Establishing AR Leadership

One of my goals for this year is to expand my thought leadership within the augmented reality industry and community. I took a quick look through the posts that I had written about AR technology, applications and infrastructure (several hundred posts, cataloged here), and realized that I'd already assembled a pretty robust body of work describing and cataloging everything having to do with AR. But I want to catalyze this collection somehow, make it more tangible and realistic for people. Make sure people understand where we are in the process of bringing consumer AR into being. Define it better. What's the impact on regular people when this happens? What are the business opportunities associated with this?

Another thing that I realized is that not every corporate employee has a regular readership of several hundred people who check up on his progress every day. Everybody who reads this site wants me and the and the company to succeed with all our products, and most especially with eyewear displays. So I started thinking about what could I do to tap into this well of ongoing interest, awareness and enthusiasm as represented by all these blog readers.

A good first take on this was the recent 'Call for Topics' post, which brought out a lot of truly outstanding ideas and suggestions, more than I could possibly address -- but it brought out what was for me a very salient and key point, which was the question that I at least started to address:

How does ubiquitous Eyewear and PicoP change the experience of our favorite websites?
This is such a huge question, and such an important one for Microvision to be able to start to answer. This question is, at its heart, about applications and user experience. That's the really big question, and answering it will really define our value proposition across all the markets we serve with personal display technology.

What I need to do is not just try to answer it internally, but work to get the collective mobile industry to understand the applications that we can uniquely enable. This will help get the people who are leading these websites to understand the opportunity associated with 'MVIS inside', whether that be in AR or any other type of application space, and to share their vision with us, to help inform the vision collectively -- and ultimately to turn it from a BIG VISION to a series of actionable steps. A roadmap to consumer AR, or at least to an enhanced, consistent user experience that extends the value and usability of mobile networks and devices.

So, let's take a look at this again (thanks for bearing with me here):

Microvision: Developing the key enabling technology for Augmented Reality (see-through daylight readable eyewear displays)

Me: Responsible for product management of wearable displays, including developing product proposals, understanding customers' workflow and functionality requirements, developing business cases and go-to-market strategy, and quantifying and evangelizing the value propositions associated with eyewear products at every level of the value chain in our targeted markets.

MVIS Blog: Three years and going strong cataloging events in personal technology and in particular my own point of view on where it's heading, with an obvious emphasis on the role of Microvision, both today and going forward.

MVIS Blog Readers: Several hundred daily readers, presumably all interested in Microvision's business opportunities, AR the biggest among them. Interested enough in the future of personal technology to look up Microvision and stick around on an ongoing basis -- whether for business or personal reasons.

So then the question might be, how can I leverage this blog platform, and engage my readership in order to help me achieve my goal of becoming an established thought leader in augmented reality? Beyond simply blogging about where things are headed, and increasing the readership, how should I turn up the volume on this message about the future and the waterfall of economic growth that Microvision can uniquely enable?

Hit me with your thoughts and comments!

What are the top 5 things you would do to become a thought leader in the AR space?


  1. I feel that I do understand your "bigger picture" of AR and where MVIS will play a part in the future of this truly disruptive technology. What I don't fully understand and what I am hoping you can shed some light on is more what MVIS' plans are now in the present with this.

    Again, I think I understand the more truly speaking "augmented reality" vision of where the color eyewear division is going, but it appears that it will still be sometime before that kind of thing plays out. So I guess my question is whether or not this is the "only" application where the color eyewear is being focused? I know previous descriptions of the color eyewear had been described (by others) as "gamer" glasses. But I know since AT has taken over everything has changed. In the current desgin intent of the color eyewear glasses will they be able to be used, or targeted in any way as "gamer" glasses that a person could say hook up to an XBOX by itself and play with the video before his eyes? Or will that not be really what they will be for at all?

    I think many others, not just myself see the color eyewear division as a really cool "future" technology, but don't see the same current world adoption as compared to the embedded PicoP in cell phones. You righfully so seem to think AR is the biggest opportunity for MVIS. And again, it may be one day in the future, but I think most feel that the embedde cell phone application is the biggest market opportunity for some time. Afterall right now most of us don't know anyone without a cell phone. And with the makeup of the cellphone industry and wireless carriers where there is a constant rotating of these devices every 2 years at most, it enables the 1B cell phones sold yrly on a constant upgrade cycle. Therefore seemingly making the embeded cell phone market an IMMENSE opportunity that could catapult very quickly. After all in the US & UK cameraphones went from 0% penetration one year to 1.7% the next to 66% 3 yrs later. And although maybe at a lower scale not quite as fast I'm sure many still think the adoption of "projector phones" could experience the same kind of growth.

    So, basically I think what I'm trying to say is it is easy for the "avg person" to see how big an opportunity the cell phone app could be ... but not everyone sees how the AR/Color Eyewear application can be an initial sucess in the consumer market NOW or anytime in the immediate future.

