Atheer Reveals More about AiR in Interview

With the recent release of their AiR glasses as well as platform, Atheer is aiming strongly at the enterprise market like so many other AR glasses and software developers. The recipe is simple, develop the glasses according to some science fiction Hollywood movie and when the consumer are not lining up to buy the hardware, focus on the industrial and enterprise applications. So far every AR developer has gone this way.

There is no blame involved in my observation, it just shows that AR is not ready for the mass market, or to be more precise the consumer is not ready for the augmented reality world. There is a big gap between thinking some technology is cool on the silver screen and actually putting money down in real life.

Atheer – AiR Glasses

The Atheer AiR glasses are of the binocular type, allowing for 3D imagery. The imagers each have 1280 x 720 resolution, running at 60fps. The 50 degree field of view is at the higher end of what is available in the market today. The system also includes a Time of Flight (ToF) depth sensor for gesture input.

Atheer CEO, Alberto Torres, discussed the released hardware in an interview with Bloomberg TV. He said that their hardware is basically a computer for the user’s eyesight and fingertips. The focus of their marketing efforts is ‘deskless’ professionals. In other words, all the doctors, service and assembly professionals. The goal is to provide information to people performing complex tasks without interrupting the task itself. When asked how AiR compares to Google Glass, he responded that they are providing ‘very complex, very rich’ images. In other words the biggest difference is the wider field of view and the binocular design compared to the Google Glass monocular design.

Torres continued that the AiR is capable of running all Android apps, providing a wide stream of software “from the get go”. Of course, most of those apps are aiming at the consumer rather than the enterprise customer. On the positive side, the same software will be able to run on any Android tablet as well as in the AR environment. That is a very powerful argument indeed. The remaining question is whether apps optimized for a small screen will look as stunning when watched on a much larger augmented reality system.

When asked in the interview on how much it cost Atheer to develop these glasses, Torres stated that it took them more than three and a half years and ‘tens of millions of dollars’ to develop this final product. (NH)