There has been some buzz in the air lately when Samsung patented its smart contact lens, and Carl Zeiss – who have a very similar product to Dispelix – came last week out with a demo for IEEE, the physics journal.
When I got to try the Dispelix smart lens, what I saw was a complete showcase of colours and objects arranged in a layout to demonstrate perspective.
Surely optics develop over time and one of the main feature is field-of-view. “Field of view is the next megapixel race,” says Dispelix CEO Antti Sunnari, former researcher at VTT, technical research center of Finland which has been the home for many global tech innovations.
Myself, I will run to the market and get a pair when the field of view will be around 40-60 degrees, while the current offering is at around 30 degrees.
Something else important to overcome is the never-ending debate about a convenient user interface for “on the go” and static activities. But overall listening to Antti’s predictions, I’m quite convinced that in a year we might have personal AR systems in usage. The field of VR and AR is hot.
Dispelix has a prototype and will start shipping components to partners in the beginning of 2017. Currently they are providing solutions for companies developing AR systems. The company does not provide directly the end product, but the components and the special filament on the lens.
While discussing about the price, we didn’t get to exact numbers but the team told that the price range of new phones or a new set of glasses from a famous brand. I have to say it is quite an interesting proposal, since for the best AR supporting glasses such as Epsons or ODG models today, you get to pay at least the double or even triple the amount.
The AR prepared lenses will act as the screening solution. Calculating power is provided by another device such as a mobile phone, or a computer if the user is going to have heavy niche oriented workloads. The scope is that the user will not have any cords in the face hindering usage of the system.
A future of computing where modular Internet of Things parts perform actions wirelessly and screens content discreetly to the user is not far from reality. Product design and convenience is always important for consumer adoption. If you are an AR developer, get your chin up and get back to work.
But most of all what made me extremely excited was the fact that I get to keep my glasses, since I don’t have to spend big money on a standardized product.