Creating an ORA of its own..


Augmented reality specialist Optinvent has launched a funding campaign to develop its ORA eyewear. Crunchwear got the lowdown from Optinvent CEO Kayvan Mirza.

Why did you decide to use Kickstarter to fund the ORA glasses ?

We feel that Kickstarter will be an excellent way to reach our target audience (application developers and early adopters). Our goal is to get the developer version of the ORA out in order to seed the eco system. It also allows us to engage with early adopters and get their precious feedback.

Are you pleased so far with the response ?

Yes, absolutely. We’re not breaking any records (since we’re not selling coolers or potato salad ;-)) but we are getting a lot of engagement from backers and good feedback.

What are the key differences between ORA and Google Glass ?

Although Google Glass is a great device, its capabilities are similar to a Smart Watch while ORA is more akin to a full blown tablet. The main differentiator is the display and the experience it provides. Our display is three times the size of Glass, and can be positioned in two modes (Flip-Vu feature). Furthermore, the ORA can run augmented reality applications. We feel that ultimately our ORA will deliver a more compelling user experience and can cover a wider range of use cases.

Why should developers work with Optinvent in particular ?

Several reasons, first of all we have the most compelling technology to take smart glasses mainstream. The core technology in our product is what differentiates us and is more advanced than anything else by a longshot. It does not suffer from the same issues that plague almost all other see-through technologies (color rendering, low brightness, & small field of view). Furthermore it is orders of magnitude more scalable for mass production. Just as an example, we are currently selling the developer version, the ORA-1, on Kickstarter for $600. Google is selling Glass for $1500 + Tax. Yes, we are a start-up so we don’t have the same purchasing power but we are still able to offer our product at a third of the price! It gets even better; our consumer product is announced for $300 on Kickstarter! That’s because our core technology is by far the most cost effective to produce in volume. If Smart Glasses are to become mainstream, the price has to be aggressive. We see our technology as the only path to get there. Furthermore, Unlike Glass, we don’t need to have ultra-specific applications developed from scratch taking into account a tiny display and a complex SDK with a lot of constraints for developers. Our platform is much more developer friendly. This will be a huge catalyst for the success of the ORA.

What opportunities do you see for AR in the enterprise ?

The opportunities are virtually limitless. AR solves many problems and will allow enterprise customers to realize great benefits from quality control, to better training of staff, to increased productivity, to better customer engagement, and the list goes on. Add Smart Glasses and now you have hands free AR capabilities! Almost every corner of every company can benefit from this. Maintenance, logistics, field service, manufacturing, sales personnel, call centers, medical staff, you name it.

How do people find you on Kickstarter and what will their money buy them ?

They just need to go to our website and follow the link or directly to Kickstarter
What they will get is the most complete and powerful smart glasses developer platform + the Wikitude SDK by pledging for the ORA-1 or the most cutting edge AR consumer smart glasses by pledging for the ORA-X.