Augmented reality is still pretty new to most people, either in the work environment or for personal use, and you could say the same thing about 5G.
Awareness is still relatively low.
And yet, it could also be said, the best thing for each of them is each other.
That creates quite a lift in awareness that is needing to be done.
Paul travers, we have a lot of ideas about this.
He is CEO of AR technology company views.
It’s based in Rochester, New York, and we’ve encountered their products repeatedly over the last few years already.
Always at CES where they keep moving the ball forward into what they call the views, x blade design form factor, an AR glasses, and we’ll also learn more about how they’re starting to emerge AR with 5G.
Paul, tell me what the AR experience is like in the views x vision for those who maybe never even seen the blade product or used it.
But the experience is kind of like the experience you would have if you’re in the fighter pilots cockpit where you’d look up and through the literally the windshield of the cockpit you see this information floating out in front of you.
And that you know the the need for the AR side of all of this is often these glasses today especially in enterprise.
Are being utilized for remote support kinds of things where I might have the glasses on, I’m seeing something out in front of me and an expert, maybe I’m connected over the web or a cellular connection, let’s say like a 5g connection and expert on the other hand and is seeing what I’m seeing.
Maybe he’s circling something in front of me.
And I see that circle thing on the blue wire.
So I know that’s the one I got to cut the bomb, right?
The nice thing about 5g is it’s fast and it’s low latency.
So on applications like that today, especially an enterprise, when you turn your head if that circle moves to the left or the right because of this latency problems in the low bandwidth of a standard cellular connection today, you end up cutting the red wire.
And clearly, that’s
What’s so interesting is you are talking about latency first.
A lot of people when they hear about 5g, they think about bandwidth first, I think it’s so it’s a big fast pipe.
That’s part of the picture.
But it sounds almost like latency is more important to you then having a little better bandwidth
Especially if you’re using edge computing.
To do the work, which is the value of it, and a lot in AR systems because AR glasses, you’re trying to make lightweight, you’re trying to keep the processor in processing as thin as you can.
So the batteries last longer and you know they don’t overheat and so you’ll use the cloud to do all the work.
But what that means is the clouds got to respond.
With sub frame times, what I mean by a frame time is you render that circle on top of the real world.
And every time I turn my head in less than a frames worth of update time, it’s got to have that circle redrawn and put back where it belongs.
Otherwise the circle floats around Again, you’re cutting that latency issue being so fast or such a short amount of turnaround time.
I mean, once you get it in the cloud, you’ve got, you know, amazing processing power to render stuff, and video quality even much better.
So something you could never put on a portable device, but it’s got to go back and forth fast.
That’s very illuminating because that gives us I think a path to see that if the latency is not low to, like you said sub frame rate down to a frame per second or less.
You end up blowing the illusion.
I mean augmented reality is supposed to feel like something almost magical happening in real time.
And when there’s all that lag I start to realize no there’s technology huffing and puffing to keep up with me and that blows the illusion of On augmented world, and it’s really important when you’re doing things like remote support.
You know musics today, a lot of our focus is on the enterprise markets.
And when you’re working, you’re maybe you’re in an emergency truck, let’s say and you’re trying to get help and somebody tell us straights over the glasses so that what that means is they have an expert That’s maybe he’s a doctor and he’s got his phone and he draws on his phone that on top of the view that you’re seeing a little circle around what you might need to do next.
That circle shows up in the wrong place or as I’m in the truck and I turn my head and the circle goes tip, tip, tip and it catches up.
The lousy experience.
How much of the stack of what you’ve described Does a company like yours?
Do we know you do the end hardware, the software that runs those?
Talk about these other sort of platforms that feed into what I see on the glassware this telestrator you imagine if a physician is giving me a real time sketch of what to do and do some first aid?
Are you up in that part of the funnel or is that available to other partners to do Well, we do have our own remote support software that allows you to do some of that illustration, but we have a lot of other partners that we’re working with folks like thousand realities, today with thousand realities in our blade on You could walk up to a piece of machinery, maybe it’s a valve and you look at the valve and you reach out and you turn it and as you do sitting above the valve is maybe the percentage of opened and closed the valve is and as you spin the valve out in the cloud All this stuff gets put together and it locates the current valve opened or closed.
And this is and as you spend it, it just happens in real time.
And it turns now that all of that infrastructure, the software that’s used to measure the environment to know where you’re looking, that’s all running in the cloud.
