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Home / Tips and Tricks / The AR Hardware Leaders of 2018 «Next Reality

The AR Hardware Leaders of 2018 «Next Reality



It is almost undeniable that smartglasses and headgear are the future of augmented reality. At this very moment, however, they are still a niche market.

Those who have been in the presence of a HoloLens, Meta 2 or Magic Leap One have seen how powerful AR experiences can be in headsets. Then there are those who work in companies that have used Vuzix, ODG or Daqri smartglasses and can confirm how Augmented Reality has made tedious work easier.

There is a widespread vision of a future in which augmented reality is omnipresent. As we walk down the street, navigation instructions appear in front of us. Every street corner looks like Times Square or Tokyo, with digital displays that cover every square centimeter and compete for our attention. The idea of ​​a desktop as a workspace, now limited to 2D monitors, returns to our actual, horizontally located desktop, where virtual graphs and models slosh over and float above its surface. Smartglasses and other AR-centric devices enable this future.

Some experts say that we are still five to ten years away from AR hardware, mature enough to meet this utopian ideal, but the technology can improve exponentially in that time. Remember, ten years ago, the app stores had not yet opened their digital doors. Now apps for smartphones have created billions of dollars of business and driven entire economies.

In this context, let us pay tribute to this year's NR30 hardware executives ̵

1; people working in AR today, who have made great strides this year to push the boundaries of tomorrow. We can look back very well on this list in a decade and realize that in 2018, when the wave broke – the same people were the pioneers responsible for the next big revolution in computing.

Rony Abovitz – Magic Leap

19659008] The company's promise is embedded in the company name – Magic Leap – a seemingly impossible jump into another reality, seamlessly mapped across the real world. This is what Rony Abovitz tried to do when he founded his augmented reality company in 2010 (he calls it "Spatial Computing"). The goal was to turn his many science-fiction-inspired aspirations into interactive experiences and tools that could be used by anyone on the planet.

Image about Magic Leap

Introducing AR, which has the same ease of use and simplicity as can be seen when picking up a real coffee mug or writing on a physical whiteboard – the Magic Leap One took a long time to come. Now it has finally found its way into the hands of a small legion of developers eager to test the limits of what is currently the cutting edge of portable augmented reality hardware.

When the device finally appeared in August For many, it simply did not live up to the hype that Abovitz and his marketing team spent for years. This hype machine was also fueled in part by reports from various, often famous friends of the company, who had received early demos and publicly raved about it under the mystery-ridden framework of secrecy agreements.

Image via Magic Leap

Initial reviews of a small group of news sites that had early access to the device were lukewarm at best. But the real hammer fell when Oculus founder Palmer Luckey drew his ingenious technical eye on the device in detail and finally looked at the product "a little better than Hololens in a way, a little worse in others".

In the following weeks, Abovitz uses Twitter to push back critics while supporting the developer group, who are passionate about Magic Leap One and the possibilities around its platform. In addition to a small group of developers now working with the device, Magic Leap also partners with people like AT & T, the NBA and various entertainment studios to develop high-end AR content. With the addition of the infamous Angry Birds franchise to its app offering this fall, Magic Leap One even targets Apple, where it hurts.

In a tech landscape driven by fast innovation cycles, Abovitz seems to be hoping for the long game.

And while big partnerships are always good for a new start-up, none of these relationships seem to offer anything tangible in profit that helps investors achieve a return on the billions invested by the company. In a tech landscape driven by fast innovation cycles, Abovitz hopes for a long game. It's a strategy that could work, but based on the company's post-launch profile, this long-term strategy is far from over in full swing.

But despite what some have described as a failure to deliver big promises, what? Abovitz has managed to bring the spirit of the show and greater expectations to AR. Beyond cute mobile apps, AR filters and concept videos, Magic Leap, through the disappointment of the tech world, has wished to harness what Magic Leap seemed to promise: a brand new world of interactive virtual interfaces and objects more powerful than anything others are.

The Magic Leap Although it may only be an iterative step ahead, it is still a step in the right direction. And his head cheerleader Abovitz gives the high-ranking advocate she desperately needs to a young and still largely unformed AR room as she relentlessly advances into the mainstream.

Since Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away, we have seen some executives drop by at various conferences and events and add the new product in several categories. And in almost all cases, no matter how cool the actual product is, there seems to be little real enthusiasm for a new product version of Apple, as presented in the past with the theatrical flair of Jobs. No, Abovitz is not yet known to be the pacemaker and reveal the future, but he has managed to capture the imagination of the public with something else: social media.

Through this shift in the game medium – which may now lead to powerful executives losing long-held corporate roles or fueling another's political rise on the world stage – Abovitz sown the mainstream marketplace with ideas, the world up A Way That Is So Unique CEO in the space

Abovitz gives the high-ranking advocate he desperately needs to a young and still largely unformed AR room as he relentlessly moves toward mainstream adoption.

Sure, the Magic Leap One did not deliver the most sacred of holy grails, that is, a tiny pair of AR eyeglass lenses indistinguishable from ordinary eyeglass lenses. But it does the next best thing; This allows us to take a powerful AR headset anywhere, without having to have a stationary PC and a square device in front of us as we squint and stagger in one position to experience immersive computing.

