Boston – Lux Research’s new report, “The Hardware and Materials Innovations Enabling Consumer Augmented Reality,” explores the materials and hardware innovations enabling consumer-grade AR glasses and provides guidance on the technologies with opportunities as well as a timeline of the consumer mass-market augmented reality (AR) evolution.
Among AR hardware components, Lux identified three that offer the most potential for innovations.
- Optics – Components that display a virtual image focusing either on or near the user’s eye(s).
- Sensors – Devices measuring images and distances to surrounding objects are needed for combining the virtual and real worlds.
- Light Engines – Key elements in creating an augmented reality experience are light sources and light steering devices that convert image data into a light object that is later focused by optics to be perceived as a virtual image.
All basic components for functional and immersive AR headwear are available, but their maturity varies, with many having significant potential future growth. Several large corporations, such as Microsoft and Lenovo, are turning to these products for enterprise applications. However, the transition to consumer AR glasses requires significant innovations in optical components, light engines, and sensors in order to achieve the desired combination of immersion and comfort prior to entering the mass market. The progress will take several years, depending on the maturity of each of the components and the potential for improvements.
Lux predicts that the adoption of smart glasses with limited functions like notifications, navigation, and productivity assistance will begin in the next two to five years, while fully immersive and slick AR glasses capable of blending the virtual and real worlds will take at least five to seven years.
To view the full report, click here.