The future of AR glasses at AWE 2024 – Video


VR/AR Productivity

I’m walking around the race track. Well, I’m here at the Augmented World Expo in Long Beach. You can see the Apple Vision Pro and Mest three for haptics and art experiences like riding horses or walking on logs in mixed reality on the show floor, things like drawing and art with things like the Mixed Reality Pen. That’s because they’re the most versatile building blocks that are available right now, but they’re big. Then the next step is to miniaturize these things and there are companies that are showing how that can be done. First of all about lenses I talked to a company called Loomis that showed how small and good lenses can be for projecting displays and they looked really good. The question is who will adopt them? There are also companies that are building light engines to minimize the ways you project on those glasses. There are also companies that are trying to track hand gestures because a lot of the more expensive mixed reality headsets will have their own built in power sensors? That’s right here. A company called Ultra Leap is showing how you can put low power cameras in a hacked version of Meta’s RayBan glasses to do things like micro gestures on the go. And eventually the Meta Ray Band might have such cameras or other smart glasses in the future. Also, there’s your watch. There are many ways your watch can work as a connected interface. And I was waiting for that dual point, I saw here’s a company that’s using gestures to control your TV or lights. And eventually, yes, work with glasses as well. And they’re using a modified software package on Samsung watches. There’s also Tap XR which is making its own custom built wearable that has a camera and some sensing capabilities to do things like that. So I saw companies rolling it out and it doesn’t look like we’re too far away from getting it working with glasses. But again, it comes down to what AI is on the software right now and you can see companies making changes, of course, they will because it’s a huge hype thing. But there are also some useful things that AI can do on glasses. You can identify things by asking them about it. You can get it to eventually start recognizing things and assisting you, which is already experimenting on it. And the limitation of that is you have to figure out how to deliver those services to a processor that you’re carrying around with you, these glasses don’t have enough meta ray bands with your phone. X reels, connect to your phone. X has actually built their own little device that looks like a phone called the Beam Pro. It’s $200 basically almost a phone. It’s an Android powered thing. It’s trying to be the phone concept for a world where phones still don’t fully work with AR glasses. And XReal’s product has the potential to become a touch pad or to launch apps and mixed reality and make them more compatible with phones instead of casting and mirroring them to your display. And it also has an extra pasture USB C port for charging while wearing the glasses. It takes spatial photos with more widely spread cameras. Some of these ideas will probably come to phones as well, but phone compatibility for these is already inconsistent. And then you have wild cards like haptic gloves. There are huge ones like the Hap Deck, there are mid-range ones like the Sense Glove that retracts your fingers and also vibrates and also something that presses your hand. And then there are haptics that basically have a whole bunch of vibrating motors on the vest and wrist pieces and gloves on your body. And a lot of these can look really gimmicky. But I also saw a very moving art piece called I Will Defy You that made me emotional and used tactics to express the feelings of someone who survived an electroshock gender conversion therapy experience, I feel emotional, even just talking about it. Those vibrations made me feel connected. Haptic is trying out new sensations that will eventually create sensations of emotion or connect to things that we associate with emotions. I don’t think we have a clear sense of where all of these pieces will come next. And so I’m not ready to dismiss any of them just yet, as you walk around the show, like awe, it’s all experimental. All of these pieces are trying to find a bit of a place here. Some of it is practical. Some of it is wild and big companies like Apple and Meta don’t exist here. So these companies are trying to find a way to explore the future and I think the future is a dynamic point. We don’t have a product that’s perfect yet. We don’t have the iPhone of your wearable glasses yet. I think they’ll be something like this. I think they’ll be something that works with your hands. I think they’re going to be AI driven and I think they’re going to work as displays sometimes or even headphones and glasses, it’ll probably take a couple of years to get there. You’re seeing the early stages of it here, but it seems a lot more possible now than it did before. I just don’t know when I’ll be able to buy a perfect one.


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