Contact AR glasses are born: A review of the 60 years of AR technology

2022-04-29 0 By

In 2011, The Channel 4 and NetFlix miniseries Black Mirror created a lot of buzz when it was released.Because the black technology reveals the huge application prospect of the “meta-universe” and augmented reality technology, and the social problems it brings.”Pet robots” that can kill people.Inserting a subject’s cervical vertebra allows a person to see a real 3D image from a QR code and, invisible to others, to wear contact lenses with a wide rear-view field — this “dark technology” is now a reality.At CES 2022, InWith announced that it has successfully developed the world’s first soft contact lens with augmented reality capabilities.InWith is a company specializing in ophthalmology and MEMS (Micro-electro-mechanical systems) technology.InWith says its soft electronic contact lenses for the masses could be the ultimate way to view the future metasomes, allowing users to transition from the real world to a variety of virtual, augmented and extended reality worlds at will.In InWith’s announcement, they said their research team pioneered the key technology to integrate solid components and circuits into hydrogel materials, enabling the relevant augmented reality (AR) display modules to be integrated into the mainstream contact lens materials on the market.The company says the technology will allow developers to incorporate AR display chips into any soft hydrogel contact lens.The first applications will be “adjustable vision”, where eyeglasses are operated by mobile devices such as smartphones, and “enhanced vision”, which interacts with mobile devices such as smartphones.In a navigation scenario, for example, the system can transmit navigation information from a smartphone’s mapping app to a contact lens: “You can see things like, what’s the speed limit on this road? Which direction am I going? Where’s the next exit?It’s actually the latest incarnation of augmented reality, a technology that dates back to 1962.How has AR technology evolved over the past 54 years?Just as the literary and art circles are always the earliest prophets, if you want to trace the prehistory of AR technology.The American writer and oilman L. Frank Baum (1856-1909), author of none other than the Wizard of Oz, was the first to propose an early form and path to Augmented Reality:In his novel “Master Key,” he describes some of the features of Glass…It will appear in 100 years.In his novel, Baum talks about glasses that allow the wearer to see a letter that appears on the forehead of the person they meet, which corresponds to their personality.It includes this pair of glasses.When you wear them, everyone you meet leaves a letter on their forehead to indicate his or her personality.The good are marked with a G, the evil with an E, the wise with a W, and so on….”In this way, you can judge the true nature of all the people you meet from a glance.Given the limitations of technology, many of the authors of the day may have assumed that the technology was a whim, or that the moon colony of the 1930s would be the same, and few would have guessed the actual date of the “wonder Glasses”.Yet one can see the direction in Baum’s wild imagination.Second, the advantages of computer in the early 1960 s, along with the computer from the tube into the tube and a mixture of large scale integrated circuit, combined with the reality of an arms race that year demand, develop better in peacetime training for pilots and wartime increase awareness, enhance the accuracy of the shooting, bombs, etc, and has given rise to the first generation of AR – Sensorama equipment.However, his inventor was not a scientist, just an American photographer.Imagined by Morton Heilig in the 1950s, it should appeal to all five senses (hence the name) in order to draw the viewer into the movie on screen.The prototype, completed in 1962, included color screens, fans, smell transmitters, a stereo sound system and movable chairs.These different elements are activated according to the movie projected on the screen.This concept is closer to virtual reality (simulating physical presence in an artificial environment), but it is the first approach to AR.He patented it and advertised it.Strictly speaking, this isn’t really AR, more like the big video game devices that were popular everywhere in the 1980s and mid-1990s.At present, it is difficult to prove the relationship between the stand-up console and the Sensorama, but given that the technology path is still correct, 1962 can be said to be the “first year of AR”.Ivan Sutherland, an American engineer, is often considered one of the pioneers in the history of augmented reality.In fact, in the 1960s, he designed software sketchboards for 3D modeling and visual simulation.It was part of his thesis at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Boston Technical University.In 1968, the “3D Head-mounted display”, a pair of glasses for viewing 3D images, was deployed at the University of Salt Lake City, Utah (USA).These are the true ancestors of Google Glass.The installation is so heavy and spectacular that it has been nicknamed the “Sword of Damocles”.It needs to be suspended from the ceiling to support its weight, and the user has to be strapped to the device to create better immersion, which makes the experience very uncomfortable.While we’re still a long way from the lightness and mobility of Google Glass, the innovation is still considered an important part of augmented reality history.In 1980, Steve Mann developed EyeTap, a helmet that displayed virtual information in front of the user’s eyes.It’s the first practical augmented reality headset.EyeTap still exists today: it was sharpened until it became as discreet and minimalist as a simple pair of glasses.This aspect was quickly applied to