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Analysis Of Wearable Augmented Reality As An Emerging Technlogy

3751 words - 16 pages

1 Introduction
Wearable Augmented Reality (WAR) devices are defined as networked, multimedia computers that can be worn as glasses. They utilize “heads-up displays, sensors and earphones to provide an improved interface for these features by overlaying graphics, text, and sound on the physical world” [8]. WAR is a rapidly growing technology that has garnered attention from multinational corporations [2] to tinkerers who build Kickstarter projects [3] in their basement. In fact, the 2013 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle released by Gartner in August 2013 mentions “Augmenting Humans with Technology” as one of six highlighted technologies [1]. Gartner speculates that narrowing the gap between humans and devices will result in productivity gains due to the workforce having quicker access to information.
Currently, Google’s Glass product is the only WAR device that has been publically announced. But con- sidering recent WAR patent applications from Microsoft [23] and Samsung [24] we can see that competition is heating up in this new space. These companies all have enormous research and development budgets which they are using to develop WAR devices to augment their present services. There also are more independant developers which utilize crowd funding to develop their product. Oculus Rift [25] and castAr [26] are great examples of these companies. While these devices do fall into the category of WAR, they currently are mainly targeted at video game users.
If WAR devices become widepread, their use will create a shift in information consumption, mirroring the same sort of shift created by smartphones. Thanks to smartphones, humans now have access to more information at a given time. They can schedule meetings more efficiently, query answers of the Internet at any given time and generally perform their daily tasks more efficiently. WAR devices will perform these same functions but even more efficiently and less intrusively. This means that wearable augmented reality devices have the potential to become the de facto device used to access information and communicate.
2 Business Model Building Blocks 2.1 Customer Segments
The initial main customer segment of WAR will be technology enthusiasts—early adopters of the tech- nology who are eager to try new technology. As more and more uses for WAR are established, the main targeted customer segment of WAR will be the mass-market smartphone consumers. Anyone who utilizes a smartphone in their daily lives will eventually find a reason to switch to a WAR device. These consumers will mimic the smartphone users of today.
As more specialized uses for WAR develop, we can expect new customer segments to develop as well. WAR has the potential to have huge impact on the fields of medicine, education, gaming, and many other fields [10]. A stockbroker on Wall Street may utilize glasses that constantly update information and haptic feedback from the device, which vibrates anytime a given stock crosses a preset threshold,...

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