Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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    These smart glasses give you a glimpse into the future that Apple and Facebook are planning.

    Avegant, a startup in San Mateo, California, has developed an LED light engine that enables device manufacturers to produce small, stylish augmented reality smart glasses.

    Courtesy of Avegant

    I recently tried Avegant’s prototype smart glasses. This gave us a glimpse into the future where we could watch videos, check directions, check notifications, etc. with the traditional appearance of colors.

    With companies like Facebook, Snap, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple looking ahead to the phone, this type of eyeglasses could be the next big thing.

    I wore Google Glass, Microsoft Hololens, Snap Glasses, and more recently, Facebook Ray-Ban Story Glass. But they all have their drawbacks. It’s too big and bulky to wear anywhere (Hololens), nothing is visible on the lens (Facebook), or it looks ridiculous (Spectacles, Hololens, Google Glass).

    Big tech companies need smart glasses that look good if they have a chance to succeed. That’s why they’re desperately looking for display components that are small and can be manufactured and shipped within next year or two years, Avegant CEO Edward Tang told CNBC.

    Avegant does not manufacture smart glasses, but combined a prototype pair to demonstrate the capabilities of the new LED augmented reality engine that the company unveiled this fall. And I was impressed.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    Problems with current “smart” glasses

    Many companies make smart glasses, but they all take different approaches. It’s a kind of confusion. Here is a brief summary:

    Avegant believes that there are solutions that can help businesses build products that the average person wants to buy.

    Thinner than a pencil and as heavy as a large paper clip, the new light engine fits inside the hinges and temples of eyeglasses, allowing the wearer to see high-resolution visuals. The light engine is a pair of glasses that some companies that don’t have a huge hardware engineering team in-house are as stylish and small as Ray-Ban’s pair, but provide the visual features dreamed of in science fiction movies like Terminator. May be ready to be manufactured. “”

    A glimpse of the future

    When Tang handed me the prototype glasses made by his team in October, I demonstrated the light engine. They were thin and looked like regular glasses, except that they were cabled to a smartphone. The prototype is intended to show how small hardware manufacturers can use Avegant’s light engine to make their eyeglasses smaller.

    “We are preparing to have the smallest manufacturable displays for these customers,” says Tang.

    I wore glasses. A translucent blue square appeared in the center of my field of view, showing a display overlaid on what I was actually seeing. Then the demo started.

    Glasses have begun to circulate through various visuals. A small translucent screen displayed the weather, stock charts, and text message conversations. I was looking in the direction of the Tang and I could see him, but the visuals also looked like a crystal on him. It was true augmented reality.

    The highlight of the demo was when the glasses started playing the video. This was an excerpt from a soccer match at the Euro2020 tournament this summer. I saw the green grass, a large crowd, and the players passing the ball to each other before the forward shot a goal behind the net. The game looked as good and big as when I was watching it on TV in my living room at home or sitting in a sports bar with my friends.

    The Avegant Light engine provided a 30 degree field of view and looked like a rectangle in the middle of my line of sight.

    I returned my glasses to Tang, who put on my glasses and started watching the demo. I noticed a subtle hint of blue light on the lens, but I hardly knew he was looking at anything. He seemed to be indulging in fantasy.

    However, there are still drawbacks. Manufacturers using Avegant light engines need to determine the battery life required for their smart glasses. The longer the battery life, the bulkier the glasses. Similarly, a 30 degree field of view is equivalent to the first Hololens, but a smaller window than Microsoft’s Hololens 2.


    Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories glasses allow you to take pictures and videos through the cameras in each corner of the device’s frame.

    Courtesy of Ashley Bogdan

    Components like Avegant can help some tech companies develop smart glasses that people want to wear. But that’s still in its infancy, and skeptics don’t expect us to get smart glasses that look normal right away.

    “The long-term vision here is to take the phone away from your hand and put it on your face,” said Kevin Irwin, Chief Investment Officer at Knollwood Investment. Irwin is an investor in Avegant.

    Avegant has not yet mass-produced lightweight engines. We envision a business model that sells components to companies that can be incorporated into smart glasses.

    Karl Guttag, an augmented reality display device expert, explained that large companies may not even need Avegan’s technology.

    “Facebook and Apple are companies from scratch. They have an amazing and huge team working on something like this,” Guttag said. “With my drift, they don’t need an avegant, but maybe because the snaps aren’t really included in this. They’re trying to get the components.”

    Guttag also has doubts about how smart glasses will replace smartphones at any time in the near future. This will limit Avegant’s outlook.

    “The expectation that these things will look like Ray-Ban is far away,” Guttag said. “Now you can get something that’s kind of like an Avegant engine and is reasonably stylish. It’s going to be a little big and bulky, but not so much.”

    These smart glasses give you a glimpse into the future that Apple and Facebook are planning.

    Source link These smart glasses give you a glimpse into the future that Apple and Facebook are planning.

    The post These smart glasses give you a glimpse into the future that Apple and Facebook are planning. appeared first on Eminetra.

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