ODG Smart Glasses
|Developer||Osterhout Design Group, Inc. |
|Announced||January 2015 |
Consumers: 2016 
|Price||2750 USD (pre-order)|
|Operating system||ReticleOS (Android-based)|
|Field of view||30
|Weight||125 g |
voice, inertial, trackpad, buttons 
The ODG R-7 Smartglasses System are wearable stereoscopic glasses with an inbuilt, projector-based displays. It has been advertised as "the world's most advanced Augmented Reality (AR) Smartglasses, featuring stunning ultra-transparent 3D stereoscopic displays and packed with innovative technologies". The device is standalone and feature an Android-based operating system. ODG R-7 is equipped with several sensors and also has an HD camera in the front. The device package also includes software development kits and access to the developer program. The device became available for purchase in January 2016.
Compared with other available "mixed reality" devices that actively map the spaces of the rooms they are in, such as Microsoft's HoloLens, ODG R-7 Smartglasses are a bit more straightforward, serving as hands-free, heads-up displays that can be accessed easily and offer the utility of an Android tablet, albeit one overlaying the real world. ODG is working on building models that actively map the geometry of the rooms they are in, and has brought limited positional tracking to its newer models thanks to the latest Snapdragon 835 that both devices run on.
Aside from more advanced R-8 and R-9 versions that are under development (the R-8 consumer version planned for Q3 2017, while the R-9 enterprise version planned for Q2 2017), the company is currently working on the R-7HL (the HL standing for "Hazardous Location") version designed specifically for hazardous environments. ODG specifically details oil exploration and production, energy, mining, utilities, chemical production and pharmaceuticals as some of the industries for which the new headset is optimized. It is designed to comply with MIL-STD 810G (extreme conditions) and 461F (electromagnetic compatibility) American military standards. The R-7HL will begin shipping by the end of the second quarter of 2017 and will sell for $3,500.
R-7 is glasses-like wearable device for augmented reality and resembles ordinary glasses with thicker nose frame that houses the electronics. It can be described as "a next-generation computing platform that gives users the power and performance of a tablet, completely hands free", delivering "an unparalleled user experience of display clarity, on-board processing power and connectivity, with no external computing or other support needed". ODG vice president Nima Shams described the R7 as a high-end mobile head-worn computer, projecting a virtual display that appears to float just inches from the wearers' eyes, the experience being like looking at a 65-inch screen 8 feet away.
The operating system of the device is a custom Android-based (Android KitKat) framework ReticleOS. It runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 2.7 GHz quad-core processor, 3 Gb DDR3 RAM, and 64 GB flash memory. The virtual information is accessible via two 720 pixels transparent displays that are incorporated in the lenses of the device, capable of showing content at 80 frames per second with full 3D visualization. The frames house several sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, altitude sensor, humidity sensor, and a GPS antenna. The connectivity is available through Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac. The front of the frame features a 1080 pixels camera with microphone. The battery is Lithium-Ion 1300mAh and is housed in the horns of the glasses frame.
The company shared the technical specifications through a publicly accessible product tech sheet.
The R-7 smartglasses have received generally very positive reviews so far in comparison with other similar products. The only technical issue that has been reported is its heat generation. It has been reported that the top area of the glasses gets noticeably hot during operation, and easily feels to be around 50-60°C, making the prolonged use of the device uncomfortable. Nevertheless, the more advanced versions of the device are likely to be much cooler in operation.
ODG R-7 are smartglasses for augmented reality meant to be used in the enterprise sector.
- Industrial - Manufacturing, maintenance and construction professionals can quickly access checklists and work manuals. Pull up the exact design of an engine or building and follow step-by-step visual and audio instructions on how to build or repair it, while keeping hands free. Consult real-time with remote experts while showing live point-of-view camera and digital AR feed. Prevents and resolve project bottlenecks with Location Based Tracking. Keeps critical business and personal networks connected.
- Consumer - Email. Browse the web. Navigate with GPS. Connect via social media. Place a video call. Play a game. Watch a 3D video. Read a book. Work on a report, a presentation, a spreadsheet. Endless possibilities anywhere, anytime, and in private. Record life’s best moments whether standing still or on-the-go – running, biking, skiing. Body position independent and able to work and play anywhere – lie down in bright sunlight and your screen will remain in your line of sight and fully visible.
- Medical - Medical professionals can view and share patient information and have immediate visual access to monitoring devices, vitals, and medical records, while keeping an eye on the patient and keeping hands free. Live point-of-view camera feed delivers ability to communicate from across the operating room, care facility, country, or world. Reduces contamination with true hands-free capabilities.
- Security & Government - Soldiers and security agents such as border patrol officers can utilize biometric data capture capabilities to increase awareness and effectiveness. Camera provides live feed to others on the ground or back at base, improving coordination or providing an accurate log of activity. Rapid delivery of useful contextual information, such as environmental information and suspects whereabouts in relation to location.
- Energy and Utilities - Workers at energy plants often service equipment in dangerous and noisy environments. Access information and interact with it while keeping hands free to complete a task quickly, effectively, and safely. Allows technicians to better understand, see, and complete the task at hand and ensures proper technique and best practices.
- Logistics and Warehousing - Professionals in warehouses are able to view an optimized and streamlined workflow to guide them through their packing lists and with real time inventory management. AR allows for quick and easy part identification and hands free barcode scanning. Reduces downtime penalties and errors – increases productivity, accountability, and accuracy and improves the financial efficiency of day-to-day operations.
