The augmented reality headsets are devices that allow to use the real world as a basis for interacting with objects of virtual reality. The augmented reality technology is at the very beginning of making its way in the mass market, therefore headsets that support this function are considered to be the most advanced and exclusive devices on the market.

Advantages of augmented reality headsets

Stand-alone devices. For the majority of headsets no additional accessories or devices are required.
No negative effects on health. Augmented reality does not cause nausea or severe fatigue because all objects of the virtual world are visually integrated into the real one.
Promising technology. Augmented reality headsets are actively used in industry, medicine and scientific research. The amount of professional software is growing from year to year.
Unlimited gaming space. Most of the AR devices could be used on a bigger playground without base stations or external sensors.
Practical use. AR headsets are helpful in different situations: for reading morning newspapers in public transport, for choosing the right route during the biking, for browsing the web etc.

Disadvantages of augmented reality headsets

A very high price. The cost can reach several thousand dollars.
There are few games. The devices are oriented towards business, industry and science, so they are not suitable yet for active gaming, and online stores are filled with application demos.
Problems with support and updates. Manufacturers rely on the professionalism of gadget users, so you'll have to deal with the software and setting up by yourself.
Low resolution. Graphics leave much to be desired even in the latest models.
Problems with tracking. Inside-out tracking technology is still worse than external hand movement tracking from base stations.

The comparison of augmented reality headsets

Showing 1-18 of 18 items.
PhotoUSDTitle px.AngleHz.MPGr.
Google Glass 3.01,796Google Glass 3.0   640×36013°36
Microsoft HoloLens4,412Microsoft HoloLens    1268×72030°602 pc.579
Meta 2 DK2,204Meta 2 DK 2560×144090°60 1 pc.500
Epson Moverio Pro BT-22004,562Epson Moverio Pro BT-2200  960×54023°60 270
Epson Moverio BT-100350Epson Moverio BT-100  960×54023°60 220
Epson Moverio BT-200898Epson Moverio BT-200  960×54023°60 88
Epson Moverio BT-300956Epson Moverio BT-300  1280×72023°1 pc.69
Epson Moverio BT-3501,560Epson Moverio BT-350  1280×72023°1 pc.119
Epson Moverio Pro BT-20004,726Epson Moverio Pro BT-2000  960×54023°60 290
Magic Leap One2,295Magic Leap One  50°
Vuzix Blade AR1,099Vuzix Blade AR  
Optinvent Ora-2800Optinvent Ora-2  90
Garmin Varia Vision400Garmin Varia Vision 428×24029.7
Solos499Solos 10.68°65
Everysight Raptor649Everysight Raptor   13.2 MP98
ODG R-7 Smartglasses2,750ODG R-7 Smartglasses  30°4 MP180
ODG R-8 Smartglasses1,000ODG R-8 Smartglasses  40°5 MP140
ODG R-9 Smartglasses1,800ODG R-9 Smartglasses 50°13 MP180

Control in augmented reality headsets

Control via wireless controllers with movements tracking is just started to be introduced in the augmented reality headsets — this technology is only available on Magic Leap. Prior to the advent of Magic Leap, controllers were simply not needed because the headset was not considered to be a gaming and a mass-market gadget, so there were no opportunities for gaming development. It was also related to the hand gestures control, although this technology is in the process of improvement and refinement.

Depending on the model, headsets can be controlled by voice, eye pupils movements, through the touchpad or buttons located directly on the headset.

Mixed, augmented and virtual reality

Mixed reality is a general concept of the world that appears at the interface between the real and the virtual world. It includes augmented reality and augmented virtuality, so sometimes you can hear the name ‘mixed reality headsets’, and Microsoft called its platform Windows Mixed Reality aiming at the future development of technologies that will allow to combine the two realities together.
Augmented reality is a subcategory of mixed reality. Objects of the virtual world on the device screen are oriented directly towards objects of reality integrated inside the virtual space.
Augmented reality (AR) as a part of a mixed reality

Augmented reality headset technology

In some cases, augmented and mixed realities are contrasted with each other. This simplification allows you to quickly understand the set of functions of different devices. For example, Google Glass and Epson Moveiro are regarded as augmented reality headsets because the information for a user only ‘supplements’ the real world:

  • virtual objects do not rely on objects in space;
  • the screen transmits basic information directly to the user’s pupil;
  • only mini-games are available, and control is very limited.
Magic Leap, Microsoft Hololens and Meta 2 are sometimes also called mixed reality devices because:
  • virtual objects depend on the location of real objects;
  • for the user's perception, 3D objects are integrated in the real world and look like its constituent parts;
  • games are approaching VR devices, the control is becoming more realistic.
Virtual (VR), augmented (AR) and merged (MR) realities.

The future of augmented reality headsets

  • Marketing managers are actively interested in these technologies. In the future, viewing of goods will be carried out through such headsets which will significantly increase their attractiveness and sales.
  • By 2020, the augmented reality headset market can reach 100 billion dollars. Today there are more than 500 startups in the USA involved in the development of this technology.
  • It is expected that the Apple company will also try to find its place on the VR devices market and in the near future it will be able to release its own augmented reality headset.
  • Educational and train software will be the most popular in AR three years after.
Microsoft Hololens Magic Leap One Google Glass 3.0 Enterprise Meta 2 DK Epson Moveiro BT-300