Music’s his system is used to record the video feeds, push it up to the cloud, get it back down into the cloud.
And then there’s an APK that runs in the glasses doing some stuff.
But the heavy lifting is done in the cloud.
And that’s done with partner companies software like, like 1000 reality’s friends.
I can also say that I think I don’t want to give away any secrets, but Some of the some of the companies that are delivering 5g are doing an awful lot of work to deliver edge compute capabilities that would allow you to have and video style graphics at the touch of a button kinds of stuff and they’re building it into the way their software runs with mobile devices.
And so what I’m using to then we’re working with those folks to make sure that our stack supports those kinds of mobile edge compute protocols and API’s Mike’s.
That’s the thing I’ve noticed is the carrier is getting very excited about 5g being a place for them to once again, reassert themselves and say, Hey, we are a data and compute partner for you.
Not just this Pipeline of invisible wireless pipes where you move someone else’s technology back and forth.
They’re eager to reassert themselves at the edge in data in the processing of it.
It sounds to you like that’s a credible position for them.
I think it is.
There’s a lot of work that has to get done and I think you’re gonna see varying Varying implementations of this, where it’s really, really effective, and others where it’s a little bit harder to do.
I mean, I think some of the folks that we’re working with are actually delivering this on-site in locations, at brick-and-mortar stores, as an example, and the like.
So It’s really much easier to make this 5G edge compute work whereas if you live out in the woods, it might be a lot harder to get an edge compute platform to around.
One of the new products that you’ve got this in your future technology category is a next gen smart glass that’s sure to my eye looks a lot more like a consumer product thin narrow design, tortoise shell Applications on the side, those aren’t necessary for enterprise.
What can we read into this?
But even in enterprise, people care how they look.
[LAUGH] And lightweight and all day wearability is really important.
Started supplying products into the US military and the Special Forces guys came to us and asked if we could make Oakley style sunglasses they call it the Oakley gate and we’ll even try to get to that because we think form factor lightweight all day wearable is key in this industry and so that next gen technology is a combination of I don’t know 25 plus years of development effort, some of the latest and greatest technology in display area, micro LED technology wrapped around these waveguide technologies that users has been working on to finally reduce these things down from Well, one of the very first products we shipped was a thing called the VFX 1 It was a football helmet VR sized thing.
And today now with this next generation stuff that we’re working on, literally we’re able to really pack these things into much smaller pace spaces.
So 2021 will be a very fun year when it comes to these new next generation kind of slimmer trimmer devices.
And I have to imagine aside from just miniatures that miniaturizing, the electronics and all the optimation optimization you’ve learned over the years.
Does 5g also help make a thinner, lighter actual piece of hardware because you can offload so much work to the cloud.
It will in the long run.
There are some issues just yet that over the next few years will need to get worked out.
And that’s related to radios and antennas.
And, you know, the all of that stuff that’s required that isn’t quite there yet because it’s all first generation kinds of stuff.
But over time, the cellular connectivity and in fact, I You might imagine that a version of those glasses will at least have a cellular connection in them.
And then ultimately, yeah, the goal would be to move it to a, 5g kinds of capabilities.
Yeah, to be clear now the current designs you use
Do tethered to a phone wirelessly.
And then the phone is what goes out to the network to therefore become the bridge to the glasses.
Yeah, that’s correct.
Okay, how far away I think we are from a standalone glass in the industry from you guys or whoever that’s going to have built in.
By that time it will be 5g connectivity.
Two years 510
Well, I think you’re gonna find derivatives [LAUGH] that actually will come quicker you might imagine if you’re working all day long and you’re really doing heavy duty work, you might have to put a battery on a belt pack to get,, 10 or 12 hour day.
Or you could imagine that battery belt pack having a 5G connection built into it.
And so now you’d have the glasses that look much like what our normal blade could look like today.
But with a 5g connection through the belt pack much like a hotspot would be, but it’s wired so you get that super high speed 5g fast turnaround time on something that admittedly is more of an industrial style product, but it’s a way to get to 5g sooner rather than later.
But with that in mind, our viewers are asking, what’s the future for me as a consumer user to move beyond phone based AR where I’m holding up my phone as a viewer?
What can I look forward to as a consumer to where some interesting glasses?
I mean that’s that’s exactly the future their music sees.
