The AR Smart Glasses Market is Going Mainstream

On December 6, 2022

The Smart Glasses Space is Bigger Than Ever


The demand for smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) technology is accelerating at an incredible rate. Consumer-friendly AR technology like Pokemon: Go, and social media filters are leading the adoption of immersive technology amongst a general audience.

Additionally, the restrictions caused by the pandemic forced countless companies to rethink how they operate. Extended reality (XR) immersive technology is dictating the future of hybrid work. AR solutions play a significant role in the enterprise adoption of immersive services.

Engineers, industrial experts, and other professionals working in complex environments are beginning to rely on smart glasses to boost productivity and support various tasks. Remote guidance solutions also provide a communications tool which enables onsite teams to collaborate between dispersed workers and managers.

Mixed reality (MR) collaboration services are also emerging on hardware like the Meta Quest Pro. Meta’s new hardware integrates AR technology like location-based interactive visualisations for full-colour MR applications.

AR Is Everywhere, and the Glasses Are Coming


While the mass adoption of smart glasses is still several years away, AR is already becoming a part of some people’s day-to-day lives. Most smartphones come with AR support for basic consumer-grade immersive content and services. AR is also present in retail apps, allowing customers to virtually try products before buying them. Moreover, some high-street retailers are adopting in-store AR hardware.

Unlike other parts of the XR environment, AR accelerates immersive technology into the mainstream at speed. Most AR content can operate on smartphones, leading to a lower requirement for expensive headsets.

Although smart glasses are still a luxury item. Many companies are experimenting with consumer-grade, fashionable, and lightweight devices for customers to use anywhere in the world.

Fresh AR Smart Glasses Hardware on the Market


Last year, Meta debuted its Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses that provide users with an AR-lite experience for basic immersive content, shared experiences, and social media tools.

The Menlo Park-based firm is also democratising its developer tools. The firm allows developers of all sizes to design custom XR content for its VR and MR operating systems. Meta’s tools allow developers to create, distribute, and minimise AR/VR/MR content; as the marketplace expands its talent pool.

While enterprises still must consider the initial expense, AR does promise a fantastic return on investment. For instance, access to AR glasses in an engineering environment could help professionals solve machines’ problems and reduce maintenance expenses. Without resorting to spending money on travel to get experts on-site.

Smart tools also help to reduce the safety issues often associated with having multiple people working in the same environment. A staff member could send a live-stream video of their work to specialists through their smart glasses whenever they need help. AR remote guidance reduces crowding problems and enables a hands-free collaborative workflow.

AR Smart Glasses Have Come a Long Way


Fortunately, AR hardware has come a long way since the debut of Google Glass, an AR-lite solution which never took off. Since 2020, AR technology has accelerated faster than expected, thanks to international demand for improved digital interactions between isolated individuals.

AR connectivity comes in many forms, most common for enterprises are design and collaboration applications. For consumers emerging smart glasses and smartphones enable friends or family to stay in touch using immersive content. Integrated immersive consumer-grade services allow users to keep a digital interaction engaging.

Firms such as Nreal are distributing consumer-grade AR hardware to international audiences. Following some legal hurdles, the Chinese firm successfully sells its product worldwide through various regional partners.

Nreal gained millions in funding in 2022, which enabled the firm to expand its market reach to western audiences this year. With Nreal planning further expansion into new audiences, partners, and professional use cases.

Moreover, industrial AR products are gaining incredibly powerful integrated tools which allow workers to harness immersive hardware for simplified and efficient approaches to enterprise operations.

Firms like RealWear are debuting new integrated tech like thermal visioning to help repair teams. While Vuzix is ramping up for a new product showcase for CES 2023 next month.