The future of computers may not feature a monitor display with startup Sightful’s latest design for an augmented reality (AR) laptop.
- Sightful is introducing what it says is the world’s first AR laptop after announcing it had raised $61 million in initial funding.
- The AR laptop called the Spacetop sells for $2,000 and looks like a laptop keyboard paired with a webcam and a pair of glasses.
- Using the glasses, Spacetop users can see a 100-inch projection of a computer screen.
- Sightful CEO Tamir Berliner explains that the company aims to integrate AR technology into the workplace, even though data shows that consumers do not see much of a need for it, Techbrew reports.
- “The reason people are not using AR and VR is because there’s no reason for them to use it,” Berliner says.
Why it’s news
Though there is little demand so far for AR technology in the workplace, Sightful is betting that by introducing a more practical and utilitarian product, they can pique the interest of their customer base.
Sightful’s design is especially beneficial for those working remotely as the hardware is relatively compact, making working away from a desk easier.
Co-founders Berliner and COO Tomer Kahan worked alongside AR headset maker Magic Leap before founding Sightful. With their background in headset development, they understand the difficulty developers have faced finding practical uses for their products, especially in the workplace, Techbrew reports.
Learning from the now-failed Magic Leap, Berliner and Kahan have focused on developing AR tools that emphasize utility and practicality before anything else.
“We’re not looking for [app creators] to tell us how people will use our product. We design a product, and we’re looking for them to say how they want to take it further,” Berliner says. “And hopefully, we will be able to also give them an install base of people who are actually using the product on a daily basis. Because at the end of the day, if you’re a software provider or if you’re a creator, you want to be able to ship your software to people who would actually use it on a daily basis.”
Spacetop has been in development for several years as Sightful focused on designing a product that would be practical for the user, even considering potential difficulties like the laptop’s cord getting tangled when users moved their arms, Techbrew reports.
The result is an intuitive AR device that is relatively easy to learn. Even after getting used to the device, the battery life is only about five hours, making it somewhat impractical for all-day office use.
Of course, this is just the first iteration of the laptop that will be available to the public. Berliner believes that with advancements in technology, the design will only improve.