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Challenges in Consumer AR Despite $100B Investment

Key Question for Consumer Mobile AR Developers

As someone deeply involved in the Augmented Reality domain, I frequently encounter a simple yet challenging question from those curious about smart glasses: "Why are smartglasses so difficult to develop?"

Over the past decade, we've witnessed remarkable advancements with products like Google Glass, Oculus Rift, Magic Leap, and Microsoft HoloLens, marking significant milestones in wearable computing and hinting at a revolutionary future for technology. Despite extensive investments and countless predictions, the long-awaited breakthrough in consumer AR remains unclear.

So what makes it so difficult? What cannot be solved even after spending a whopping $100B, a substantial sum that surpasses the GDP of more than half the world's nations. Having spent years in this industry, engaging with countless users, I believe the primary obstacles lie in the realm of Acceptance, encompassing Social, Ergonomic, Cost/Price, and Functionality factors.

The Challenges

Social and Ergonomic challenges center around the need for AR devices to be discreet and unobtrusive, avoiding the stigma associated with conspicuous wearable technology. Additionally, cost considerations dictate that these smartglasses should be accessible to the mass market, akin to a smartphone accessory, and reasonably priced, around the cost of a smartwatch.

Functionality is perhaps the most complex aspect, demanding AR glasses to offer all the capabilities of a smartphone, presented on a 3D wide Field Of View (FOV) optical display, with seamless augmented reality overlays. Such a device must operate continuously throughout a full day, indoors and outdoors, offering optimal performance under all lighting conditions.

In practicality, we are faced with the challenge of packing numerous components, including two 100’’ Color screens, computational power, wireless communication, an internal battery, sensors, and a frame, all within a 50-gram ergonomic device, which aligns with the comfort limit for all-day eyewear use.

We solved it!

Considering that regular eyeglass frames typically weigh around 30-35 grams, this leaves us with only 15 grams for all the additional "smart" functionalities. It's like attempting to fit a multitude of elements into a tiny space!

Moreover, we must also account for features like vision correction or tinted visors, which add complexity and weight to the device.

This poses a significant question for teams working on consumer mobile AR: Can conventional eyeglasses be transformed into a smart and wireless device that can operate all day in any environment while staying within the 15-gram limit?

This is why AR is so difficult to develop! But we solved it at Everysight.

More to come,

Asaf Ashkenazi



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