Augmented Reality Helmet Heads Into Industrial
But at $10,000 each, and with a complex setup process, the average industrial company might have trouble justifying the device’s benefits, said Todd Richmond, director of the Mixed Reality Lab at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies.
“For certain niche applications, I think Daqri has a (return on investment) argument right now,” he said. “More broadly, no, but that will be coming.”
Daqri is competing in a crowded field of augmented reality device developers, many of which have deep pockets. Alphabet Inc. is making a play for the augmented reality market with its Google Glass hardware; Microsoft Corp. with its HoloLens headset; Apple Inc. with its acquisition of augmented reality startup Metaio; and heavily funded Magic Leap, which is developing its own mixed-reality headset. Dozens of other small startups are also pushing into the augmented reality space.
To help keep pace, Daqri has acquired four businesses whose technologies have been integrated into the headset. Those acquisitions could help the company become the de facto standard, USC’s Richmond said, or they could help it draw the attention of “one of the 800 pound gorillas. Google could buy them or Facebook could buy them.”