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.
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?
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.
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.
JENNA: 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.