What it is: Osterhout Design Group (ODG), an augmented reality smart glasses company, fails.
Osterhout Design Group (ODG), an augmented reality smart glasses company, is failed after twenty years. While it’s sad that the company didn’t succeed in bringing augmented reality smart glasses to the masses, the reason for their failure is obvious.
Ignore any technical obstacles they overcame. Just look at their web site and their press releases that describe what their smart glasses can do. Isn after reading their press releases and their web site information, you still don’t know what you can do with their smart glasses, you’ll suddenly understand why the company failed.
Technology by itself will always fail if there isn’t a clear, compelling problem that this new technology solves.
What problem do ODG’s augmented reality smart glasses solve? If you have to think for more than a fraction of a second, then you probably won’t want to buy these smart glasses. If the company itself can’t explain why anyone would want their smart glasses, it’s no surprise that they’re going out of business.
What all these augmented reality smart glasses companies are missing is that they need to enhance vision. That alone is the key to augmented reality because ordinary eyeglasses create a simple form of augmented reality by correcting someone’s vision with a physical lens.
Replace the physical lens with a computational photography lens such as the camera found in a smartphone and you have smart glasses that could zoom in and out to make it easy for someone to see objects close and far away. The real use for augmented reality smart glasses is replacing ordinary eyeglasses and correcting vision.
The reason the Apple Watch is gaining popularity is because it offers real-time health monitoring. Since everyone can understand its purpose, and everyone wants to improve their health, it’s no surprise that the Apple Watch can be easily understood.
Augmented reality smart glasses that remain vague will never sell. As soon as companies market augmented reality smart glasses as eyeglass replacements that are more versatile, that will be the time the augmented reality smart glasses market will truly take off.
Until technology companies can define what problems their products solve, they’ll keep going bankrupt over and over again. Osterhout Design Group (ODG) won’t be the first technology company to fail, but if they simply took five seconds to decide what problem their product could solve, they could have stayed in business long enough to actually make some money.