by Alyssa Stevens | 10/09/2019
Daqri, a leading smart glasses company founded in 2010, recently announced that it would shut down its headquarters by the end of September. The augmented reality (AR) company focused on producing smart glasses along with its complementary software, Worksense, intending to integrate these solutions into the industrial workforce. Smart glasses provide industrial workers with a broad range of hands-free functions including remote expert solutions. Daqri received $275 million from investors since its founding in 2010, including $260 million in 2017 alone. The company released its first smart glasses in 2016, followed by a smaller version in 2017 that was geared towards manufacturing, field services, and construction. Worksense software was released the following year, and was comprised of five apps that could be used on the smart glasses: DAQRI Show, DAQRI Tag, DAQRI Scan, DAQRI Model: BIM Edition, and DAQRI Guide.
Although Daqri focused on incorporating its wearables into the industrial workforce, they also had the opportunity to work with other major sectors. In 2014, Daqri worked with the U.S. Navy to provide smart helmets equipped with AR technology, allowing for improved communication between the “GLO” (Gunner Liaison Officer) and the “gunner.” Daqri also worked with Touch Surgery in 2017, a surgical simulation platform that utilizes AR technology for surgeons in training.
Despite Daqri’s high-quality products and advanced technology, the company followed in the steps of other prominent smart glasses companies and announced their doors would be closing earlier this year. Meta is one smart glasses company that succumbed to failure, its assets acquired by MetaView. ODG, another well-known smart glasses company, failed despite its previous $258 valuation. The company offered various products within a short time span, and although the technology was advanced and of superior quality, it struggled to keep up with itself. ODG consistently produced newer, updated versions of their smart glasses, yet they were unable to fulfill many of the orders in a timely and organized manner.
While there has been a pattern of failure in smart glasses companies throughout the past, it is likely because they arrived into the market too soon, their technology was not ready for adoption and frequently targeted applications that were unrealistic or extended the capabilities of this nascent segment. This segment is in the midst of a significant reset with many “leading” brands shutting operations. Eyeballs are now squarely focused on Microsoft’s Hololens 2, Magic Leap and the Google Glass reboot to determine their path to commercialization. According to our research, adoption of this segment of head-worn micro-displays and AR/XR smartglass devices is growing in the enterprise as organizations move beyond the “pilot purgatory” phase to smaller scaled deployments of several hundred units. From an application and use case perspective we have found that those that can be clearly explained and demonstrate real value rise to the top. This has favored relatively simple applications such as remote assist, which shows clear value for service-based workflows. VDC Research will be publishing an update to our Enterprise Wearables report later in 2019 in which we will specifically explore the opportunity for wearable solutions in the warehouse/DC, among field service workers and for first responders. Stay tuned or reach out here for more information.
View the 2019 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research Outline to learn more.