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Choosing your AR Smart Glasses Vendor in 2022

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The ability to access augmented reality experiences through phones and tablets is one of the many reasons why this form of extended reality has grown rapidly in recent years.

However, while smartphone apps can give us a taste of the benefits AR can offer, there’s a whole new world of opportunities available when we explore AR wearables.

Augmented Reality glasses are becoming an increasingly exciting concept, particularly as numerous brands like Apple and Meta (previously Facebook) discuss introducing their own fashionable versions.

With unit sales expecting to reach around 3.9 million by 2024, many companies will be wondering how to pick the ideal vendor for their own AR smart glasses investment.

Here’s what you’ll need to consider when choosing a wearable AR solution.

What Do You Need AR Smart Glasses For?

As we continue to discover the various unique benefits of augmented reality, we’re also learning smart glasses and similar wearable technology can support a wide range of use cases.

Some companies will be using AR glasses to bring employees together in a distributed team. Others will want to offer support to emergency first responders performing on the field.

The exact conditions in which you’ll be using your AR smart glasses, will make a significant difference to the kind of vendor you choose.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have special industry requirements: If your industry requires headsets and other hardware in the workplace to follow specific standards, working with a vendor who has experience in your sector will be crucial.
  • What conditions are you catering to? Various factors can influence the performance of a set of AR smart glasses, including lighting conditions, exposure to moisture, and even sound or noise pollution. Don’t forget ambient temperatures, and their impact on operation too.
  • How durable should your glasses be? Durability will be a crucial consideration for many business environments. A set of AR glasses will be an expensive investment. Ensure your devices can withstand the conditions you’ll be exposing them to.

What are your Crucial Features?

The AR smart glasses market is still relatively young, compared to the VR headset or AR app landscapes. Many innovators from different avenues are beginning to introduce new kinds of handsets and glasses to suit different consumers.

Some of the most important components to look at when making your choice include:

  • Audio and video quality: If you’re going to be using your smart glasses to enable collaboration between distributed teams, good audio and video quality is crucial. Make sure your team can easily stream video from their glasses and receive information in return.
  • Visuals: Augmented Reality glasses are designed to project digital content into the real world. High-quality graphics with an unrestricted field of view will allow for a more immersive experience. Pristine, powerful lenses are important here too.
  • Processing power: The more processing power your glasses have, the more they’ll be able to do. This could mean providing instant access to data when your employees need it or providing users with valuable apps.
  • Connectivity: Most smart glasses will require a connection to a computer system to operate when in-use. These tools may also require Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections to link to other devices your team members need to use every day.
  • Battery capacity and durability: If your employees are going to be using their smart glasses in a range of environments for extended periods of time, it’s best to check these two factors. A good battery capacity and the ability to withstand various conditions will be crucial.

Prioritise Comfort and Ease of Use

Any investment in new technology should keep usability and adoption in mind. Even when you’re purchasing exciting new tools for your team, like AR smart glasses, these tools need to be easy to use and convenient if your staff are going to continue using them.

Start by evaluating the environment where your employees are going to be using their AR glasses and defining the biggest problems you can solve with these tools.

Choosing AR glasses as a genuine solution to a performance or productivity issue will help your staff to see the benefits of using them straight away.

Next, think about the operating system your team members will need to use to leverage the technology, and how easy it is to set up and access. Will your staff members require a lot of training?

Once you’ve considered usability, think about comfort too. If your employees are going to be using these tools for long periods of time, they need to be comfortable.

Ergonomic glasses which minimize unnecessary weight and pinching will be essential for regular use. Consider introducing various tools to your teams to see which they feel are the most comfortable.

Research the Vendor

Finally, as tempting as it may be to rush in and buy the latest pair of fashionable AR glasses to hit the market, researching the vendor and their experience with your industry is often crucial. The more you know about the company, the more you’ll be able to plan for your long-term investments.

For instance, you might discover your vendor is committed to regular resource and development investments, so they’re constantly upgrading the quality of their AR firmware.

You could also find with a little research some companies are better at offering quick replacements for headsets and customer support when their clients need it.

As companies gradually make their way into the future of productivity and innovation with AR glasses, most of the leading vendors are prepared to answer a lot of questions.

Taking the time to get the know the vendors leading the way with the kind of headsets and wearables you need will give you the confidence you need to make better business decisions.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all for AR smart glasses, investing time into your research strategy will help to ensure you get the perfect fit.

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