Best AR Glasses on the Market 2019 – Unleash Augmented Reality

05/14/2019     Author: Billy Gray

If you want to get the best out of augmented reality, you’ll need a solid pair of AR glasses. These don’t have to be expensive. Here’s our best picks for 2019.

Augmented reality (AR) has the potential to change the way that we all interact with the world around us. It’s inevitable that this technology will begin taking a much larger role in our day-to-day lives in 2019 and beyond. That being said, AR is still in the development phase and while it has been rolled out to some degree, the real potential of the technology has yet to be unleashed.

At present, AR comes in the form of interactive apps, some training courses, and a lot of prototype technologies. The most common use of AR today is within the entertainment industry. This is mainly being brought about via smartphone apps like Pokémon GO and similar interactive games. Most of this form of the technology is pretty basic and frankly isn’t that interesting. What is interesting is the development of AR glasses.

What are AR glasses?

These neat little gadgets allow you to put virtual images over reality in order to view both in conjunction with one another. The earliest models of AR glasses were bulky and looked ridiculous (as you might expect). The newer generation been made to look like regular reading glasses.

This technology has massive potential in various industries – for example, you could have a group call with you colleagues and put up data or models for everyone to see, even when they’re not in the same room.

With the development of facial recognition software and the building of ever-more realistic virtual avatars, you could have a phone call with someone and see a virtual representation of them standing in front of you while you’re wearing your AR glasses.

The possibilities of AR are vast and they’re only just being tapped into. It’s likely that we’ll start using the tech as an everyday accompaniment in the next few years.

What can you do with AR glasses?

There are many areas where people could make use of AR to help them better understand what they’re looking at. Having virtual information of graphics overlapping reality allows for AR to provide details about what a person is looking at.

REPAIRS: Picture yourself with the hood of your car up, staring down into an abyss of engine parts and bolts that, frankly, you don’t know the first thing about. Now imagine that when you look at it with AR glasses, each part is annotated with details about what it is and what it does. Potentially troublesome areas would be highlighted and you could access information about what the problem might be and how to go about fixing it without having to pick up a manual. This would make repairing your car easy and dare we say: fun.

EDUCATION: Some schools have taken AR field trips. Weird, right? Lessons could become much more engaging if students were wearing AR glasses. They could see data represented in a totally different way. Visually stimulating students in the learning process will no doubt increase their concentration and make participation more likely.

SHOPPING: Imagine you could walk into a store with your AR glasses on and the glasses connect to the store’s system, meaning that whatever product you look at will display more information like the price, the size, the materials used, and more. You could browse different colors and more. Harley Davidson motorcycles are already doing this, allowing customers to browse different custom bikes in store via AR glasses.

That’s but a few uses of AR that would help integrate the world’s knowledge into your everyday life. The uses of AR are potentially endless as we find new and innovative applications for the technology.

Best AR glasses currently available

The best AR glasses come in all shapes and sizes (read: prices). The very best AR is still expensive AF. That being said, as the tech becomes more standard, prices are slowly dropping. It’ll take a while for them to become everyday wearable objects as common as smartphones. Then again, that’s what people said about computers in the 80’s…

HOLOLENS 2 (Microsoft - $3,500)

Microsoft’s HoloLens was the ultimate entry in the AR market. Now, the HoloLens 2 has come crashing into the market with massive upgrades. This latest version of the HoloLens has twice the field of view and features vastly improved support for hand gestures, allowing users to navigate what they’re seeing much more effectively.

The HoloLens 2 isn’t so much aimed for commercial use as much as it is intended for field workers and business professionals. It’s the kind of thing you’d see a dock operator using.

NORTH FOCALS (North - $599)

Easily the most fashionable AR glasses currently available, North has perfected the art of making you not look you’re a walking GoPro. They look incredibly sleek compared to the HoloLens 2, or just about any other pair of AR glasses.

North Focals also have the huge benefit of being more affordable than most of the competition. The main problem with them is that it’s not easy to get ahold of a pair. They have limited stores around the US and you can’t just buy them online because they’re custom built for each user.

When buying a pair of Focals, you’ll have you exact eye measurements taken in order to give you the very best AR experience. They also offer prescription lenses. You can check and send messages, see directions and maps, play music, and chit-chat with Amazon Alexa.

EVERYSIGHT RAPTOR (Everysight - $649)

Using their years of experience designing displays for the Israeli military, Everysight has taken to the AR field to create a new best pal for cyclists.

The Everysight Raptor glasses feature heart-rate monitoring as well as an action cam, voice commands, maps, and more. The glasses come in at a relatively affordable price, although, like all other AR glasses, they’re still currently reserved for tech enthusiasts or just those with more money to burn.

VUZIX BLADE COMMERCIAL EDGE (Vuzix - $999)

The Vuzix Blade glasses marked the first totally commercial purposed AR glasses. While they’re still not priced at an easy-to-swallow number, they’re much cheaper than the HoloLens 2. The glasses are another example of sleek and fashionable design. Care has been made to ensure that the wearer doesn’t look like a T-1000.

The Vuzix Blade features music control, maps, messaging, and even some games to play around with. It also features an 8MP camera and has 4 GB of storage space for you to dump all your favorite things on to it. The original price was almost double the current one, so this stands as one of the best examples of top-notch AR glasses becoming increasingly more available to the general public.

We look forward to seeing the next version of the Vuzix Blade glasses.

Final note

We hope that you now have more of an idea of where AR tech is going. The future is not far off and AR glasses will eventually become affordable enough for everyone to use them. They’re still very much in the development stages and developers are being encouraged to make apps that are compatible with them. Keep both eyes on AR glasses – soon they’ll be everywhere.

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