Osterhout Design Group, more commonly referred to as just ODG, has introduced the R-8 and R-9 smart glasses, wearable augmented reality devices that are the first to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor. Developer units of these glasses will be shipping out later this year, but as with other wearable headset dev kits, you’ll have to pay a pretty penny to get them: the R-8 will be “less than $1,000” and the R-9 will be “around” $1,799 USD.
Both the R-8 and the R-9 smartglasses aren’t terribly different from VR headsets, in the sense that you wear them and you get access to digital content directly on your face. There are some very notable and specific differences, however, in that VR headsets present virtual reality content, whereas ODG’s smart glasses offer “augmented, virtual and mixed reality overlays.”
Augmented Reality refers to devices such as this and Microsoft’s HoloLens that overlay digital content onto your regular IRL world, for example, putting a digital pet into your real-world living room. The potential uses for this are expansive, and likely not fully realized at this point in time.
The R-9 smartglasses are the more substantial of the two, with ODG saying they’re targeted at ‘light enterprise to prosumer media consumption.’ The smart glasses can also serve as a platform for developing high-end AR and VR mobile applications, says the company.
The R-8 model weighs a bit under 4.5 ounces with HD resolution and a 40-degree FOV. The R-9 has a 1080p resolution and a 50-degree FOV. The company says it expects its smart glasses will support Vuforia AR platform for devs, opening the door for AR applications.
Said company COO Pete Jameson:
ODG smartglasses are already in use and set the standard in industries across the entire spectrum of business. Our commitment to our commercial customers remains unchanged, but we are starting to see the pull of the early adopter phase for consumer smartglasses as VR and AR emerge as new computing platforms, form factors improve and people want more out of their mobile devices. We are excited to begin engaging developers and introduce compelling consumer experiences to seed adoption.