    Hopefully you can shed some light on this for us, as well as correct or add to anything I posted above which may not be correct.


  2. Fantastic comment. I'll definitely address this!

  3. Looking foward to it!

  4. wow, this is the most unbelivably arrogant blog.

  5. It's not arrogance if you are right on target.

  6. Ben, first I'd like to say I love your blog because it keeps me informed on how and what is possible with Microvisons technology, and then I love that you are open to questions and suggestions. However, I don't like the fact that I can only vote one time time on your poll as to my interest Microvision, because I am both a shareholder, and I am also very interested in becomming a customer...for both my business and personal reasons. In fact, that is one reason I became a shareholder!;-)

    But something recently struck me. I can see many uses for both the eyeware and cell phone PicoP and I plan to purhase them. But I never thought I would be interested in the stand-alone until someone mentioned that this will allow us to use our laptops outside in the sun while projecting the image in the shade. Well I'm from the NW, so I think you know what it means to be able to go outside on a nice day ;-) This got me to thinking about the flexibility of the stand-alone, and the ability to project an image in different ways and situations without moving the devise (laptop, gamebox etc) and the usefulness to me both personally and for business presentations. Now, for me, this has become one of my most valued products! Though I still can hardly wait for the eyeware and cellphone applications! Good thing they're not coming out all at'd break my tech budget!

    Ok, so maybe this wasn't exactly about AR or eyeware, but I still thought I would share...;-) And please add a vote for me for technology interest ;-) Thanks!

  7. Hi Ben,
    I think the picoP is a great start. But when it comes to AR IMO the eyeware is the perfect solution to many if not all considerations. 3D is at the top of that list and lighting conditions right behind that. I know that this will be the perfect fit for all lighting conditions but how about 3D is this way down the road or is this a priority?
    This is great that you take the time to keep all informed.
    Thank you Ben!

  8. I couldn't dissagree more with Helden 5022. The eyewear market is potentially the single largest market for Micovision. Practical eyewear displays will create a completely new universe of value added personal and commercial display applications -- some of which are currently obvious, and some not so obvious, until AR technology develops.

    Some of the more immediate applications for eyewear displays include: personal video gaming displays, personal and private computer display, private media entertainment viewing, training & Misc. instruction solutions, automotive see-through HUD & AR displays, medical, aviation, sports, etc. etc.

    I will go so far as to say that embeded cell phone projectors might find initial broad market acceptance as a quasi novelity item (with a certain amount of valid utility), and will probably be subject to a consumer popularity spike over a +- 1-3 year introductory period. While the stand alone PicoP and color eyewear displays will eventually be woven into the fabric of modern, industrialized society.

    Stand alone mini projectors and/or commercial IPM's, are destined to touch and change the lives of billions of people around the planet.

  9. Is it now against the law or something to mention RSD or VRD?? I can't remember the last time I saw it mentioned here or by the company in some way. I assume when you say color eyeware you mean it will be a RSD but it's never said. That tech and it's appeal is the reason a lot of your readers are here, why not use the terms and talk it up??? Anyone and everyone has or has tried to merchandise "color eyeware" but RSD makes us different and more exciting, why not use it?? Why no mention of it any more?? Or am I missing references to it? Thanks

  10. I see the AR display being linked to the cell phone. With a bluetooth link to the phone, you could have a combined display/headset and just leave the phone in your pocket. Add a small BT keyboard/chordboard and away you go.

    WRT eye wear. How is you design(s) going to handle users who already wear glasses for corrective vision? Do they need custom optics like existing eyeglasses? Or is it a 'clip on' device. And how does the retinal imager focus correctly for the viewer if it doesn't go thru a corrective lens? Does everybody get lasik and then still wear MVIS 'glasses'?

  11. some meanderings... I'd view AR technology as an enabling technology, hence keep my eyes open on how one can help within other markets and vice a versa.

    I'd watch the horizon, keep an eye on augmented cognition, it will keep augmented reality in perspective.

    To lead you need to go somewhere, and to go there, it needs to be worthwhile. AR is in its definition enhancing our reality - bettering what is already out there, and adding something to it to boot. You'll need both aspects to the equation.

    Be at the table, and have brought something to the table, you'll leave the table with more then your fill. And remember there are lots of tables in the restaurant and lots of restaurants in the village, and lots of villages in the country ,..

    a thought leader can lead one or many, and both are extremely valuable.

  12. Ben,
    Do you have any sort of number on market size. ie how many potential customers in auto repair market, gaming, mobile phone consumer or healthcare etc. ? Nothing solid just approxmate numbers. Just for us, not so technologically smart, number crunchers.
    Thank you very very much for blogging and keeping up informed.


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