Realmax AR Glasses Prototype Eliminates the Biggest Drawback of HoloLens
Photo: TheVerge is a much wider field of view, but so far it is just a prototype.
Hong Kong-based augmented reality startup Realmax is trying to take the augmented reality market by storm. The prototype of the company’s product, which he brought to CES 2018 and presented in the exhibition hall, has one promising feature compared to competitors — the widest field of view (FOV) ever implemented on an AR device, including HoloLens.
I tried two different demos, the first showed the ocean depths with myriads of fish and a mermaid, and the second showed virtual satellites around a three-dimensional map of the Earth floating in front of my face. These were super demonstrations, and it is clear that the prototype resembles something close to the finished product. Although aesthetically, the prototype of the RealMax headset looks as if it is made from several pieces of ready-made parts — ” TheVerge author Nick Statt shared his impressions of AR glasses.
But the viewing area of more than 100 degrees is really impressive. The current iteration of Microsoft’s HoloLens, the most advanced AR headset available at the moment, suffers from a painfully small FOV of about 35 degrees. This means that the rectangle in which the headset can project virtual images has the size of a deck of cards floating at eye level. On the other hand, Realmax manages the projection of images almost to the edge where peripheral vision begins.
The Realmax headset doesn’t look outstanding, but it offers an impressive viewing area.
The company claims that they were able to achieve this significantly superior FOV with the help of their own proprietary optics, which includes a combination of the so-called waveguide technology and a free technology for controlling the radiation of light from the source, and then its reflection back on the lenses that the user is viewing.
In fairness, it should be noted that Microsoft’s patent application, which appeared in October last year, showed how the company plans to double the FOV HoloLens, and it is expected that in 2019 there will be second-generation versions of AR from Microsoft.
Realmax doesn’t have the same object detection and depth detection capabilities as HoloLens — Microsoft basically took the insides of the Kinect and “hammered” them into the headset. But the startup is partnering with motion and gesture control provider Leap Motion to provide a plug-in that detects hand movements. This way, you can interact with virtual objects in the AR scene, while the Leap Motion module performs tracking and gesture search. This worked even on the prototype of the device presented at CES.
Realmax says it will bring its technologies to the market as a developer version in the third quarter of this year for about $ 1,500. It is unknown whether the company will be able to get ahead of the largest players in the industry, but the importance of a wide field of view when it comes to immersion in augmented reality cannot be overestimated. And here Realmax deserves applause.