Where do augmented reality glasses belong?

After eight years, $2.3 billion, and a whole lot of hype, Magic Leap finally launched their augmented reality glasses – unveiling the invention that is supposed to replace the phone. And as if it were following a pessimist’s prophecy, it’s a bit of a disappointment.

Just take the words of Palmer Luckey, one of Oculus’s inventors:

Okay, maybe a little less emotionally charged review:

Tech’s “next big thing” is looking more like a “maybe in a few more years thing.”

The Washington Post

To emphasize his last point:


This got me thinking, “Where do AR glasses belong?”

Right now, many people would probably say “in the trash can”. But, I think we just need a little patience. Let’s imagine for a moment that things get better for AR, and Magic Leap begins living up to its name.

The guy in the picture above is one possible usage scenario. In theory, loads of contextual information could be flying at him: History of the surrounding buildings, maps, and directions, restaurant reviews, info on people, etc… One might say that he’s more connected than ever.

Not to mention, in comparison to the current “bent-neck, staring straight down at our phones” this AR alternative could actually be safer. Then again, maybe you don’t like the idea of everyone walking around with these glasses on.

In the privacy of our own homes, the AR glasses could be used in a multitude of ways: entertainment, communication, work. Redecorating your house would be a lot easier since you could “see” how that new couch might look in your living room. Entertaining guests might be as simple as inviting their holographic selves over. I’m sure you can conjure up other use cases in the home.

To me, though, the most conducive environment for AR glasses seems to be on the job. Whether you sit at a desk all day or are out in the field, I believe that the context which AR glasses could provide would be phenomenal. In meetings, you could bring data right to your field of vision without breaking eye contact with others. As opposed to sitting at a desk all day, one could work while taking a walk. The list goes on.

Nonetheless, if AR glasses live up to their prophecy and find a way to be more effective than our phones, then they’d be on us at all times. But, this isn’t necessarily the fate it has to live up to. There can be alternative paths and places for this technology.

Where do augmented reality glasses belong?