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New cutting edge AR (Augmented Reality) technology displayed @ CES 2015

Updated on January 15, 2015

Augmented Reality (AR) technology is in rapid development. New smartphones are equipped with latest AR software which help the user to travel easily to new places as well as create new forms of entertainment opportunities. In order to make this technology more mobile and easy to use Google created its "Google Glass", a seemingly spectacle shaped device attached with a small display capable of creating augmented reality in real time without smartphones. At the CES this year we see rival companies revealing their AR glasses, which seems more advanced creating a tough competition for "Google Glass".

"Google Glass" was created with the intention to make AR popular. It's a small display included with a camera mounted on conventional glass frames. The display is placed at the upper corner of an eye allowing the user to see the any time. The inclusion of a touch-pad at the side of the display helps the user to browse through applications on the display as well as use the AR features. But it could not created the intended market. Not too many can be seen wearing "Google Glass" now-a-days.

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In comparison to the "Google Glass" which was released for public on 2014, the new models displayed at the CES shows potential for creating a better market, particularly one $400 model developed by Topskey Technologies which is basically an Android-based wearable computer. It looks like an improved version of the Google Glass. The external design for both products is more or less identical. The difference is that it has better camera, storage and costs around $600-$700 less than the Google Glass.

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Another more expensive version of an AR glass was displayed by Osterhaut Design Group. They presented a military grade $5000 smart glass which is available to pre-approved industrial and government customers. It has powerful processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB storage, better camera and 720p HD quality display. No wonder that this product is expensive. The good news is that this company is planning to release a consumer version of this smart glass later this year under $1000. If proves promising, this product has a decent market creating opportunity.

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Famous organizations like EPSON are not not sitting around. EPSON displayed their Moverio BT-200 Smart Glass which received good user reviews. In addition to providing similar facilities like the Osterhaut Group's smart glass, it comes with a wide range of augmented applications created by various companies such as NGrain, APX Labs, Augumenta, Scope etc. These companies featured outstanding augmented applications for this product like Skylight by APX Labs. These applications can help the user travelling outdoors, use the product with hand gestures, viewing maintenance or user manual in real time etc.

Here is a comparison table for the different features of these three products:

 
Topsky Cloud-1
Osterhaut R-6
EPSON Moverio BT-200
CPU
1GHz single lower power
1.5GHz dual-core
1.2GHz dual-core
RAM
N/A
1GB pop LP-DDR2
1GB
Storage
4GB
16GB
8GB + microSD(2GB max)/microSDHC(32GB max)
Optics
480 x 240 display
720p dual sterioscopic see-through
.42 inch poly-silicon TFT see-through
Connectivity
Not specified
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB
Camera
720p HD
720p, 60fps HD
VGA
OS
Android 4.3
Android Jelly Bean
Android 4.0.4

Augmented reality is still a new technology. So are the AR glasses. There is a huge potential in this technology for development to suit the needs of the consumers. With the rapid development of technology we expect to get stronger, lighter and easier to use AR glasses in the future.

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