For decades, communication technology has steadily evolved to bring people closer together and break down barriers. From telephones to cell phones to video calls, each new development has fundamentally changed how humans interact. Now, a new product aims to take connectedness to an entirely new level. Link is a wearable device that uses augmented reality to enable seamless communication and interaction between users anywhere in the world.
Link is a pair of glasses that appear discreet but contain a powerful computer, high resolution cameras, microphones and speakers built into the frame. When a Link user wants to contact someone else wearing a pair of Link glasses, they simply select the person’s name from their contact list. The other user will then see a notification prompting them to accept the call. If accepted, a live video feed of the caller is overlaid transparently in the upper right corner of the receiver’s field of vision. Both users can see each other as if in the same room while remaining aware of their real-world surroundings through the glasses. Visit https://www.outdoortechlab.com/
Along with video calling, Link allows for a host of other communication features. Users can send short text or photo messages to each other that appear minimally in the display. Favorite contacts are denoted with a colored circle next to their name for quick identification. Link also supports location sharing between users, so they know exactly where their friends are at all times for meeting up. Volume, brightness and other display settings can all be adjusted through simple voice commands or gestures in front of the glasses.
The real innovation of Link lies in its ability to seamlessly blend physical and virtual interactions. With Link, friends can watch movies together from opposite sides of the globe or play interactive games that overlay digital elements onto the real world. Users have reported feeling genuinely present with the other person during calls, as if no technology were involved at all. Link breaks down the isolating aspect of distance by making faraway loved ones easily accessible through natural sight, sound and motion.
This level of connectivity comes without compromising privacy. Link synchronizes with a smartphone app for additional controls and settings, but all activities and communications happen locally between pairs of glasses without transmitting data to any central servers. Communications are also encrypted end-to-end for security. At a hardware level, Link uses infrared cameras that cannot capture high resolution photos or videos of the physical environment without the owner’s permission. These design choices help ensure Link remains a communication tool rather than a surveillance device.
Beyond connections between individuals, Link has applications for businesses and education as well. With Link, remote collaboration become fully immersive as coworkers can hold virtual meetings around a shared digital whiteboard. Teachers are experimenting with augmented field trips that overlay informative layers onto real museum exhibits or landscapes. Live translation is also built into Link, allowing international telepresence with automatic subtitle display. As 5G networks rollout, these types of computationally intensive AR experiences will become even more seamless.
The ergonomics, comfort and appearance of Link were carefully considered from the start. The eyeglasses frame is made from lightweight titanium and comes in various neutral colors and styles. Prescription lenses can be fitted as needed to make Link a practical all-day wearable rather than a conspicuous tech products. Even after hours of wear, testers reported Link feeling almost weightless on the face. Their discreet size allows Link to be worn almost anywhere publicly without drawing unwanted attention.
To bring Link to market, the company raised over $100 million in its Series C funding round earlier this year. Link glasses are currently available for pre-order at an introductory price of $500 and will begin shipping in fall 2022. Widespread availability is expected by 2023 as production scales to meet demand. Initial user reviews have been overwhelmingly positive about Link’s seamless communication experience and how it enhances both personal and professional relationships. If Link succeeds in popularizing its hands-free communication model, it may well represent the beginning of a new era of augmented human connection. By blending virtual encounters with face-to-face authenticity, Link strives to make distance irrelevant between people. Its novel approach to AR could redefine expectations for how technology empowers meaningful relationships in our increasingly digital lives.