass?

Smart glasses took the spotlight at the sixth annual Augmented World Expo (AWE), where both companies and start-ups demonstrated AR targeted at consumer and industrial applications.

"From nurses with X-ray vision to technicians that can teleport, technology is bringing superpowers to the people," said Ori Inbar, CEO and co-founder of AugmentedReality.org, the producing organisation behind AWE. "Augmented and virtual reality, wearables and IoT are enabling us to be better at anything we do in work and life."

Emerging technologies like AR comes with a series of challenges and opportunities, executives from smart glasses and AR device companies said during a session. Still, as additional use cases develop the possibilities are endless.

AR goggles

An AWE attendee tries on AR goggles to aid the blind.

"As augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are receiving more attention in the enterprise space, smart glasses are becoming more than a tiny monocular display and are transforming into an immersive 3D experience," CTO Atheer Labs Soulaiman Itani said in a release.

Innovega outlines success factors

During a quick talk, Innovega Steve Willey, CEO of Innovega discussed key features smart glasses must have to be successful. Glasses must be stylish, weigh less than 2oz, sell for less than $200 and minimise optic losses.

"Power consumption and battery life have always been an issue in this industry and a lot of attention is paid to the screen you select. But you can lose at least 50 per cent of power through inefficient optics," he said.

Innovega also aimed to improve content and applications, increase the pixels and field of vision and decrease eye strain.

"By floating optics a 30,000th of an inch into the eye, you get 10 times the field of view, so we dropped that into a contact lens," Willey said, adding that the system has eight times the pixel density of Google Glass. "This simultaneously has one's world in focus and the media playing in their phone in focus too."

50 per cent of the world wears a prescription lens and 80 per cent of the Asian population requires corrective lenses, Willey noted. Innovega has FDA approval for the lenses, but the ultimate goal is creating prescription eyeglasses that are agnostic to an application to kind of frame.

Innovega is still prototyping its lenses and glasses with small occlusion screens above the field of vision, but Willey said people are testing the lenses today.


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