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February 3rd, 2018

5 Rules for Creating Augmented Reality (AR) for Humans

Mark Metry Founder VU Dream

Mark Metry, Founder of VU Dream

CEO and Founder of Kopin Corp, Dr. John C.C. Fan, on how to create augmented reality (AR) devices that will be embraced by users.
Kopin Corporation is a global pioneer in wearable technology like AR and virtual reality (VR) for the government, enterprise, professional sports and consumer markets.
Fan’s Rules, first revealed earlier this month exclusively to attendees of the AR in Action Augmented Reality Summit at MIT Media Labs.
These simple rules will help all innovators in the AR industry overcome challenges in achieving mainstream adoption. Challenges include user resistance to wearables, overly complex learning curve and lack of clearly defined benefits.
“Kopin has been creating augmented reality technology since long before the term even existed, and providing that technology to military, enterprise and consumer markets. We’ve learned many lessons over the past few decades. I am often asked for my advice on how companies can succeed with AR. I created these five simple rules to help them do exactly that.”
– Dr. John C.C. Fan

Fan’s Five Rules For Doing AR Tech Right

1. Humans First
Humans do not generally want to wear devices on their heads. If users are uncomfortable, they will reject innovation. Prioritize human ergonomics first, technology second.
2. Physical World First
Too much virtual content can easily overwhelm the brain. Deliver AR overlays in small, controlled bursts.
3. Maintain Situational Awareness
When people become claustrophobic they react predictably. The AR experience must preserve contact to the real world by not obstructing five senses.
4. Voice is the new TOUCH
Keyboards and touch screens require compromise. In AR, as in the real world, audio is the most effective and proven channel for command/control as well as transmitting and receiving information.
5. Balance Design with Benefits
Do not overdesign by adding unnecessary features but design for clear, specific benefits to motivate adoption of AR.
Kopin, launched as a spinoff of MIT in 1985, kicked off its efforts to deliver wearable technologies – on a special request from DARPA in the early 90s – to improve situational awareness for soldiers.
Since then, Kopin has become the leading supplier for US military pilot helmet HMDs including those used in the F35 Joint Strike Fighter, and provides its microdisplays and optics to wearable headsets for customers in military (Rockwell Collins, Elbit, Thales and DRS), enterprise (Vuzix, Motorola, Fujitsu, Lenovo New Vision, and RealWear) and consumer (Intel/Recon, Garmin, Google, Solos and more).


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We’ve seen a tremendous amount of disruptive change coming from the Virtual and Augmented Reality Industry. These few years are the first steps towards a prosperous future. It is surely certain that this kind of content will accelerate based on future trends.

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