Sunday, May 26, 2019
AR GlassesAugmented RealityInterview

Company Profile: Rokid Puts the ‘Smart’ in Smart Glasses

Rokid provides a wearable personal AI through its smart glasses. The company hopes to create a product capable of responding to complex commands and even pre-empting needs.

After finding success in the smart speaker market, Chinese-based Rokid is moving to the US and hoping to replicate that success in the world of smart glasses. Frank Rao, Rokid’s Director of Research, talked with us about the company’s origins and where it’s going with Rokid Glass.

rokid glass - AR smart glasses

JENNA: How did Rokid get started?

FRANK: Rokid was founded in 2014. We didn’t start out with AR in mind. Our first product was a companion robot that was basically a smart speaker with a display. This was before Alexa and the other smart speakers were on the market.

JENNA: How did you make the transition into smart glasses?

We saw smart glasses as a natural extension of the AI technology that we were already using in the robots.
FRANK: Once we established the smart speaker business, we thought, “what’s the next logical place to use AI?” and landed on smart glasses. We saw smart glasses as a natural extension of the AI technology that we were already using in the robots. We opened a branch of our company in the US to begin working on them in early 2016.

JENNA: What need are you hoping to fill in the marketplace?

FRANK: People are very into interaction and the immersive experience, but lack understanding of the environment and how AI can come into play. Our glasses have both object recognition and facial recognition. The first generation product launched in 2017 and is already in the production phase. We are targeting a B2B market, rather than B2C. There’s lots of competition in the B2C market already.

See Also:  How Augmented Reality Glasses Work

JENNA: How might an organization use Rokid Glass?

FRANK: A visitor in a museum might use them to learn more about what they’re looking at. In this case, we would partner with the museum rather than selling the glasses directly to the consumer. We also see opportunities for warehouses and merging the online and offline shopping experiences.

We want people to enjoy the experience of AR with minimal cost.

rokid glass - AR smart glassesJENNA: What are the company’s goals moving forward?

FRANK: We hope to eventually enter the consumer market, but it probably won’t be for another two years or so. We are also trying to make binocular AR glasses that you can use with a USB-C connection to any device. In the end, we want people to enjoy the experience of AR with minimal cost. We are also hoping to do more with gaming and the content consuming experience. Our focus will continue to be B2B, and we realize that breaking into the AR market is going to take time.

 

Jenna Spinelle
the authorJenna Spinelle
Jenna Spinelle is a freelance journalist based in Pennsylvania. She loves learning about new ideas and new technologies and sharing that information with others. She holds a degree in journalism from Penn State University, and currently teaches journalism as an adjunct instructor at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. When she's not writing or teaching, you can find her hosting and producing the Democracy Works podcast.