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Asus is known for blazing fast smartphones and high-performance sound cards. The Taiwanese brand does not have a foothold in the augmented reality space (an arena currently dominated by Microsoft and Magic Leap rumors), but with hopes to stay relevant in the tech community, it too will take a chance on pioneering the emerging sector.

During an interview with CNET, Asus CEO Jerry Chen openly admitted that the company is developing an augmented reality (AR) headset. “It should be next year when we come out with a product,” said Chen. “We think AR will be very important for people’s lives.”

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Why is this a big deal?

For starters, it could drive down costs for AR hardware. At the moment, Microsoft plans on launching its own headset for a whopping $3,000 in the first quarter of 2016. At that price you would expect something dipped in gold. Not to take anything away from Microsoft, but the HoloLens still has a long way to go in its bulky, unpolished state. However, the unit is still impressive and there are numerous early adopters who are already counting down the release.

Asus’ presence will give people another option to tinker with. The group has not announced an official price for its headset, which could be game-changing and vital to the adoption of the technology. Based on its history of catering to thrifty buyers, it is unlikely that the manufacturer will match the price of Microsoft’s expensive offering.

Another reason why you would want a company like Asus to get its hands dirty in AR is due to development. Nothing speeds up development like friendly competition. With Magic Leap going completely rogue and no one else around to turn to, the community needs brands that are open and transparent about their projects. Asus, after reporting a revenue drop of three percent in the last quarter (low smartphone sales and dwindling PC shipments), will probably keep consumers in the loop every step of the way. The company simply can’t afford to take the hard-to-get route that Magic Leap, an extremely well-funded AR startup backed by Google, Qualcomm and Andreessen Horowitz, has fully committed to.

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Fueling the Rumors

What happened to the Asus and Microsoft team? Shen didn’t mention anything about that though last month Asus Chairman Jonney Shih said that the two were gung-ho about releasing a low-cost headset together. That doesn’t seem to be happening, unless the chief executive felt comfortable with leaving out the details of the collaboration during the announcement.

The head of Asus also failed to release details about the actual device. No one knows what it looks like, what resolutions to expect or if it will make you vomit instantly after using it. For now, all we can do is wait patiently for an update. “You can make a real setting meld together with yourself and the AR portion,” explained Shen. “Internally, we are talking about how to prepare.”

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