Google is going head-on with Project Glass, and for augmented reality aficionados this will definitely be a test drive (and buy if it’s affordable). The idea of being able to surf the cyber world while walking down a real sidewalk is cool, but Qualcomm’s CEO, Paul Jacobs, is saying that it’s actually not all that great.
"I spent a lot of time on glasses at one point, and the issue for me is that the ones that were very immersive I would get a headache from. The stats are that some percentage of people get a headache from them. I think that any consumer product that’s giving a high percentage of people a headache is pretty hard to sell. So, a fully immersive glass is tough," says Jacobs.
It’s quite plausible that one will get a headache from AR glasses, as it may take some time for people to adapt to having a computer preoccupying one eye and dealing with reality in the other eye. There are no real studies or statistics to prove Jacob’s point, so we’ll just have to take it with a grain of salt and see what his company’s alternative to the glass is.
“Right now we’re more focused on things like smart watches – always-on display on your wrist – those kinds of ideas as opposed to glass.”
Abandoning the AR glasses, it seems like Qualcomm is adopting the smart watches instead. Powerful mini computers for wrists are not new, and for Qualcomm to say that it will be focusing on smart watches is intriguing. Headaches and other health conditions aside, it will be interesting to see what type of AR elements will Qualcomm be able to tap into with a device that is strapped onto a person’s wrist. Immersive visual elements are certainly easier to achieve when directly integrated into a head-worn piece, but for a wrist watch that will be a bit harder.