Virtual reality has been taking the market by storm but augmented reality has yet to really catch up to VR. That could soon change now that DreamWorld, a startup that is just 2 years old, has launched a $399 DreamGlass AR headset.
The startup is trying to make quality AR more accessible to users. This headset is said to provide a 90-degree view with 2.5K resolution. When you compare this to the HoloLens by Microsoft, offering a view of 35 degrees, you can see how much of an advantage this startup will really have over the HoloLens.
In addition to the 90 degree view and 2.5K resolution, the DreamGlass AR Headset also features HDMI and USB ports so that it can be used with a computer or a smartphone. This makes it a cross-platform headset which is a feature many users will notice right away; and be very happy about.
What’s the Biggest Takeaway?
The largest takeaway from this AR headset is by far the cost. $399 for the DreamGlass headset is significantly lower than the HoloLens’ current cost of $3,000. Obviously, many people cannot afford this. DreamWorld wants to make AR more accessible to ‘everyone’ by offering lower, more affordable prices. The first unit of DreamGlass AR headsets is said to be shipped out to developers by late June.
Even the Magic Leap AR headset will likely be higher as the company claims they will offer multiple versions in various price ranges, with the cheapest headset about the same price as a high-end smartphone. This will make the cheapest Magic Leap headset about twice the cost of the DreamGlass AR Headset.
Multi-Interaction for Users
This particular headset will be available for both enterprise markets and for consumers. It will also offer multiple ways for the user to interact with it. 3D head movement tracking, infrared camera to allow the headset to understand hand gestures, the ability to control it using the touch screen of your smartphone, and a front-facing HD camera with microphone are just some of the different ways a user can interact with the DreamGlass.
Compatible with Windows and Android
Obviously you will need to have a compatible smartphone which right now is Android and Windows. The AR headset will be launched with a SDK (software development kit) that is actually based on a popular video game engine, Unity.
When users have better access to an AR headset it also benefits the developers who need an audience to showcase their quality content. This could also help bring AR to the mass market in the near future.
Virtual Reality VS Augmented Reality
Right now you don’t hear as much from the AR end of the market as you do the VR. This is probably mostly in part because of the high-end headsets currently on the market, however the fact that VR is also compatible with cheaper headsets, likely had a small hand in this hand as well. VR is not as costly to develop as AR. With augmented reality you’re not solely relying on a digital display; it blends a virtual world and the real world into one. This makes it a bit more complex and therefore, a little more pricey to develop.
AR Going Mobile
Google Glass is an example of augmented reality, but now you’ll also find popular mobile games and apps using AR like Ikea Place and Pokemon Go. The potential for AR is not quite unlimited, with the hardware limitations and high costs of the headsets on the market today making it harder for developers to get their content out there, says the chief executive and founder of DreamWorld, Kevin Zhong. He also hopes that the company is able to become a sort of ‘guiding light’ for all AR content developers who wish to make their content easily accessible by users on a high quality platform.