Ex-Hololens engineer launches AR headset that's the antithesis of Apple Vision Pro — and bags remote assistance partnership with Manchester United's shirt sponsor

Almer Arc2
(Image credit: Almer)

A former Microsoft's HoloLens engineer, Sebastian Beetschen, has launched an augmented reality (AR) headset that is a stark contrast to Apple's upcoming Vision Pro. The headset, Almer Arc 2, is the latest product from AR startup Almer, co-founded by Beetschen and ex-jet fighter pilot Timon Binder in 2021.

Weighing just 138 grams, the Almer Arc 2 is four times lighter than Apple's Vision Pro, which will come as welcome news considering many of the people who have so far tried the latter headset have complained about its weight.

The Arc 2 features a 25MP camera, beamforming microphones, built-in speakers, and a holographic see-through screen, and offers an 8-hour battery life. Its transparent display can be used in dynamic environments, unlike the Vision Pro, which is designed for static indoor settings.

TeamViewer remote support

Almer's announcement coincides with a strategic partnership with TeamViewer, the global leader in remote IT support and sponsor of Manchester United. This partnership aims to tap into the industrial market, allowing TeamViewer to provide remote support via the Arc 2 headset.

Mei Dent, Chief Product & Technology Officer at TeamViewer, noted, “Approximately 80 percent of the global workforce does not work at a desk but at a company’s frontline, and most of them currently benefit very little from digital transformation. There is immense potential for efficiency and productivity gains by enhancing the frontline work with digital tools and connecting this huge part of the global workforce to their companies' backend system. Our joint offering with Almer allows companies to explore how Augmented Reality opens new opportunities for business and operations and massively increases the speed of their digitalization efforts.”

The Almer Arc headset allows remote collaboration as if the parties were physically present. It augments the wearer's environment with relevant information for pointing out objects in reality.

Sebastian Beetschen compared the Almer Arc to a jet fighter visor, saying, "The Almer Arc is a lightweight, compact, and easy-to-use AR headset. When a problem arises, the frontline worker takes the Almer Arc and contacts a remote expert, who can see and hear what the worker experiences. The expert identifies the issue, highlights objects, and displays documentation in the worker's view, simulating a collaborative, in-person experience."

The global AR market is projected to grow from $62.75 billion in 2023 to $1.1 trillion in 2030, at a CAGR of 50.7%. Within this trend, the AR headset market is set to reach $120 billion in 2026.

Beetschen concluded, “The cost saving potential of using AR to service all installed machines for the 10 largest tooling-machine manufacturers in DACH alone accounts for £7.9 billion per year,  so the opportunity is very real."

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Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.