Giant Lazer CEO explains why smart glasses are here to stay
The idea that smart glasses will one day replace smartphones entirely is a theory shared by many of the world’s most influential people.
We recently posted a report explaining how the head-worn augmented reality market is expected to reach USD 13.4 billion by 2024 – but what exactly is driving this massive growth in the enterprise marketplace?
To help answer that question, XR Today invited Jakub Korczynski, Co-Founder, and CEO of Giant Lazer, to discuss his thoughts on where the augmented reality smart glasses marketplace is heading over the next 12 months.
As current CEO and former CTO at Giant Lazer, an AR/VR development company that exclusively targets the enterprise, Korczynski has had years of experience building XR technologies for businesses.
While the company started primarily as a VR developer of workforce training platforms for industrial companies, Giant Lazer quickly realized the demand for AR solutions in the enterprise was just as significant. Korczynski adds:
“We quickly learned that VR is great for industrial training and workforce training, but clients started to ask for tools to work in the field. They wanted something that helped them collaborate, but also something that enabled them to move away from paper-based management”
With AR smart glasses, Korczynski tells us that industrial workers or deployed workforces on the frontline can stay engaged for longer, operate with much greater efficiency, and collaborate better than ever before.
As digital transformation continues to spread throughout the enterprise, AR smart glasses offer an easy bridge between the old paper-based world and the new digital one. With tools like AR check listing, businesses can carry out complicated processes like onsite inspections in minutes rather than hours, but speed isn’t the only advantage.
“Check listing with AR smart glasses also allows the user to document the process and expand on it in ways that were impossible before. For example, suppose somebody is going through the list, and something isn’t right. In that case, they can instantly take a photo or video of the problem and add it to the report so the relevant person can quickly take action,” Korczynski adds
The fact smart glasses are voice-activated also offers a massive advantage to engineers and warehouse operators who work with their hands. By allowing these people to quickly access the data needed to complete tasks without ever having to take off their gloves or move away from the project site, AR smart glasses can increase production while cutting out almost all workplace disruptions.
As a result, AR smart glasses have already become valuable tools in the Industry 4.0. They are now widely used across various industries ranging from manufacturing and industrial engineering to emergency services, military, energy, and oil & gas.
However, as valuable as this technology is, Korczynski tells us that we’re still not at the stage where AR smart glasses can achieve their full value in the enterprise.
While more businesses than ever before are adopting a smart glasses strategy, Korczynski states it will never be a seamless process until every employee on a factory floor has a device of their own. To reach that stage, however, vendors must address the issues of pricing and comfort first.
Additionally, much like Head of Immersive at Sky, Matt McCartney suggested in his recent interview with XR Today, Korczynski believes the real value of AR smart glasses in the enterprise will come once we have a 5G network to support it. Once 5G arrives at scale, Korczynski states it will be a “major turning point for the industry.”
Regarding the future of the enterprise smart glasses space and the impending arrival of prominent vendors like Facebook and Apple in the AR headset space, we asked Korczynski which developers will lead the industry in the future.
While he had no doubt both Facebook and Apple would take the top spot in the consumer marketplace, he doesn’t see either of them leading the industrial AR smart glasses market any time soon. Instead, he believes durable AR smart glasses like the RealWear HMT-1 will continue to lead the marketplace, and minimalist, fashion-first smart glasses like those we expect to see from Apple or Facebook wouldn’t last in harsh factory environments.
Nevertheless, Korczynski concluded by telling us that, although RealWear is the most popular option for industrial companies today, it would be foolish to assume it will always be that way. Although the smart glasses marketplace is new, the rate at which it is growing is incredible and, as a result, we can never really tell what’s coming around the corner until it gets here.
For more information on how Giant Lazer uses AR/VR to help businesses grow, be sure to check out some of their most recent projects here.