Augmented Reality Moves into the Mainstream Arena

NEW YORK, January 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- - One of the more interesting recent market trends and potentially blockbuster technological breakthroughs is the move of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) into mainstream. According to a research report by Grand View Research, Inc. the Augmented Reality Market size is expected to reach USD 100.24 billion by 2024. The research indicates that advances in hardware technology, mobile software, as well as developments in Internet of Things (IoT) field are contributing to the increasing demand. Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE)

As the technology develops, so are the different application in which AR can be applied.  Similar to smartphones, smart glasses run applications engineered for a variety of purposes. The gadget can be used as a camera, a phone, for GPS navigation with map display, speaker, scheduler, barcode scanner and much more. Alongside this being displayed in high definition in front of the user's eyes and keeping the hands free. Recently, AR has been adopted efficiently in marketing and PR initiatives for television, motion picture and other media promotional campaigns. The research indicates that growing adoption of AR technology by the entertainment sector is projected to be a major source of demand for this market.

Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI) is a supplier of Smart-Glasses, AR and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets. The Company's products include personal display and wearable computing devices that offer users a portable viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, wearable displays and virtual and augmented reality. Vuzix holds 49 patents and 43 additional patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field. The Company has won Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) awards for innovation for the years 2005 to 2016 and several wireless technology innovation awards among others.

Recently Vuzix showcased its CES Innovation awards winner, the new Blade 3000 Smart Glasses at CES 2017. The company described the Blade 3000 as a gadget with "enhanced functionality for on-the-go, hands-free, mobile computing requirements. Ideal for mobile applications… the lightweight Vuzix Blade 3000 are the first Smart Sunglasses featuring style, performance and advanced waveguide optics for hands-free mobile computing and connectivity. Ideal for mobile applications - from social media, such as Facebook to navigation, augmented realty, HD photography and HD video recording."  

Vuzix explained that the Blade 3000 can be used to, "track your health level fitness with external BT sensors for fitness activities, like jogging, biking and skiing. And for the business user, the Blade 3000 Smart Glasses are the perfect workplace tool for delivering enhanced functionality for hands-free, mobile computing requirements. Ideal for light business mobile applications - from accessing real-time data, to navigation, to augmented realty, to HD photography and HD video recording."

"The Vuzix Blade 3000 Smart Sunglasses is completely untethered and supports both wireless Wi-Fi and Bluetooth interfaces and it delivers a "hands free" digital world, providing unprecedented access to location-aware connected information, data collection and more. A private, see-thru, bright full color, high resolution big screen, that provides a wide range of experiences -in both sunlight and indoors. The Vuzix Blade 3000 is your very own wearable, mobile personal computer."

Chip manufacturer, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) unveiled its Daqri Smart Helmet, a hardhat developed by Daqri that uses Intel's RealSense 3D camera to offer a form of augmented reality technology that overlays computer images allowing users to view it directly in front of them. The company is focused on augmented reality and has showed off an "X-ray vision" like sense permitting workers to see through particular areas that might be faulty, which can be picked up by its RealSense camera. The helmet could also be used to give workers digital directions on top of what they're looking at while working.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) HoloLens, along with Start-up Company that works on a head-mounted virtual retinal display, Magic Leap is mainly focused on mixed reality. HoloLens creates 3-Dimensional effects by using its head-mounted visor, but its visuals are limited to a narrow field of view in front of user's eyes. HoloLens gained popularity for being one of the first computers running the Windows Holographic platform under the Windows 10 operating system. According to Magic Leap, the graphics users see while using it will be movie-like. It seems as though virtual objects won't overlap with real-world ones, and will create virtual interactions with real things.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that the social media giant is now working on its augmented reality and is "researching Augmented Reality very seriously," but sees it lagging behind where virtual reality is today. "[With] AR, there's still more science questions that need to be worked out, and I'm optimistic that we'll have the answers to that pretty soon," he said. "Within the next five or 10 years, we'll have versions of that that are maybe where Rift is today, for AR. But, there's no doubt in my mind that VR is easier to build and bring to a lot of people, and that's why we're are starting here on the product side."

Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation, Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) has created the SmartEyeglass, a developer version of its smart glasses that is a see-through binocular head-mount display that has a built-in camera, sensors and a controller with a touch sensor and keys. The Sony SmartExtension framework extends the Android SDK that is able to function with Sony accessories. The SmartEyeglass SDK extends the SmartExtension framework, defining a set of Java classes and data structures that enables app creators to interact with and control the SmartEyeglass device.

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