Osterhout Group R-7 Smartglasses Review

Osterhout Design Group (ODG) are the producers of the most innovative smart glasses and their products are intended mainly at enterprise customers and developers but when they finally turn out to be full-on consumer products, there’s much chance that you will want a pair.

This year ODG presented us two pairs of its glasses: the latest R-7 model, which offers a 30-degree field of sight and is accessible to order now for a price of US$2,750, along with an unreleased model that’s alike the R-7 but offers a 1080p display along with a 50-degree field of view. However, unlike¬†Google Glass, the general form aspect of ODG’s glasses is acquainted, that is, there are not any peculiar irregular forms with hanging prisms that proclaim “I’m a tech product” to anybody in sight. They seem a bit similar to a rough pair of sports sunglasses, only larger.

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While wearing these glasses, you see a stunning, high-quality display positioned in the lower half of your range of view. With the ability to support 3D content with stereoscopic images, the glasses provide a nice balance of transparency and absorption. You can effortlessly perceive through the display to observe what’s actually going on around you, but it’s still impervious enough to completely captivate the displayed 720p content.

The glasses run a version of¬†Android KitKat, named ReticleOS, therefore side loading Android apps and movie files could provide you with plenty of choices for traditional content. And it’s convenient to control, with the use of either a trackpad on the glasses themselves, or a paired handheld controller.

The way in which the glasses could get truly fascinating is when developers maintain complete advantage of their AR competences. We tried out a Hololens-like demo that exploited the stereoscopic display and head-tracking to view a building design to life in front of our eyes. In contrast to Hololens demos, the enlarged object was tethered to an AR card since there’s no in-built environmental scanning like HoloLens offers.

The R-7 is impressive for stationary content, and it could possibly work for AR experiences too, but wider FOVs will continuously tend to create a more effective illusion when inserting AR content in the real world. The WFOV prototype is equipped with a display that occupies a good portion of the lenses; nonetheless the AR demonstration was occupying and impressive.


In addition to impressing its existing enterprise customers, much of ODG’s present emphasis is on encouraging developers to build the apps that will bring the R-7 and beyond glasses to life. There’s so much we can see on display at convention demonstrations but the hardware is remarkable enough to get our imaginations firing on all cylinders. We can hopefully conclude that with the passage of time, a subtler form factor and the appropriate software support, ODG could undoubtedly constitute a very interesting consumer wearable.


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