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Tech Companies Bet on AR Eyewear

A New Way to Interact With Technology

Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), and Niantic are bolstering their augmented reality efforts by incorporating new technology into computerized glasses.

Augmented reality is already being used across a variety of industries from mobile gaming to internet shopping, but now tech companies want to get AR directly in front of consumers’ eyes. The idea is to create eyewear which will enable people to get directions, read text messages, browse movie reviews, and more. Unlike in a virtual reality setup, users will be able to interact with the internet and the real world simultaneously.

Tech Companies Compete for AR Market Share

Facebook has been working on AR glasses for some time and is testing them in conjunction with wristbands which can detect finger movements. The social media giant is focused on developing software and hardware which will compliment its AR glasses.

Meanwhile Niantic, the company behind the game, Pokémon Go, is developing its own AR glasses via a partnership with mobile chip maker Qualcomm (QCOM). Apple is developing an AR headset which could launch in 2022, and AR glasses are expected to follow shortly after that release. Other tech companies working to capture the AR glasses market include Snap Inc. (SNAP) and Google (GOOGL).

The Road to Mass Adoption of AR Glasses

The early iterations of these AR glasses are expected to have limits in terms of the embedded technology, design, and use cases. There are already some AR headsets and glasses on the market, but they are geared toward businesses and tend to be pricey. For example, Microsoft (MSFT) inked a $21.9 billion deal last week to develop custom versions of its HoloLens headsets for the US Army.

AR glasses which will be comfortable and convenient to wear in daily life will likely not be available for at least a year. However, some analysts believe that once this technology is ready for mass adoption, it could revolutionize the way people interact with the internet.

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