Three Providers of Augmented Reality Head-Mounted Displays for Commercial Use Named IDC Innovators

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AR–International Data Corporation (IDC) recently published an IDC Innovators report profiling three companies that have developed augmented reality (AR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) for commercial use. The three companies are Kopin, North, and RealWear.

Augmented reality technology brings information into the line of sight to the user. While most people will experience their first taste of augmented reality using their smartphone’s screen and camera, the real appeal for the enterprise is to bring AR into head-mounted displays to help drive new business processes, train new employees, and enable first-line workers. Companies are utilizing AR technology to streamline age-old processes to save both time and money. AR as a training mechanism is gaining traction as a wide range of enterprise organizations wrestle with huge swaths of employees aging out of the workforce and taking the knowledge with them. Finally, there is a strong interest in outfitting first-line workers who need to work hands-free.

“As more companies explore the opportunities that augmented reality brings to the enterprise, the search for the right hardware for the job continues,” said Tom Mainelli, group vice president of Devices and Consumer Research at IDC. “Large firms such as Microsoft and Epson are often the first place IT buyers look (and for good reason). However, there are also smaller firms doing innovative work to bring products to market that fulfill the needs of IT buyers.”

Kopin is an established display maker whose HMDs feature a voice interface for hands-free interaction. The devices support a wide range of industry use cases and applications, making it easier to integrate into organizations.

North offers a product that looks like regular glasses while offering a holographic display to bring information into view for the wearer and a finger-worn controller that lets the user interact with the information that appears in the see-through lens.

RealWear offers ruggedized HMDs that leverage noise cancellation and voice recognition to drive 100% hands-free interaction for any environment. A suite of services offers help with deployment options, access to partner-created applications, and security.

The report, IDC Innovators: Augmented Reality Head-Mounted Displays for Commercial Use, 2019 (IDC #US45155419), profiles three companies that have developed augmented reality (AR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) for commercial use. IDC currently tracks three types of AR HMDs: tethered, standalone, and screenless viewers. A tethered HMD connects, via cable or wireless connection, to a computing device such as PC or smartphone. Standalone HMDs have all the necessary processing, storage, and networking required (either in the headset, or connected via a purpose-built compute device). Screenless viewers utilize a smartphone for both computing and the display.

About IDC Innovators

IDC Innovators reports present a set of vendors – under $100 million in revenue at time of selection – chosen by an IDC analyst within a specific market that offer an innovative new technology, a groundbreaking approach to an existing issue, and/or an interesting new business model. It is not an exhaustive evaluation of all companies in a segment or a comparative ranking of the companies. Vendors in the process of being acquired by a larger company may be included in the report provided the acquisition is not finalized at the time of publication of the report. Vendors funded by venture capital firms may also be included in the report even if the venture capital firm has a financial stake in the vendor’s company. IDC INNOVATOR and IDC INNOVATORS are trademarks of International Data Group, Inc.

For more information about IDC Innovators research, please contact Catherine Bonner at

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, data and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn.


Michael Shirer


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