Google Glass may have enjoyed the unique position of being the primary brand of wearable glasses, but there are other who are tinkering with similar technologies. U.S. military, for instance, commissioned ARC4 which is a head-mounted augmented reality system.
ARC4 was developed by Applied Research Associates with a huge funding from DARPA. The aim of the project was to create a head-mounted display or a system which will be helpful for a soldier out in the battlefield. So the headset that Applied Research Associates ultimately created for this project is sufficiently advanced in a sense that even Google Glass isn’t.
The ARC4 headset displays the regular view in front of a person but overlays it with different icons and information. This is such that the view of the wearer remains clear and is not cluttered. A soldier will, for instance, get icons indicating the enemy positions, recent explosion sites and mission targets, right on his headset.
ARA claims that this significantly improves the soldier’s performance. According to the company, “You are able to perform your mission with high awareness of their surroundings, with enhanced safety, speed, and in close coordination with team members.”
Although the headset was originally designed for the battlefield, ARA says that it is also applicable to a number of other scenarios such as logistics, or even put to different other uses by the public. This hints that the company has plans of rolling out the ARC4 system sometime soon, which would pit it instantly against Google Glass. While ARC4 is one of the most advanced ways of headset computing that we have seen in real life, it will need to be a bit of a more all-rounder to succeed in the market.