With the era of augmented reality (AR) among us, the AR industry has a high potential and many offerings still unexplored by many. Apple (NASDAQ: APPL), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Magic Leap are exploring R&D initiatives with AR, but one company is leading the charge.
Katie Wood/Ark Investment recently disclosed it took its first position in Vuzix (NASDAQ: VUZI), a leading supplier of Smart-Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets. Let’s take a look at what they have been doing over at Vuzix.
The new products coming out of the company are some of the hottest in the industry. Earlier this year, the company released its Next Generation Smart Glasses (NGSG), which are compatible with most smartphones and watches. Vuzix (NASDAQ: VUZI) is an industry leader in AR technology, and it provides innovative products to defense, security, enterprise and consumer clients. The Vuzix NGSG feature a bold see-through 3D display powered by one of the smallest micro-LED display engines in the world, in combination with Vuzix’ proprietary waveguides.
The clarity Vuzix delivers gives the company, and its product suite of smart glasses, an edge hardly seen in the AR space. Some competitors feature a goggle style that projects images in front of the user, Vuzix Smart Glasses provide clear LED displays with ergonomic heads-up displays, a full field of view maintained during use and comfortable frames for longer wear time. This allows wearers to fully interact with the world in front of them with the added assistance of augmented reality technology.
Is the market trend changing due to the pandemic that forced us into a virtual world? Time will tell, but the recent adaptation of technology across several industries is promising.
The use cases for the Vuzix’ products are growing and adoption is building across many industries. Doctors in United and France have recently performed the first successful knee surgeries with Vuzix’ AR Smart Glasses. BMW Automotive Group and DHL Supply Chain have been utilizing Vuzix’ technology for logistic purposes. Plug Power has deployed Vuzix’ techology to assist with onboarding and training new technicians. Envirotainer is using Vuzix’ glasses to perform inspection of its temperature-controlled containers to support the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the globe. A global Tier-1 Aerospace firm along with two global defense companies have entered into development agreements with Vuzix as they pursue commercial opportunities related to customized waveguide-based HMDs.
In the medical field, Vuzix gained popularity with the need for more virtual communication due to increased risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vuzix has deployed its smart glasses to dozens of institutions around the globe including notable schools such as Johns Hopkins, UCLA Medical School, Louisville Medical School of Medicine which recently had a publication in the American Medical Association’s special COVID-19 edition for accelerating change in medical health education systems. Vuzix’ smart glasses are reducing exposure and conserving personal protection equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic and providing mentor to mentee surigical training around the globe in partnership with organizations like Ohana One.
Additionally, warehouse logistics have become more intricate. Vuzix offers utility in the space through their M-Series Smart Glasses, which allow wearers to keep both hands free while working and experience the guided aid of augmented reality. This leads to decreased average pick time, fewer order mistakes, and live video feedback to managers.
Vuzix’ potential lies in its developments in optics and waveguides. The idea of augmented reality glasses is nothing new, Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) leapt into the marketplace with its Google Glass back in 2013. At the time, Google Glass was touted to be a life-changing, mass market technology that investors should be salivating over.
Google, Toshiba (OTCMKTS: TOSYY) and Microsoft are just some players in the market, and major names like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung (KRX: 005930) are also stepping in.
The potential of the market as a whole may be so large it doesn’t matter. Grand View Research’s recent study claimed the augmented reality market will be worth $340.16 billion by 2028.
Vuzix currently holds 184 patents and patents pending along with numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field. With its 20 years of experience and innovation, Vuzix has the potential to be a key player in this space.
Vuzix displayed strong growth through the pandemic but may see some pull back. The remote communication needs of the pandemic could have led to an acceleration of the acceptance of this technology.
Although general consumers may be the last to fully embrace this technology, early adopters in healthcare, warehouse logistics, manufacturing solutions and field services are all finding utility in this technology. Watch Vuzix closely as it continues to bring these AR glasses to the market.
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