It's far too early to predict the fate of the Magic Leap One or the multi-billion dollar supported firm. And we'll get another signal on how popular (or not) the device is with developers next month when Magic Leap hosts its first L.E.A.P. (19659003) But aside from all the unanswered questions (How long does the funding last without significant gains? If it's an entertainment-focused device, how and when will future, non-developer-centric versions of the device come at what price?) It is undeniable that Abovitz has presented us with what may well be considered the best-conceived "vision" of what AR can be "today" before we get those ideal, magically tiny AR glasses. Everyone has their goals in sight.

Alex Kipman – Microsoft

It would not be difficult to call Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow at Microsoft, the godfather of modern augmented reality based on his work as a visionary inventor of HoloLens

The native Brazilian came to Microsoft's Visual Studio in 2001 after graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology. In 2010, he celebrated with the invention of Kinect, the motion-sensing camera that debuted with the Xbox 360 game console and 2010, the power of the deep-sensitive superpowers of HoloLens.

HoloLens was born from Kipman's birthplace frustration at work with two-dimensional displays. Kipman and a team of 20 designers and engineers began developing HoloLens prototypes in 2012. The HoloLens made their public debut at the Microsoft build conference in 2015, with Kipman serving as the evening's escort. While the $ 3,000 device has sold only about 50,000 units so far, many credit the earphones for establishing the augmented reality wearables industry, especially with its acceptance by corporate customers.

Kipman's innovations bring him into a dilute atmosphere that transcends augmented reality to the upper echelons of the tech world. Time magazine ranked Kipman as one of the top 25 nerds in 2010, along with Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, for the world of Kinect, and he was a finalist for the European Inventor Award 2018 for his work on HoloLens [19659003] With a new version of the Kinect sensor and a second-generation HoloLens edition coming out in 2019, Kipman's direct and indirect impact on the industry will continue to grow.

Paul Travers – Vuzix

Augmented reality is still an emerging technology, but Paul Travers, founder and CEO of Vuzix, has been working in this field since 2010. As his company focuses on enterprise-focused devices, Travers and his company are preparing for the consumer sector.

Image via Vuzix

A graduate of Canton ATC and Clarkson University with more than 30 years of experience in consumer electronics, Travers easily earned the label "Serial Entrepreneur". Travers began his career at Eastman Kodak, but left Forte Sound, where he first built sound cards for PCs from his basement before he licensed his technology to Advanced Micro Devices. He then founded a USB connectivity company, Etek Labs, which he eventually sold to Belkin. This was followed by Forte Technologies, a VR headset manufacturer.

Then in 1997 he founded the company Interactive Imaging Systems, which was later to be called Vuzix. The company manufactured night vision systems for military and personal video displays until the first augmented reality portability, the STAR-1200, was made by 2010.

The Vuzix Blade, with a design more influential to Oakley than Star Trek and incorporates the power of Amazon's Alexa, represents the linchpin of the company to consumers. [19659018] Today, Travers and his company offer Smartglasses in a much more compact form factor than the first device. The company markets its M series of Smartglasses to companies including companies such as John Deere and DHL. The company has also developed a tethered version of the M-300 for Toshiba to sell to corporate customers.

But it's the Vuzix Blade, with a design that's more influential to Oakley than Star Trek and incorporates the powers of Amazon's Alexa, who represents the linchpin of the company to consumers. Vuzix is ​​currently accepting pre-orders for blade developer kits, but the company has already released the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1, a chip for augmented reality devices, for blade 2019.

We talked to Travers about this last year in AR and how he came into the field. Below are his easily edited answers.

Describe your first time AR or VR?

The first time I saw VR in an arcade in the Thousand Islands in northern New York in the early 1990s. I played Dactyl Nightmare by Virtuality. It was very fascinating, but expensive for the short time I could play.

Footage of the Dactyl Nightmare game by Virtuality from an 1992 Game Masters episode.

There were no consumer VR products back then. The game, however, was convincing enough that it convinced me to start my own company making VR headsets for the consumer. The second time I tried VR was using the VFX1 from Forte Technologies, my first VR company. This second time was exciting for me because it was something our team had built.

The first time I experienced AR / MR was at the World's Fair in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Vuzix was commissioned by Hitachi to build a series of mixed-reality binoculars for their pavilion. The line was for up to 10,000 people a day. While driving, people were excited about this experience with excitement. The ride was incredibly interactive and the virtual objects felt so real – I was oversold that the idea of ​​mixing the real world with the digital world would change almost every part of life.

What is the most important thing that has happened in AR in the last 12 months?

ARKit and ARCore. These tools and the applications they use give people a brand new way to use their mobile devices and show users the value of connecting the digital world to the real world. Changing people's behavior is one of the most difficult tasks in opening up a new market, and ARKit and ARCore teach everyone that there is value, and the AR applications they get deliver that value.

