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AR lens makers aim at 2020

CES 2019 was a subdued show for new product launches in the AR and VR sector. HTC bucked this trend with not one but two new devices; the Vive Pro Eye and the Vive Cosmos. However, the major news was happening behind the scenes; specialist AR lens manufacturers such as Lumus and LetinAR are improving their production capabilities. This market development will underpin genuinely mass-market AR product launches that we can expect in 2020.

David MacQueen, Executive Director of the Virtual & Augmented Reality research program at Strategy Analytics, said, “Why is lens manufacturing important? As discussed in the report, Dedicated AR Devices – Market and Outlook, today, the specialist lenses are one of the most costly and difficult to manufacture components in transparent AR glasses. Price must come down and manufacturing scalability must be improved for dedicated AR devices to reach mainstream usage.

“There are now at least 4 major specialist lens manufacturers which are making significant investments in their production capabilities. This should lead to improved scalability and reduced costs. Although it may not be as exciting as a new product launch, this is a major step forward, overcoming one of the most significant hurdles in AR product development. This foundation will underpin the “sexy” AR product launches we can expect to see at CES 2020.”

David Kerr, VP at Strategy Analytics, said, “This points toward those companies seeing a major market opportunity – there’s only a requirement to invest in scaling production from the thousands of units, to the tens or hundreds of thousands of units if the demand exists. Strategy Analytics’ earlier prediction that 2020 will be the year when we see significant volume growth in dedicated AR devices seems to be on course, at least from the point of view of the lens manufacturers.”

The full report, AR Market In Sight: CES 2019 AR & VR Roundup, is available here.

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