After Google Glass decided to scrap the sale of Google Glass to consumers by cancelling the explorer program, many saw this as a step back in the deployment of augmented reality technology in the consumer market. That lasted at least until Microsoft pushed its HoloLens program at the Windows 10 announcements. One of the reasons for consumers showing Google Glass “the cold shoulder” was the steep price of $1,500 for the Google gadget. Now Allwinner Technology is launching a smartglass that is trying to test the water for a headset at a much lower price point.
According to a video from Notebook Italia (see below) Allwinner is working on an augmented reality headset using its own AW A33 SoC with quadcore processor. The image is described as a 25″ display at a distance of 2.4m (94.5″) with a resolution of 640 x 360 and a brightness of 2,200 Nits. There is also a video camera, bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a battery incorporated. So there is no cable connected box needed.
The specifications and looks are really very similar to the Google Glass system indeed. Just see for yourself.
(I don’t know about you, but for me it was like déjà vu. NH)
According to the video, the designer and manufacturer of the headset is Coretronic. However, the design of an augmented reality headset seems to lead to only one solution at every design house, which is interesting.
The key differentiator that Allwinner is aiming for is the price. According to WCCFtech.com and softpedia.com, Allwinner will be offering this headset for a mere $199. This is a significant reduction of price compared to the Google Glass headset. There is no real confirmation of this price by Allwinner Technology or a release date for this matter.
The report also mentions that the key use case for this headset is vertical markets like engineering, education, etc.
It seems that Google Glass caused quite a stir among some Chinese CE makers. To not fall behind too much, they launched a lot of wearable devices including this Google Glass copy. The intersting detail will be if Allwinner will actually release the headset after Google withdrew the product and went back to the drawing board. If they do and are even slightly successful, the point that the price beats brand and function will be loud and clear. One has to wonder if any of this may change Google’s decision on how to address the market with augmented reality products. – NH