Ralph Osterhout – ODG

19659008] Ralph Osterhout has the coolest curriculum vitae with the rest of the names on this list after talking about Tekna, manufacturer of diving equipment and products for the US Department of Defense, equipment for James Bond films and general consumer products. One of these devices was an early version of the PVS-7 night vision goggles, by another start-up called S-Tron. In another company founded by him, which he founded Inter-4, he continued to develop military equipment, including helmet-mounted displays.

Image of AWE / YouTube

Later he went on to found the Osterhout Design Group (ODG) in 1999, focusing on military technology, with night vision goggles, portable biometric computers, Towards Smartglasses

In 2016, ODG closed a $ 58 million Series A round of financing to increase production capacity and to build and deliver new products. The company is now in its tenth generation of smartglasses, the ODG R-9. The THX certified device has a 50 degree field of view, six degrees of freedom, and SLAM.

Despite being so close to Agent 007 and his fantastic toys, Osterhout is also a realist and gives glasses at CES 2017 cool enough for Bond are not yet feasible. But OGG is approaching.

We talked to Osterhout about his inspiration to join the AR field. Below is his easily edited answer.

What was your first inspiration for working on AR hardware?

In 1984, I was part of the team that developed the PVS-7 night vision goggles and helped to "capture the night". I thought, "Would not it be great to help you build glasses that can connect you and hold on to the day?" Since then, I've focused on binocular, two-eyed, integrated smartglasses – head-worn computers that provide access to information everywhere through augmented reality. Smartglasses are the next mobile limit and augmented reality helps to make that possible.

Joseph Mikhail – Meta

Meta has become a household name in the AR community, but his main buyer, Joe Mikhail, first joined the company at Operational Capacity about a year ago. As a member of Meta's Board of Directors since 2015, Mikhail is no stranger to the intricacies of AR and what it takes to extend the reach of the startup far beyond the insider and enthusiast contingent of the AR community.

Image via Meta

Mikhail, who grew up in the technologically obsessed Silicon Valley, came to Meta from Lenovo, where he was director of global open innovation, and before that corporate strategy and Innovation at Flex Led (formerly Flextronics)

But Mikhail is not just a business mind, he's a true AR geek, with a deep passion for space and his future beyond the current state of the art. This vision and passion is even more important now that companies like Magic Leap have joined the fight and Microsoft HoloLens is preparing to release an updated version of its hardware. Fortunately for Meta, Mikhail's experience with mobile hardware and software, and putting these tools for mainstream success, his enthusiasm and insight into AR.

We spoke with Mikhail about his impressions of the AR area in the last 12 months. Below are his easily edited answers.

What you dislike most about currently available AR hardware or software

The lack of standards lets AR projects live in silos. Once the industry agrees, AR will be ready for broad ecosystem growth and mass adoption. Maybe this is an opportunity rather than a challenge!

What is the most important thing that has happened in AR in the last 12 months?

The introduction of high-quality AR solutions. Switching from Developer Kits for R & D to Applications for Business Units

Kevin Zhong – DreamWorld

The story of Kevin Zhong's impressive AR mobile device, DreamGlass, began with a steep separation from Meta, the company in which he previously worked as a senior optical engineer. About a year after its departure in 2016, Zhong announced the creation of DreamGlass, a lower-priced and more mobile-friendly competitor to the Meta 2 headset. Soon after, Meta filed a lawsuit against Zhong and his company DreamWorld, in which he indicted the misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information.

Image via DreamWorld

However, the two companies did not want to reach an agreement and pave the way for Zhong to release his DreamGlass device, which can provide AR experiences, while connected to a PC or connected to a mobile phone. In many ways, what Zhong's company offers is an early version of the ideal AR headset many companies have worked on.

In many ways, Zhong's company is an early version of the ideal AR headset for many businesses

In short, it's a fully-fledged AR computer environment connected to the Internet and likely to have a lot of AR performance in it can deliver the most popular mobile AR dynamics until we get lightweight AR Smartglasses. 19659003] At the last AWE conference, Zhong was on the floor, giving personal demonstrations to anyone who had time to try the device, and most of them went away quite surprised by the power of the DreamGlass. Now the only question is whether Zhong will be able to scale its energy and its fast-paced approach as the market fills with competitors with much deeper pockets and massive marketing budgets.

We talked to Zhong about his impressions of the AR Field and how he got into it. Below are his easily edited answers.

The moment you knew AR was the future

Despite its limitations, Google Glass met with great interest and received a lot of useful feedback for the AR industry. That's when I knew that AR is the future. I have great respect for early AR products like Google Glass and HoloLens. I think they have laid the foundation for the growth of the current AR environment.

What is the most important thing that has happened in AR in the last 12 months?

Although I'm not a big fan of phone-based AR, I think the most important thing is the release of ARKit and ARcore. It gently touched the mainstream smartphone user and told them, even to a very limited extent, how much fun AR can be. This is very important. Attention from the mainstream will help motivate AR companies and consumer electronics giants to invest more in AR technology.

Adario Strange and Tommy Palladino have contributed to this report.

Miss: NR30 – 30 Pictures of Next Reality in Augmented Reality in 2018

Cover Picture about EPO Films / YouTube and Next Reality

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