ODG’s new augmented reality glasses are cheaper and better than the Microsoft HoloLens

ODG is making augmented reality more accessible for the average person. Well, the average rich person, that is. The wearables company known for its medial devices has announced two pairs of AR glasses aimed at a wide audience at CES 2017.

The glasses are called the R-8 and the R-9, and while they certainly look futuristic, they also look like a pair of glasses — unlike devices like Google Glass. They’re also the first AR devices to feature Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 835 processor, and they’re powered by “Reticle OS,” which is based on Android 7.0 Nougat.

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Instead of simply placing an image over what you see, the two pairs of glasses have six degrees of freedom tracking — like the Microsoft HoloLens — so they can place 3D objects in a real space.

As the name suggests, the R-9 is the slightly more premium model, and it’s designed more for industries rather than the average consumer. You’ll get a 50-degree field of view, a 1080p resolution, and a 13MP camera that is able to record video in 4K. While the 50-degree field of view doesn’t sound like that much, it’s actually pretty good for AR glasses these days — the HoloLens sits at somewhere between 30 degrees and 45 degrees. The price tag is also better than average — sitting at $1,800, the glasses are a hefty $950 cheaper than the HoloLens.  ODG says the R-9 will be available in the second quarter of 2017 for developers, with a wide release to follow shortly after.

The R-8 cuts prices even more, but there’s a cost in terms of reduced features. The field of view is a much more modest 40 degrees, and the resolution is only 720p. It has two cameras on the front compared to the R-9’s one, but those cameras can capture 1080p video instead of 4K. At $1,000, however, it’s a good value.


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