As we continue to develop new ways to experience Virtual Reality (VR) and Alternate Reality (AR), more and more consumers are becoming interested in devices that offer experiences in different from everyday life.
Companies like Google and Sony first kicked off this niche of smart eyewear, but now more private companies are joining in on the fun. At CES this year, one of these new companies, Osterhout Design Group, showcased two new pair of Snapdragon-powered smart eyewear – the R-8 and R-9.
Osterhout is aiming to jump into the high-end market with their new designs, as well as show us what all an intelligent pair of eyewear can truly accomplish.
The ODG R8 and R9
Osterhout, who just announced a $58 million capital rise for this project, showed two variants of their new technology at CES. The R8 and R9 models are what the company is calling “Consumer AR Smartglasses,” but with price tags of $1,000 and $1,800 respectively, causing some to disagree with that notion.
Keep in mind, it’s all relative, as the R7 model was priced at $2,750. Both models come with the new Snapdragon 835 mobile processor by Qualcomm, which is 35% smaller and uses 25% less battery power than its predecessors.
The Snapdragon 835 is meant to assist with VR and AR uses. Qualcomm is one of the pioneer companies to engage in positional tracking, such as in their VR headset reference platform. By using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon technology, the smartglasses are able to achieve positional tracking capabilities, which is necessary for optimal VR and AR experiences.
Compared to other high-end competitors like Microsoft’s Hololens, the R8 and R9 devices still have some work to do. Although they have the ability to tap into VR and AR with the help of their Snapdragon processors, the Hololens is said to have higher quality positional tracking abilities.
The exterior design
The outside of these new devices is just as complex as the inside. Due to some technology still being to bulky to fit in small devices, the smart glasses do look a little heavy and thicker than one might expect from something that claims to be so revolutionary.
With the R8 having a 720p display and the R9 boasting a 1080p OLED display, they are both able to achieve transparent displays. The display on the R8 makes it seem like you are looking at a 90-in screen, while the R9 gives you the experience of staring at a 120-inch display when you put the glasses on.
The R9 also has a 13MP camera that records video in 4K resolution, 128GB built-in storage, and a 50-degree field-of-view (FOV), while its R8 counterpart shoots in slightly lower quality, has 64GB built-in storage, and a 40-degree FOV. Both devices come equipped with two built-in microphones, Wi-Fi capabilities, and USB-C ports for charging and data transfer.
Both devices also run native Android apps in landscape mode, but ODG is looking to expand its capabilities in using other applications based on the user’s needs and wants. By comparing the differences in the two devices, Osterhout has given the consumer options based on their own preferences.
At CES 2017, the ODG devices made an impact and are aiming at opening doors for more innovation and development in the VR and AR market, as well as, the wearables industry.