Everyday Wearables and the Future of Augmented Reality

As a greater number of device manufacturers enter the Augmented and Virtual Reality space, some interesting questions and philosophies of adoption are raised.
What can AR wearables do that my phone or watch can’t already do? Will the manufacturers develop the software or create a platform or others to build on? Who will actually wear these things?

We recently stumbled across and a great video from The Verge checking out Vaunt, Intel’s new Smart Glasses. We’re loving their very pragmatic approach to the wearable and see it as a big contender in the space for early adoption. Here’s the video and some our additional thoughts below:

 

Who will actually wear these things?
This is actually one of the most interesting aspects of the Vaunt. Intel’s approach is design first, focusing on breaking the “I look like a dork” barrier that plagued Google Glass. We agree that one of the keys to adoption will be wearables that don’t interfere socially.

What can AR wearables do that my phone can’t already do?
Much like smart watches, the potential here seems to be providing contextually relevant information without the need to visually disengage. Smart watches are great at keeping your phone in your pocket when you receive notifications, but they do still keep you looking at your watch like you need to be getting somewhere. Grocery lists, driving directions, restaurant reviews (of the restaurant you’re currently walking past)…these are pieces of information we’d love to have access to without having to avert our glance.

Will the manufacturers develop the software or create a platform or others to build on?
Intel brings up a great point here too. Much like with early smartphones, it can be difficult to anticipate the advancements that will come from a new platform (who could imagine Uber or Venmo in 2007?). While solid core software will be the key to the primary use cases of initial adoption, an open, easy-to-develop-for (we’re looking at you Apple) platform will be what really advances the field as it grows.

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