Google Glass: Companies that Stood on Google’s giant shoulders and augmented OHMDs

Continuing from my last post on Diane Von Firstenberg’s fashionable Google Glass designs that can incorporate a user’s eyeglass prescription lenses into the shades, I promised I’d dive deeper into the companies that have stood on Google’s giant shoulders and augmented the functionality and capabilities on OHMDs (definition below).

From the Augmented World Expo 2014 I attended May 27-29 2014 in Santa Clara, I took the below photo to show you who these companies are that have extended Glass as other OHMDs (“Optical Head Mounted Display“, vs. “Head ounted Display” or “Helmet Mounted Display” which is abbreviated HMD) to really do cool things. Although these companies truly do largely extend the Glass concept to work in different environments (which will be detailed in another upcoming post), in order to do this the sleek Google Glass form factor had to become bigger, and sometimes bulky and heavy. Realize all the OHMD companies below are still in beta or POC stages, albeit some of their devices are being used today solving real-world business and consumer problems.

AWE2014 Smart Glass Face-Off Session of Key Players:

AWE2014 Smart Glass Face-Off Session of Key Players

AWE2014 Smart Glass Face-Off Session of Key Players

I’ll give you a quick review of each “key player” shown in the image above, from left-to-right as you see them on the screen. Each manufacturer stated how their OHMD differentiated from the rest of the panels’ OMHDs.

  • VUZIX: Vuzix‘s President & CEO Paul Travers gave a great overview of Vuzix M100, “the world’s first commercially available “Smart Glasses”, currently Open for Business. Vuzix Smart Glass is designed for use in the enterprise, commercial and medical applications. The “enterprise” emphasis was the differentiating point for Vuzix. It’s an Android-based wearable computer. You can read more about Vuzix’s M100 Smart Glass on their website about this model (Overview, Features, Specs and for AppDevs who want to develop on this OHMD) and also via their pdf. Vuzix’s products do not stop there. Their M2000AR is the first waveguide-based HD see-through AR system designed to give hands-free access to information and AR content in an industrial setting. Vuzix states their primary users of this model are in Defense, Homeland Security, and First Responders. To view the M2000AR’s Overview, Features, Specs, and Box Contents visit the M2000AR site. Below might pique your interest in viewing their site; it shows 6 different OMHDs that are each specialized:
6 Vuzix OHMDs

6 Vuzix OHMDs

  • INNOVEGA: Innovega‘s CEO & Director Steve Willey gave another great overview if their OMHD, iOptik (videos shown in iOptik link). Innovega’s display technology is based on both eyewear and contact lenses to enhance human vision, allowing users to simultaneously access digital media while remaining fully engaged in normal activities. It delivers high-performance personal displays in compact form-factors and stylish designs. The resulting products and platforms will offer unique benefits that include transparent optics, panoramic fields of view, and full HD/3D performance. Innovega’s byline is “The Future of Personal Media…“. Innovega’s differentiating factor is that traditional Head Mounted Display (OHMD) architectures based on macro optical components are bound by an unbreakable relationship between field of view (screen size) and eyewear bulk. The image below shows the relationship between existing-technology, head mounted display “bulk” and image size or field of view. As the field of view increases, the size of the display increases geometrically. As indicated in the chart, the iOptik display system breaks out from this relationship by delivering almost any required image size from a fixed and conventional eyeglasses form-factor:
Innovega's Field-of-View Advantage

Innovega’s Field-of-View Advantage

  • EPSON: Yes, Epson! The company we all know for their printers, scanners, etc. has a huge R&D center and the money to back it up. Epson’s Product Manager of New Markets discussed the Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glass. It is the world leader in projection technology, acknowledged by the entire Smart Glass Face-Off Panel (translation: the company “to beat”). The Moverio BT-200 is a binocular, transparent pair of smart glasses that open up a whole new world in entertainment, manufacturing, medical science and more. Unlike competitive models, each lens has its own display, right in your field of vision, projected into your surroundings. And, the BT-200 boasts 2x the virtual screen size, at a remarkably affordable price. These lightweight glasses work out-of-the-box with Bluetooth and other technology, plus most AndroidTM apps. With a front-facing camera and motion tracker, the BT-200 is a premier development platform for apps of the future and hands-free scenarios, delivering large, 2D or 3D images, front and center — virtually anywhere. The link in this bullet point contains specs, key features, and more. There are 3 images below to show you the glassware design and it’s parts as well as 2 images from the panel session at #AWE2014 :
Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glass Parts

Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glass Parts

Eric Mizufuka talking about the Moverio BT-200

Eric Mizufuka talking about the Moverio BT-200

The Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glass Closeup

The Epson Moverio BT-200 Smart Glass Closeup

  • OPTINVENT: I have to say that Optinvent‘s CEO & Co-Founder Kayvan Mirza was very entertaining both when interacting with the audience and in person! Optivent has 2 modes: Augmented Reality + Glance mode via their “Flip-Vu” feature. The images can be centered or placed in your peripheral vision, which is Optivent’s differentiating factor. This company has patented “Clear-Vu” technology. Clear-Vu allows see-through vision while displaying a virtual image simultaneously. It has a high see-through ratio, wide viewing angle, is light weight & shatterproof. Optivent states that Clear-Vu is the most cost-effective & scalable approach available for near-to-eye display products since all key components are based on molded plastic. Optinvent’s ORA is the most powerful & complete platform that enables hands-free augmented reality applications for both consumer and professional markets. You can read about all about the technology, specs, and more on the ORA page of the company’s website, as well as watch some video demos. Below you’ll see an image of ORA’s pricing as of May 28, 2014 as well as an image taken at #AWE2014 of me holding David J Kelley’s AR “SpellTheGame” & Kayvan Mirza – and how much fun we had together!
Optinvent's ORA Pricing Shown at the Augmented World Expo 2014

Optinvent’s ORA Pricing Shown at the Augmented World Expo 2014

Opinvent's CEO & Co-Founder Kayvan Mirza & I Wearing ORA & Showing SpellTheGame by David J Kelley

Opinvent’s CEO & Co-Founder Kayvan Mirza & I Wearing ORA & Showing SpellTheGame by David J Kelley

  • ATHEER LABS: Atheer Labs not only has their own version of a Smartglass – the Atheer One (with a Developer Kit), but they develop the software for all the other Smart Glasses Face-Off Panelists. Representing Atheer Labs at #AWE2014 was Soulaiman Itani, Founder & CEO. His comment was “I don’t care who wins the face-off, because I’ll be making the software for them all!” The Atheer One features are shown below:
Atheer Labs immersive 3D Display Features

Atheer Labs immersive 3D Display Features

The Atheer One has sub-mm 3D hand interaction and ships with over a million apps! You can pre-order yours today on their site as either the glass or glass + developer kit. To show you an example of what “sub-mm 3D hand interaction” does, watch the video on Atheer Labs home page, as well as get a look at a couple of screenshots I took of the video:

Example of Atheer One's sub-mm Hand Interactions, pic1

Example of Atheer One’s sub-mm Hand Interactions, pic1

Example of Atheer One's sub-mm 3D Hand Interactions, pic2

Example of Atheer One’s sub-mm 3D Hand Interactions, pic2

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I’ll do another post about Meta’s Space Glass next! Stay tuned!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Enterprise AR: I can’t believe how many corporate enterprises are already using AR to greatly improve processes such as in warehouses, security, training, field service and more, generating huge ROI’s. Another topic for a full post. Vuzix is the leader in this category. See my previous post on “Google Glass: Companies that Stood on Google’s Giant Shoulders and Augmented OHMDs“. […]

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