Top Augmented Reality (AR) Headsets
Augmented Reality or AR is firmly on its way to embedding itself in our everyday lives and
Although AR and AR headsets have a little way to go before becoming mainstream the strides taken in the past few years prove that it’s quite close. Some of these suggestions are feasible for purchase today and are cutting edge.
What is AR
Augmented Reality (AR) is when a digital content is overlaid on top of things you see in the real world. It is not like VR where everything you see is digital or a video, and not what’s infront of you.
With AR, you still see the world around you as it is, but you also have digital additions on top. An Augment Reality headset is a device that’s used to facilitate AR technology.
More info available in our FAQ section
Our Top 10 AR Headsets
We’ve put together a list of our current favourite top 10 AR headsets. Be aware that some of these AR headsets might not be available just yet and are still in development.
When talking about a top AR headset, the Oculus Quest AR headset was documented as one of the best headsets of the year 2019. It contains dual controllers which works hand in hand with freedom motion tracking. You do not need a separate controller to make use of it.
The Oculus Go and Oculus Rift are actually similar in exterior design to the Oculus Quest. It is similar to the Rift in that it has a three strap harness setup shaped like an oval to fit in, or cradle the back of the head, and a curved black matte plastic front panel.
It gives you the ultimate gaming experience.
The Microsoft HoloLens 2 comes as an upgrade to the original Microsoft HoloLens. According to its creators it is reported to be three times lighter than its earlier versions. It has lots of incredible features, such as the visor, which can easily be flipped up in case you wish to come back to the real world. It was specifically designed by Microsoft in a way that all its sensors are placed in the front, and the Qualcomm 8550C and battery at the rear aspect.
The user experience is great; impressive resolutions, a one-of-a-kind spatial sound type, and excellent build quality. It’s a really great product but at a price of $3500, it may take a while before it gets affordable for the general audience.
It has also been upgraded, with two extra features: Holographic Lens Integration, Custom AI chip, latest Kinect sensor, and Inside Out Tracking, with a higher FOV of 52°.
- Very comfortable and light (reported to be the world’s lightest), can be worn for long periods of time
- It comes with a dark shade, allowing you to view your screen in bright sunlight
- Possesses a six-hour battery life, created to last much longer than the very best drones
- Available, configured and built for Canada and United States residents only
- Using the app is probably easier when compared to the glasses
- It has a small Field of View (FOV) of 23o
The Epson Moverio BT-300FPV Drone Edition is a device built with an android OS. It takes the place of the smartphone that is normally needed to operate your drone. That way, you can make use of the DJI app right on the screen instead of your phone.
This product goes a long way to represent the versatility of Augmented Reality. Specifically built for drone pilots, it is equipped with a transparent display, enabling the user to not lose track of the drone’s location while also seeing exactly what the drone sees.
- The glasses look better and more classy than that of Microsoft Hololens
- It is very portable and light
- Private. No one else can see or hear what you’re viewing
- Its graphics are not advanced; they are not high definition
- You cannot use it alongside your glasses. Alternatively you’ll have to use contact lenses, or purchase prescription lenses at an additional cost
- To set up the device for you in your home, white glove service is required
The Magic Leap One takes Augmented Reality to a whole new level, as it contains a special design that hasn’t been used before. It has got a pair of large(or should I say, giant) eyeballs that you can gaze into, instead of one huge screen.
It is similar to the Microsoft Hololens 2 product in a few ways. It has got an external controller, which can easily be modified into a weapon, a conductor’s baton, or a paint brush. It has also got a CPU & GPU built and fitted into a pack that you can easily attach to your belt, keeping the headset as sleek and light as possible. Gives a fair value for money and it trully a top AR headset.
- Positional audio and voice communications are feasible, because it contains two speakers and two microphones
- It is absolutely standalone and does not need tethering to a PC
- It has the potential to fill a gap in the enterprise market
- It has a short battery life of 2 hours
- It is announced to be available from summer this year (2020)
- Its price is considered to be exorbitant by some customers
A cool standalone AR headset (and the very first 6DoF passthrough video variant), totally wireless, with the battery, computer hardware and storage unit embedded within the device.
It is a passthrough headset which makes use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 chipset.
- 13.2 MP HD front camera, perfect for clear-cut photos and videos.
- Long lasting battery of up to 8 hours of active use.
- It is light and has a great design.
- It may require a little practice and patience
- Slow to find location signals as it gets these signals from GPS
- Expensive when combined with extra accessories
The Everysight Raptor AR headset consist of a pair of glasses custom-built for cyclists and triathletes. It is equipped with a wide range of features which gives great value for money at a price of $649. Its specs and features include connectivity (GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, ANT+), HD camera and long-lasting battery life.
Created and developed by an Israeli company which is an offshoot of Elbit (a tech organization)
Google Glass enterprise edition is an AR created by Google, built to enable workers (business, enterprise level users) do their jobs more efficiently and works by giving users the hands-free information needed to complete their work. On the screen you can access checklists, look at instructions, share inspection photos and videos.
It gives great value for money when used especially on the job. The Enterprise Edition comes as a sequel to the initial Google Glass and Google Glass Explorer.
- It helps you train smarter and achieve great potential as an athlete
- Bluetooth connectivity makes wire connections unnecessary
- You get access to a wide range of AR applications, play music through its speakers, and listen to audio notifications regarding your workout
- Sometimes, it gets bad readings from sensors
- A finite battery life of about five hours
- Developed for sport users only
The Kopin SOLOS is an AR headset built for the sporty individuals of society: fitness freaks, cyclists, runners and triathletes. It is a highly rated device that contains different sensors for measuring parameters such as heart rate, distance, speed, elapsed time, and power. It just assembles your performance data, summing it up into information and then presenting it to you.
- It is very easy to use and configure.
- Easily fitting; can be used for long periods of time.
- Its graphics are great.
- It is heavy
- It doesn’t have a software ecosystem.
- It may not provide an immersive experience for a similarly priced VR headset.
This is a non-expensive headset that enables you experience augmented reality from your smartphone device. If you’re inexperienced and just trying out AR for the first time, then this is a really great option. The Mira Prism enables the user to attach their headset to the smartphone, using mirrors to overlay the phone’s screen into the user’s Field of Vision. Users enjoy a wide range of games that work just fine, transmitting from the smartphone to the headset.
Reported to be the current best on the market, the HTC Vive enables you do much more than any other headset. The Vive allows the user to interact in the same way as everyone does in real life; it contains two trackers that monitor your position in tyoru current physical space.
But, due to its price, it may only be accessable to professional use in the workplace. It contains excellent specs such as high-quality display with dual 1080×120 screens, button enabled controllers. However, in order to use, you must connect it to a computer.
The downsides are disappointing, but this is truly up there with the top AR headsets.