San Francisco based Osterhout Design Group (aka ODG) announced today that they’ve raised a significant $58 million Series A investment to accelerate production and R&D of its smart glasses products.
ODG’s current flagship device is the enterprise-focused R-7 Smartglasses System which sell for $2,750 a pop. The HMD, which has a small ~37 degree field of view compared to most VR headsets, is a self-contained computing device which runs a custom version of Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) and allows users to run a suite of proprietary apps mostly as a heads-up-display type interface, though there is some capacity for headtracking and AR applications in the R-7. It may not be immersive yet, but ODG aspires to make their smart glasses product line into a major augmented reality platform.
The $58 million Series A investment will accelerate production and product R&D, expand patents, and pay for new hires, according to the company. Participating in the investment is Shenzhen O-film Tech Co., Vanfund Urban Investment & Development Co., along with 21st Century Fox and “several individual investors.”
ODG has been focused on custom enterprise solutions up to this point, but as their tech matures and reduces in price, the company has its eyes set on the consumer market as well; AR smartglasses will be the new mobile device everyone carries with them, the company believes.
Next month at CES 2017, ODG plans to reveal their latest product offering, though it isn’t clear yet if it will be a new consumer focused device or a continued iteration of the enterprise focused smart glasses the company has touted up to this point.
ODG’s impressive $58 million raise is sure to afford a major boost in capacity, but there’s no shortage of competition, even at this early stage. The company will be facing off against the likes of AR headset maker Meta, who has secured some $73 million in venture investments, along with Magic Leap, the somehow-still-in-stealth AR headset company that has raised a staggering $1.39 billion. All three companies stand in the looming shadow of HoloLens, backed by Microsoft’s whopping $472 billion market cap.