By Rudi Schubert, Director, New Initiatives, IEEE Standards Association
Augmented World Expo (AWE) took place the week of June 8 in Santa Clara, California, providing a glimpse into the future of developing technologies ranging across augmented reality, virtual reality, and wearable devices. This industry segment is rapidly growing in public visibility, with products evolving and early devices becoming available to the consumer and industrial market. However, while activity has been accelerating, there are hurdles yet to overcome in bringing these technologies to broad acceptance and adoption in the market.
The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) co-hosted a workshop at AWE that focused on the development of a technology roadmap for smart glasses. This workshop was designed to be a starting point to bring together stakeholders for an ongoing collaboration in identifying barriers to adoption, proposing solutions, and launching action plans to address these issues. Nearly 40 attendees engaged in a highly interactive discussion organized into four breakout groups to consider the use of smart glasses in a number of market segments. These groups focused on: mass consumer markets, industrial markets, military/first responder markets, and professional services markets (e.g., medical applications). The workshop’s stimulating discussion concluded with each group reporting on their findings to the full set of participants.
Interestingly, needs and expectations to achieve pervasive adoption were varied depending on industry segments. Consumer interests centered around convenience and cost; industry interests included return on investment and integration with legacy systems; and military/first responders highlighted rugged devices as a key need. Many supporting details and more specific issues were documented and will be used in framing a white paper detailing these identified needs and offering recommendations on a roadmap towards satisfying the expectations within each of these market segments.
Participants from the workshop will be engaging in further teleconferences in the coming months to build out these issues and plan to reconvene later in the year where they will work towards completion of the roadmap and establish additional initiatives that can develop the solutions that will enable acceleration of wearable smart glass technologies and broad market acceptance.