Five Reasons Why the Smart Glasses Market for AR is Growing by Almost 200 Percent

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According to Technavio’s new report on the Global Smart Glasses Market for AR, we can expect explosive market growth at a CAGR of nearly 200% from 2014-2019.

Here are the top five reason’s that market analysts believe are helping to promote this growth:

Increased Vendor Participation

An increasing number of vendors are showing interest in developing smart glasses. New products are being launched in 2015 by Vuzix, Sony, ODG, GlassUp, Meta, and several others. Electronic giants such as Microsoft, Samsung, LG, Baidu, Toshiba, and Canon are also investing in smart glasses that are expected to be launched by the end of 2015. This increased participation from several firms signifies the importance attached to smart glasses as a major medium for AR.

This market is still in its early stages and will benefit hugely as more vendors enter. This would result in increased awareness among customers who will have several options to choose from. In the long run, prices of smart glasses will come down as the competition among vendors increases.

Ease of Use

Smart glasses are comfortable compared to any other AR device. They can be worn all day long and can carry out all the operations performed by a smartphone. Smart glasses are much easier to operate than smartphones. Users can take photos or record video with ease by giving voice commands. People in the healthcare and industrial sectors can use smart glasses and simultaneously perform manual functions.

The need to use a smartphone every time for calling, messaging, browsing, or capturing photos and videos can be completely eliminated. They also have the option of changeable lenses, which will help people with sight problems.

Workforce Automation

Drastic changes are occurring in the operational processes of several organizations. Companies are focusing on developing a mobile workforce in order to function better. Healthcare, automotive, defense, oil and gas, and mining are some of the sectors that are investing heavily in automation to reduce human errors. AR offers solutions for workforce automation.

For instance, in the defense sector smart glasses can be used by a soldier to relay real-time information about enemy locations, blast sites, and directions. Many of the sectors mentioned above have been involved with AR in several ways, and this is expected to increase during the forecast period, thus driving the market growth.

Increased Developer Interest

Individual developers play a vital role in the market in developing apps for smart glasses. Several individual developers have shown interest in buying developer kits of smart glasses and create unique apps. It is estimated that more than 10,000 developers have Google Glass and are experimenting by developing apps.

On Kickstarter, Meta launched its Meta 1 Developer Kit with a target to raise $100,000 and overachieved it with $194,444 within 30 days. About 231 of 501 individuals pledged $550 or more to grab the developer kits.

Another vendor Optinvent followed suit and raised $104,656 with 224 backers within 60 days. The developer version of the product was chosen by 180 individuals. This indicates the heightened interest among users in using smart glasses and developing apps for it, which will help the market grow.

Decline in ASP

As the market is expected to witness increased adoption of smart glasses, the cost of components will decrease. Vendors such as Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung have high purchasing power and can buy several components at a low cost. Once the commercial products of such companies are out in the market, ASPs of smart glasses will start declining. It will create new market opportunities for component manufacturers such as lenses, displays, cameras, and sensors.

Although different optical systems are being used currently by vendors, we expect this to change and a common technology will be used by vendors in the future. This will lead to reduced prices of optical systems. Prices of other components such as sensors, cameras, and displays are already declining, which is an encouraging factor for vendors.

SLAM Technology

SLAM is a popular and important autonomous mapping and navigation technique in mobile robotics. Originally used as eyes for NASA robots, SLAM is a technology used for creating maps of unknown environments and positioning devices with extreme accuracy.

13th Lab brought the world’s first SLAM implementation to consumer devices and continues to be the unchallenged leader in this field. This company was recently acquired by Oculus, which is a US-based company, and Technavio expects the US to be the prominent market with respect to the use of SLAM technology in the initial stages. SLAM is an ideal technology for AR as it gives a markerless experience compared to marker-based AR in which images need to be printed out.