x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

An early vision of the future of wearable tech

Some technology analysts expect so-called smart glasses will become a major driver of the wearable technology sector, driven by the wide adoption of Google Glass devices.

Some technology analysts expect so-called smart glasses will become a major driver of the wearable technology sector, driven by the wide adoption of Google Glass devices.

But Paul Travers, the chief executive and president of Vuzix, which has been creating high-tech glasses since 1997, including video, virtual reality and augmented reality eyewear, warns his corner of the industry is still at a nascent stage.

During the Wearable Technology Expo in New York in July, he shared some of his concerns.

Ÿ Overall outlook: "This has been a tough business. [The glasses are] geeky, and it's really tough to find a marketplace to use these kinds of devices.

But as the world has been changing the function part has been happening, and quite frankly, the look and feel of these devices has been improving significantly."

Ÿ Design problems: "It's great for the enterprise [or business customer], but to get up to mass market the technology has to disappear for the user. It's got to be sleek. It can't look like you're standing out... One of the biggest questions I get is what's wrong with you guys? Can't you just hire a decent industrial designer and make these things look good? And it's a fundamental problem. It is not possible - you can make compromises in the solution and end up with something that looks acceptable enough to use. I don't know if it's acceptable enough to really get into the mass market, but it's a great start."

ŸOptical system challenges: "We're still dealing with most of the conventional optic systems that have been in the marketplace for years. The fact of the matter is if you want a big field of view-If you want to augment the field of view-you need optical systems that can supply imagery that gives you a large field of view. There's not a system out there that doesn't follow this law. It's just physics. It's the way it is."

ŸThe future: "The optical systems are finally coming around to make these things look like the vision we're all looking for, but you need software to make it work, too, [and] sensors. There's just a bunch of stuff inside these boxes [that are still required]."

 

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