Augmented Reality smart glasses are rapidly emerging as one of the most exciting new trends in the AR landscape. Promising a potential value of $17.72 billion by 2025, the smart glasses market is capturing the attention of all kinds of tech market leaders, from Apple to Meta.
As interest in and demand for this technology continues to evolve, new trends are beginning to emerge in the marketplace, pushing the transformation of AR hardware.
Though it’s difficult to know for certain where the AR smart glasses marketplace may take us, there are a handful of patterns we’re beginning to see in the ecosystem.
Based on what we’ve seen in the market so far, here are some of the biggest trends poised to shape the evolving market for AR Smart glasses.
Improved AR Glasses Displays
Better-quality displays have been a focus of AR hardware creators for some time now. To leverage the full benefits of a wearable head-mounted solution for augmented reality, we need exceptional display technology.
The right tools need to be able to easily overlay HD-quality content into our existing world, making the digital and physical environments almost indistinguishable.
Fortunately, innovators in the A/V world have been focusing on this environment for a while now, introducing a range of new tools, from micro displays to ultra-thin lenses for tomorrow’s glasses.
We should expect the future displays on smart glasses to be more lightweight and capable of high-fidelity images than ever before. Micro displays will combine high picture quality with minimal power consumption, for better enterprise-level performance.
Better Hand and Eye Tracking
To interact with content in the digital world through an AR headset, we need our devices to be able to track our movements correctly. Fortunately, many companies are making significant steps in this landscape.
Apple applied for a patent not so long ago which allows users to access information in a set of smart glasses by touching areas on their wrist, for instance.
Eye tracking is likely to be particularly valuable as companies invest in ways to reduce the power consumption and bandwidth requirements of AR glasses. With eye tracking, it’s possible for software to increase the definition of content only in areas where the individual is looking.
This can help to improve image quality, while reducing power use. With both eye and hand tracking, users will have a closer connection to the content they see through their smart glasses.
The Rise of the Metaverse
One area where AR smart glasses is likely to be particularly valuable, is in the creation of the metaverse. In the “metaverse” the digital and physical landscapes will be more aligned than ever before, making it easier for people in the real world to access content in the digital environment, and vice versa. AR smart glasses will be crucial for this.
With the right AR smart glasses, it will be possible for people to interact with their friends in real-time by seeing photo realistic avatars projected in front of them in their natural surroundings.
This will allow users to almost “teleport” to different locations instantly. We’ll also be able to use glasses for things like accessing digital documents in meetings in real-time or getting animated directions to the places we want to visit on the street. As the metaverse becomes more accessible, smart glasses will also need to be more affordable and ergonomic.
Upgrades to Audio and Performance
Companies aren’t just working on improving the visual performance of AR smart glasses. To provide a truly immersive experience, today’s innovators know they need to consider things like audio and performance too.
Spatial audio is becoming an increasingly exciting part of the XR space, to help people feel as though they’re engaging more realistically with digital content. Adding spatial audio to an AR environment can help to add extra dimensions to the augmented experience.
Companies are also investing in things like haptics, for physical feedback when someone touches or interacts with digital content in an AR world. This would make things like training in AR feel more realistic.
The rise of new connectivity technologies like 5G will be particularly important in designing these new ultra-immersive experiences. With stronger connections, it will be much easier for people in any environment to access high-quality audio and visual content with any set of smart glasses.
AR and Other Disruptive Tech Align
To create a new generation of AR smart glasses, many innovators are looking into combining the AR space with other disruptive technologies.
For instance, custom silicon chips will allow companies building AR glasses to leverage edge computing capabilities, 5G connectivity, and 3D audio with ultra-fast processing powers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and AI could allow people to interact with content through their AR glasses, and actively make changes to connected devices elsewhere.
This could mean engineers can change settings on a machine from thousands of miles away. We can even access things like conversational platforms and natural language processing, to make managing the applications in our smart glasses easier with nothing but human voice.
Augmented Reality Customisations
Finally, as AR and wearable devices become more accessible in a range of environments, developers will want to make sure that this technology is available to all kinds of companies. Because of this, we’re likely to see creators building a wide selection of customizable new solutions for different industries and sectors.
Some companies will need their smart glasses to focus on things like durability and resilience – for instance, emergency services groups working in dangerous environments will need to ensure their AR glasses can withstand all kinds of conditions.
Other companies will be looking at AR to make a more significant impact on their customer relationships. This could mean developers need to invest more into making these headsets stylish, lightweight, and appealing for everyday users.