According to CCS Insight's report on wearable tech forecast, shipments of AR and VR headsets forecast to grow 15 times to 96 million units by 2020, at a value of $14.5 billion. The report also indicates that the AR segment alone is expected to grow into a $1 billion business in 2017. As the technology continues to evolve AR products are expected to become an enterprise market opportunity, unlike the consumer focused VR.
Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI) is a developer and supplier of smart glasses and video eyewear products in the consumer, enterprise and industrial markets. The company's technology and premise attracted attention. In January 2015 Vuzix received a $24.8 million investment from Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) to be used as working capital to accelerate the research and development of the next generation of Vuzix wearable display products for the consumer marketplace. The major shareholders of Vuzix are the founding management team and Intel Corporation, which collectively own approximately 40% of the company.
On November 11th Vuzix Corporation announced that it has received four International CES Innovation 2017 awards, for its upcoming Blade 3000 Smart Sunglasses. The Blade 3000 Smart Sunglasses have a wearable smart display which uses the company's proprietary waveguide optics and Cobra II display engine. The company described it as "having your computer or smartphone screen information with you wherever you go."
Another popular product of Vuzix Corporation is the Vuzix M300, next generation of Smart Glasses for hands-free mobile computing. The wearable device designed to provide easy access to information, data collection and more. The company claims that the M300 has potential to open new opportunities in industrial, medical, retail, supply chain, remote help desk, and other aspects of your business.
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google glass failed, but the potential was there, and new technology will build on it. Google Glass has received the most exposure in healthcare and has been important in stimulating companies to further develop applications and hardware for smart glasses. Google Glass is considerably one of the very first extensive instances of Smart Glasses in the health sector. The goal for medical professionals, is to bring better care and the existing systems assembled upon Google Glass only draws closer. Smart Glasses with hands free interaction and its AR capabilities will allow doctors access to all the necessary tools desired to accomplish this goal.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) holographic computer built-in headset, HoloLens, spans realities by connecting virtual reality and augmented reality to form a brand new reality, mixed reality. Interacting with holograms in mixed reality allows users to discover, envision, create, visualize and work with digital content as part of their real world. HoloLens generate a more natural way to interact with built in features called Gaze, Gesture, and Voice. Built-in sensors allow users to gaze and move the cursor in order to select holograms, simple gestures open apps allowing its drag and drop function, and voice commands navigate and select through the apps with a built-in assistance known as Cortana to aid users. Currently, the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition is $3,000 USD.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is said to be jumping on the smart-glasses market train and may launch a product by 2018. With Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook's comments on his interest being pretty explicit, it's a given that Apple is looking into augmented reality along with numerous patents which have surfaced. Bloomberg states Apple has recently opened up the idea during meetings with possible providers for components of augmented reality glasses and "has ordered small quantities of near-eye displays from one supplier" for testing purposes. The device would connect to the iPhone and present images over the wearer's vision - a la Google Glass.
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