Hong Kong-based Realmax is an augmented reality startup, one of many attempting to decode the highly desired smart glasses market that’s taken CES by storm this season. The corporation’s prototype product, which it’s brought to the show floor in Las Vegas this season, has been quite a work-in-progress, however it does have one promising measure up over the contest: that the product has the widest field of view (FOV) of almost any AR apparatus I’ve ever personally tried, including the HoloLens.
I didn’t get to spend a considerable amount of time with all the Realmax headset. But I did try two unique demos, the first of which filled my field of vision using a mermaid and a college of ocean-dwelling fish, while the next floated virtual satellites around a 3D map of the Earth floating in front of my head. They have been super rudimentary demos, and it’s apparent the prototype is many months away from resembling anything close to a finished product. Aesthetically, RealMax’s prototype headset appears like it was cobbled together with a handful of off-the-shelf pieces.
suffers from a small FOV of around 35 degrees. That usually means the rectangle within the headset can project virtual pictures is around the size of a deck of cards floating at eye level. Realmax, on the other hand, manages to project pictures nearly to the edge of wherever your peripheral vision starts.
The business claims it can attain this vastly superior FOV simply by employing some proprietary variations, which involve a mixture of so-called waveguide along with freeform technology to control the way light is beamed out from a source and then reflected back onto the lenses a user looks through. (To be honest, a Microsoft patent filing that surfaced in October of last year summarized the way the business intends to double click the HoloLens’ FOV, and we expect a second-gen edition of Microsoft’s AR goggles to emerge in 2019.)
Realmax does not have exactly the identical object and depth detection capacities as the HoloLens — even Microsoft basically shot the innards of this Kinect and put them into a headset. But the startup has partnered with motion and gesture control provider Leap Motion to supply an attachable module which detects hand motions. That way, you can reach out in front of one to interact with virtual objects within an AR scene while the Leap Motion module deals with the tracking and gesture input. This worked on the model device I tried here at CES.
Realmax says it’s bringing its tech to market for a developer version in the next quarter of the year for approximately $1,500. It is not clear that the company will have the ability to outpace the largest players in the market, many of which are all vying to be the very first to create and sell fully baked AR glasses. But it cannot be overstated how much a difference it makes to have a wider field of view when it comes to immersive AR. For this, Realmax deserves a shout-out.