Warning: One Of You Will Probably Drop $5k On A Pair Of These

by nils  - August 7, 2011

Vuzix STAR 1200 Augmented Reality Glasses

OK, I want a pair of these, I truly do! I wonder if they work over regular glasses?

Originally saw this on the Technology Review site, in an article from May:

At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas hardware company Vuzix has revealed the first clear AR glasses for consumers. The glasses, called Raptyr, use holographic optics instead of video screens to make digital objects appear in mid-air. The approach is challenging, not least the interface has to compensate for (or compete with) natural light. For this reason the lenses can electronically darken to compensate for brighter or darker environments.

Here’s the actual product page for the device. It’s now called the Star 1200 (Raptyr was maybe too game-y?), and it costs $5,000 right now (in pre-order). And it looks pretty clunky. But that it can even be done is totally amazing. And if its price curve follows Moore’s Law – and there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t – we should be seeing it in the $500 range, with a lot better design and much less clunky, in three to four years. That is, unless people start walking into buses while wearing them!

For more on what this all means in the next 15-20 years, take a quick look at Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge. Not his best-written book, but likely a prescient view or what augmented reality is going to become. (And of course, I didn’t read it as a book, but on my iPad, acting as a Kindle. The future is already here!)

They say they’ll be shipping this month (August 2011). You can pre-order now for a downpayment of $2,000, with the remaining $3,000 payable on product release. Free shipping, though, in the U.S.!

So, I know you want a pair of these – but what are you willing to pay, and what do they have to look like before you’d be willing to wear them?



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Your host and author, Nils Davis, is a long-time product manager, consultant, trainer, and coach. He is the author of The Secret Product Manager Handbook, many blog posts, a series of video trainings on product management, and the occasional grilled pizza.

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