the military. In the 1980s, American helicopter pilots used “battlefield visual sensors” next to their eyes, allowing them to quickly read the latest instructions from symbols flashing before their eyes and avoid rockets, bullets and missiles flying from the ground.The installation made headlines during the 1991 Gulf War.Behind this, are inseparable from the progress of computer technology.Third, belated commercial application AR really into thousands of households, but also after the 21st century.In February 2006, Jeff Han demonstrated multi-touch technology in a TED talk, when multi-touch interfaces were still in the experimental stage.Now we can also see demo videos online.Looking back at the video, the technology he was demonstrating was so prosaic that you could buy an Android phone for $50.The audience was mostly seasoned, tech-focused veterans who cheered technology.Technology that now seems mundane was amazing.A year later, Apple released the iPhone, and the tech industry went back to zero because of multi-touch.The technology in avatar, the world’s highest-grossing film of 2009, that allows people to see objects in different details by touching them, is the direction of computer technology that year.In the 2010s, augmented reality took its place in advertising.Companies like Disney, Coca-Cola or Pepsi have captured AR in order to create large-scale commercial operations, such as using screens placed in bus shelters.There are also animations that pop up after identifying items through the phone’s camera.This period is also the convergence of AR and VR (Virtual Reality) technology.In 2012, for example, Google launched Google Glass beta, the first mass-market AR product, and made the technology available to everyone.However, the product failed to satisfy its audience, marking one of the biggest failures in ar history.Google quickly stopped making those glasses in early 2015.The Google Glass adventure took another turn in 2019 when the web giant decided to start making glasses again, but this time only for professionals.And in 2016, a mobile APP took the world by storm, sending many people holding their smartphones up to a virtual pokemon in the air.Who hasn’t seen hordes of Pokemon fans milling around the screen to catch a Pokemon?While the game is no longer the most downloaded game in 2020, it remains hugely popular and continues to make money for Niantic, the company behind the game: $900 million in 2019 alone.Since then, many other games have been developed based on AR, such as Harry Potter: Wizarding Unit, Angry Birds AR: Pig Island, The Walking Dead: Our World, etc.Fourth, capital jump start, where AR/VR go?In the 2020s, AR has become an industry pursued by global capital including China.According to the forecast of Shen Cheng Consulting in 2020, the global VR/AR market size will exceed ¥350 billion yuan in 2025.Among them, the market size of VR headset will exceed ¥70 billion yuan, and the global VR headset shipments will exceed 4 million units in 2020.VR other hardware market (non-head-mounted display) scale will exceed ¥20 billion yuan;The VR application market (including mass and industrial applications) will exceed ¥77 billion yuan.The market size of AR smart glasses will exceed ¥30 billion yuan in 2025, and the market size of AR applications (including mobile AR mass applications, mobile AR industry applications and smart glasses industry applications) will exceed ¥150 billion yuan.From a financing perspective, the Chinese AR/VR industry is still in its infancy: of course, the metasverse concept went viral in 2021, directly driving the development of the VR/AR industry.According to Projections by Statista, the global VR/AR market size may exceed $12.1 billion by 2024.With the rapid development of VR/AR, the underlying problems are also increasingly prominent: low content quality, poor immersion experience and high cost still need to be solved jointly by participants.At the same time, VR/AR commercialization scenarios are becoming diversified.In addition to games, entertainment and other familiar application scenarios, VR/AR is gradually involved in new fields such as medical treatment, education, production and manufacturing, and the penetration rate of the industry is also increasing.According to Perkins Coie, the penetration rate of VR/AR in healthcare, education, workforce training, and manufacturing scenarios has exceeded 20% in 2021, and the penetration rate of healthcare is up to 38%.It is worth mentioning that in today’s meta-universe trend, VR/AR has again gained the favor of capital since 2016, and the market scale continues to expand.VR/AR application field has also expanded from natural immersive games and entertainment scenes to medical, education, manufacturing and other scenes, with obvious “loop-breaking” effect.In the future, the metauniverse concept will continue to innovate business models and bring greater imagination for the development of VR/AR industry.The large-scale commercial application of VR/AR still needs the cooperation of all participants in the industry to make breakthroughs in existing constraints such as technology, hardware and content.We review the development of AR/VR in the past 60 years in order to find better ideas and directions for future investment, entrepreneurship and practitioners.Well, that’s it for today’s Money Never Sleeps, if you have any questions or shares, let’s see you in the comments!1, A brief history of Augmented Reality (Numerzied) 2, the world’s first AR contact lenses come out: is the metauniverse window, or advertising pop-up shortcut?3. Ten years of AR development: Will it show you the future?(Artificial intelligence scientist) 4. Twice as expensive as HoloLens!Black Mirror’s dark technology comes true!5. Global VR/AR Industry Data Insights in 2021 | 36kr Research Institute