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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Consumer AR Could Have Saved Lives, Economy

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Lenovo prototype augmented reality glasses.

Fully realized augmented reality glasses are inevitable, "and when they do arrive they will change our lives forever," says Jon Peddie.

Credit: Lenovo

If any of you have attended any of my augmented reality lectures or read my book, you know I am an enthusiastic advocate of what I call consumer AR—AR glasses that look and feel no different than what you are wearing now.

They don't exist, but there are several examples that are close. In 2016, I made the mistake of betting an expensive dinner with game developer Jesse Schell that we'd have such things by 2020. I'm waiting for him to tell me where I'm taking him.

But I still believe they are inevitable and when they do arrive they will change our lives forever.

A fully realized AR pair of glasses will have the following characteristics (but with a better frame).

For consumers to adopt AR smart glasses, two challenges have to be overcome: They must be attractive, and they must be technically sophisticated, very sophisticated. 

They will look more like these (or better, we hope).

Left: First-generation Focals with corrective lenses. (Source: North). Right: LaForge corrective AR glasses.

And when we are wearing them, in addition to being told where the nearest Starbucks is, and doing a realtime translation of what the person behind the counter is saying to us, they will be recording everything we see and hear, and give us environmental information.


From Jon Peddie Research

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