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This Cool Tech Innovation Could Have Huge Market Potential




We live in an age of astounding innovation, and this creates an abundance of exciting opportunities for both investors and consumers. In this segment of Backstage Pass recorded on Jan. 7, Fool contributors Rachel Warren and Toby Bordelon discuss one particularly exciting technology showcased in the 2022 CES.

Toby Bordelon: On the device side, we had the Consumer Electronics Show, this past week. I know the guys talked about it on the show yesterday. But I wanted to take a look at this too, because there’s so much cool stuff that comes out of this from time-to-time.

A more low key. You’ve had a lot of bigger companies that backed out of this, leading up to it, because of the Omicron surge, lower-than-normal attendance from what I understand, but there was some cool stuff on display , some really cool stuff.

So my question for you guys is, did you see a specific product or technology, from CES that you were really interested in? This can be either from an investment standpoint or just, this is super cool and I love it standpoint. So either way you want to go with that, what do you think, Rachel?

Rachel Warren: Yeah, this was interesting because this was not a trade show I usually follow very closely, but then you brought up this topic and I did a little research, and I was like, “Wow, this is so cool.” One of the things that stuck out to me in terms of the product, one of the products that seemed to be getting the most hype, was smart glasses.

I saw this interesting article on CNET and it was talking about the biggest trends to emerge, from CES and it said, “Smart glasses could have an iPad moment, in 2022.” “CES 2022 saw a tidal wave of AR, virtual reality and metaverse announcements “according to this article.

The article also noted that “TCL unveiled both its vision for future AR smart glasses and its NXTwear Air glasses that work as an external display, that’s the equivalent of watching a 140-inch TV”. The article was also noting “expect a lot more hype around AR glasses this year, even though the products released are likely to be a little more than clunky prototypes. “

It seems like there’s a lot of opportunity here to potentially be very useful to people that wear them for better efficiency at work. But this is also an area that I was astounded, how big this market is, this aspect of the technology market.

I found a report, I guess back in 2018, the global smart glasses eyewear technology market was valued at around $ 5.8 billion and that’s expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of about 40 percent between 2019 and 2027.

I found another interesting article about TCL’s specifically smart glasses that they are working on, on this website called, it was saying that “the 1080 micro OLED displays are designed to look and feel like a personal, 140-inch monitor when wearing the glasses, and have been improved “from previous generations.

Then apparently “the new wearable display glasses connect to a DisplayPort-compatible smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and provide spatial audio via speakers mounted in the arms” and that you can connect wired or Bluetooth headphones.

I’m not sure how many people will be buying these, if it might be something that companies buy to increase efficiency and performance with employees and certain industries. But it’s interesting. Also I was fascinated by the concept of maybe having smart eyewear that you can talk to like you would Siri on your phone, I don’t know.

It’s strange and space-age, I feel like it’s something we might see on the matrix, but I also feel it’s just something cool to follow. So I don’t know, I wouldn’t necessarily invest in accompany just because they were selling this, but I think it’s a space to watch for sure.

Toby Bordelon: Yeah, it is cool. There was a lot of excitement around augmented reality headsets a couple of years ago. We had the Oculus Rift, which is more of a VR headset, can be used for virtual reality. We back when we were still doing live full events for members.

We had an event in San Francisco where we actually had an Oculus Rift that people could check out and play with. I want to say this was back in 2012, maybe ’13. I don’t exactly recall when, but it was one of the earlier events we did. This was right when the Oculus was just out there.

That was cool, and then you saw Microsoft come out of augmented reality HoloLens. Which I think is more of what you’re seeing here, the augmented reality aspect, where you can just overlay things, cool applications, really cool applications for that, it’s interesting to see a lot of these.

I just checked out a few of the links, you had there, a lot of these at CES. It seems like maybe we’re getting some interesting work here, stride to make these usable, hopefully cheaper.

You also remember that Google, what was that called? Google Glass, it’s a similar device.

Rachel Warren: Something like that. Yeah.

Toby Bordelon: Maybe we’re now solidly in the second-generation of this stuff, whether it’s good enough for mass-market yet.

Rachel Warren: Well hasn’t there also been this rumor for years that Apple would get into smart eyewear. I think people keep hoping and who knows?

Maybe if this space proves to be hot enough, they will venture into it. I feel like Apple, if anyone could succeed [laughs] in effectively marketing and selling this type of product I feel like, Apple could.

Toby Bordelon: Yeah. I think that’s right. We don’t have anything for them.

Rachel Warren: Just hopes and dreams, but no.




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