One of the key areas of growth in augmented reality goggles is the enterprise space. The mobile worker – someone working in a warehouse, for instance – benefits from AR devices. The hands no longer have to hold a phone or tablet. Information is context-sensitive and appears to overlay on the real world.
These devices aim for a battery life of an 8- or 10-hour shift. But these devices are power-hungry. They have displays, communication links, on-board camera and sometimes speech recognition. Longer battery life often means installing a larger battery.
Battery life is a serious limitation. Internal batteries are too small. External batteries are not convenient.
A larger battery presents a dilemma: if it is head-worn, the weight increases. If the weight increases, the goggles are less comfortable. Instead, batteries can be on the waist. But then, a cable runs from the battery to the goggles. Cables constrain the freedom of movement and could also get entangled.
Thus, vendors creating AR goggles choose the lesser of two evils: heavier head unit or a cable running up to it.
Is there a better way?
By Integrating a wireless energy receiver into the AR goggles can deliver several benefits:
- The batteries can become much smaller. With continuous energy delivery, batteries are a backup. They power the goggles in case the wireless energy delivery pauses.
- Headsets can become lighter because the batteries are smaller.
- Goggles can operate the entire 10-hour shift.
- Goggle batteries can change anywhere. They don’t need to be connected to a charging cable.
- A belt-worn battery is no longer necessary. This eliminates the cables going up to the goggles.
We hope to see collaborations between AR manufacturers and wireless charging companies to make wireless augmented reality a reality.