Company & People
ODG R-7 smartglasses are being developed by Osterhout Design Group, Inc.. The company is based in California, United States of America, and it was founded in 1999. The company focuses on optical eyewear and optical sensors technologies.
- Ralph Osterhout - Chief Executive Officer
- Pete Jameson - Chief Operating Officer
- September 2014 - ODG shows a prototype of R-7 at an unspecified trade show.
- 9 June 2015 - ODG announces the R-7 smartglasses
- 4 January 2016 - ODG makes the R-7 smartglasses available for purchase
- 3 January 2017 - ODG introduces the R-8 and R-9 versions of the smartglasses at CES 2017
The company markets the device to be used in enterprise, industrial, or security sector to interpose a layer of relevant digital information onto the wearer's visual field thus enhancing they capability to perform their function. There are also medical applications for ODG's smartglasses. Doctors at hospitals like Johns Hopkins and Stanford are using them to assist with procedures like heart surgery, and some orthopedic surgeons are using the R-7’s augmented-reality tools in conjunction with X-rays in order to adjust zoom and dimension and manipulate imagery that’s never been possible before, and all without using their hands.
In collaboration with NuEyes company, ODG introduced the R-7 smartglasses as a device that could significantly help people with macular degeneration (a deterioration of the central portion of the retina) and increase their quality of life. As stated by Justin Moore, NuEyes' cofounder and COO, "when people get older, they’ll have multiple eye issues", and "by having flexibility built into the glasses, you can address several issues with one item". ODG wants to explore the areas, where their smartglasses might help impaired people, even further: "The eyes, ears, and mouth," Nima Shams, ODG's vice president, said, "we want to go after this."
Ethical & Health Issues
There are no ethical nor health issues relevant to this specific device.
For more general issues connected with smartglasses, please see the Smartglasses synopsis.
Public & Media Impact and Presentation
As stated by Ralph Osterhout, CEO of ODG, "It's hard to overstate the impact head-worn computing will have on all walks of life. I believe we're going to see the R-7 transform enterprise and industrial markets and use cases—potentially even spawning new industries. And this is just the beginning in terms of wearable immersive functionality, as you will see with our highly immersive wide field of view technology demonstration at CES."
In 2016, several innovative enterprises have expanded integration of Smartglasses into their existing operations, and ODG's Reticle Connect partner program has furthered the distribution of the R-7 into the rapidly growing enterprise and industrial sector. The program brought together industry leading software companies, Value Added Resellers and Integrators spanning more than 15 countries. To even further expand its ecosystem, ODG has introduced the new Reticle App Center, which provides the conduit for developers and customers to distribute, market and purchase expanding content.
The media only got a glimpse of the device at various trade shows. The company plans to offer the device to developers in 2016. Until then, the media impact id confined to a handful of articles about the early versions of the R-7 smartglasses.
Technology magazine Anandtech got a hand-on experience with an early prototype of the device on an unspecified trade show in September 2015. The article goes through the technical specifications of the device first, then it moves onto the design and how the augmented reality feels. The authors mentions the device runs rather hot and it is uncomfortable to wear due to this. But they also state that this will probably be addressed with further development. The article does not give any specific verdict over the quality of the augmented reality experience but we assume the experience was positive as there is no negative feedback about it.
USA Today article opens with the description of the offices and the history of the company. It mentions possible applications for the device, mainly it's use in the medical field.
There is no public policy that considers this device specifically.
For more information about policies related to smartglasses, please see the Smartglasses synopsis.
Related Technologies, Projects, or Scientific Research
- Advanced Medical Applications (AMA) - offerings in the medical, industrial and energy sectors
- AeroGlass - augmented reality solutions for general aviation pilots
- Augumenta - gesture control and navigation capability
- Blippar - AR and visual marketing content
- Dysonics - interactive 360° audio that creates more immersive AR/VR experiences
- Imagus Technology - computer vision technologies
- iTiZZiMo - professional software-solutions for the industrial environment
- Los Angeles Low Vision - distribution of technology that improves the lives of those dealing with declining vision
- Medweb - collection and recording of vital signs for healthcare use
- OpTech4D - training and assisted reality designed for oil and gas companies, and complementary industries such as nuclear, aerospace, and construction
- Paracosm - 3D mapping and AR capability
- Pristine - connecting novices and experts for hands-on work in the field in industries including heavy machinery, healthcare and manufacturing
- Scope AR - AR maintenance functionality
- Vital Enterprises - tele-presence and remote assistance solution.
- HTC Vive
- Microsoft HoloLens
- Oculus Rift
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- HORNYAK, Tim. New smart glasses from ODG add a dash of style to augmented reality. PCWorld [online]. 2015, Jan 5. Available online at: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2864572/new-ar-smart-glasses-from-odg-combine-augmented-reality-with-style.html (Retrieved Jun 13, 2017)
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- Industry Leader ODG Introduces R-8 and R-9 Smartglasses at CES 2017 ®. Osterhout [online]. 2017, Jan 3. Available online at: http://www.osterhoutgroup.com/presskit/pressreleases/Industry_Leader_ODG_Introduces_R-8_and_R-9_Smartglasses.pdf (Retrieved Jun 13, 2017)
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- Osterhout Design Group Announces Reticle Connect™ Global Partner Program. Osterhout [online]. 2015, Sep 14. Available online at: http://osterhoutgroup.com/presskit/pressreleases/ODG-Launches-Reticle-Connect-Partner-Program.pdf (Retrieved Jun 13, 2017)