If you think about how the phone’s being kind of rearranged right now you hold the thing up, pointed down the street, you get directions in the back of the phone.
And that’s really not what people are going to do.
I mean, this is all being built for glasses.
And yeah, I mean I think you’re gonna see within the next year to choose some pretty amazing stuff in this regard.
It may not be 5g at first, but the ability to not even have a phone in the mix is coming quicker than most people think.
And that I find so interesting.
Even one of the heads of one of the major carriers recently said Phone has to go.
Which is kind of a pretty stark statement from the head of a major carrier but said this is not the end game.
Phones at some point will need to vanish not tomorrow but they are not the beyond the end-all and clearly he was talking about a vision for us going to mainstream AR.
Where the interface is just the view out in front of us.
You talk about a lot of this overlaying technology.
And then we also all have a memory of Google Glass, which kinda used a certain reserved corner of real estate to do all of its presentation.
Where do you present in my field of view and how much of it can you get involved in?
So when you look into a pair of Google Glass, you look in the upper right corner, and there’s this little 12 to 14.
I can’t remember exactly what the field of view is, but it’s this little tiny window that you look into.
And it’s this separate device that sort of sits out in front.
With music’s is waveguides, you put the glasses on and it’s like you’re looking through a pair of sunglasses clear if you want to get them clear, but it’s like a regular pair of glasses.
Beautiful field of view, nothing’s in your way to Just like a regular pair of glasses would be but floating out in front of you much like the videos that Google showed Google Glass and wing but for reality out in front of you in 3D because the newest Gen has a pair of there’s there’s displays on both sides.
So floating out in front of you in 3D is this information.
That can be just for your personal use, but it also can be related to the information in the world around you.
Directions like you’re holding up your phone, but now they’re just floating out in front of you in space in a 3D sense.
So they physically spatially look like they’re there.
Just top line impression.
Was Google Glass good for the AR business and its image or bad ?>> I think it was fantastic for it.>> Okay.>> Every product Series of ideas go through.
Gen one Gen two Gen three.
This one flops this one doesn’t it gets a little bit closer and then finally it’s there.
But it sparks the imagination and everybody and I Google did a brilliant job, in my opinion of doing that enterprise.
When they saw Google Glass said, Wow, this could be used as a tool.
I know they get a lot of egg on their face for some of the way it went.
But Hackman, the only way you get there as he gets started and move the ball forward, and I give Google credit for doing that, even though they did it after music’s I’m still glad they did.>> [LAUGH] Good got that in.
I remember it was a similar thing when BMW rolled out I drive, it was pretty awful at first, but it was the first of its kind to really put a graphical user interface for services into a vehicle.
And it was dreadful for the first few years and they got egg on their face all the time in all the automotive publications, but today As most of the big polling and research companies will tell you, when you ask somebody, name a high-tech car, it’s frequently, more often than not, BMW.
And part of it is because they stuck with it, they got out there early, took the slings the arrows.
It’s one of the downsides of this business, but as you know, it’s one that you often have to slog through.
Let’s wrap up with a look at your calendar for 21.
Paul, let’s get this year.
Let’s get this year beyond us.
And just look at 21 what’s on your to do list as an AR leader in the year to come.
We have a series of a series of new products that we just announced the M 4400, which looks a bit like a A version of a Google Glass, but it’s more rugged than IP rated.
So it’s, put it underwater it’s a tough thing, right?
We have an M4000 which is much like the M400, but it’s got these waveguides, these optical see through display systems.
5000 nits of brightness.
It’s one of the brightest AR smart glasses out there that are optically see through so you can use them in really bright environments that just started shipping.
It’s backwards compatible with the 400.
And so rolling that out and getting that into our industrial and enterprise markets is a big deal for music’s.
The blade we just announced a new upgraded version that now has autofocus cameras.
It’s got built in audio in the temples, it’s really a wonderful upgrade.
So that’s going to be rolling in a big way.
And then in 2021 towards this time next year, I think you’re going to start to see some of our next generation technology come out.
And that’s the next gen tech that we see previewed on the site right now?>>Yes, and we have a series of those products coming from viewers that will.
We’ll be able to have different capabilities, as you might imagine.
Paul Travers, the CEO of AR technology company Vuzix.
Vuzix CEO gives a sneak peek at AR glasses you might never detect – Video
Augmented reality is still pretty new to most people, either in the work environment or for personal use, and you could say the same thing about 5G.