What Are DAQRI Smart Glasses?

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DAQRI Smart Glasses are a line of professional-grade smart glasses made by DAQRI. They’re aimed at being portable, lightweight, ergonomic, and efficient. They contain a tethered computer powered by an Intel Core m7 processor and up to 64 gigabytes of internal memory storage. They also have built-in integration with DAQRI’s productivity app, Worksense.

Being an integral part of the hardware category known as “wearable technology,” DAQRI Smart Glasses are aimed at applications in fields such as science, industry, engineering, and manufacturing. The glasses allow a computer graphics overlay on vision, providing a visual information feed with a hands-free interface. There is also a co-operative observation mode, where a second party can view the display through the wearer’s glasses, allowing two people to share the same point of view.

The Smart Glasses have a viewing field 44 degrees wide. They use USB-C to connect and are compatible with both Windows and Linux, as well as being compatible with the Unity software development platform. They are integrated to work with Computer Assisted Design (CAD) software. Users can even login on a biometric fingerprint sensor to view personal stored files. Because their product is likely to be used in construction sites and other blue-collar workspaces, they also meet ANSI standard specifications for eye and face protection.

Usage

Smart Glasses are used to overlay the wearer’s visual field with augmenting information. This information can take many forms, such as 3D wireframe models of an object’s interior, readouts for gauge metrics, thermal imaging for temperature-sensitive environments, and more. For example, the wearer could direct their view to a gas cylinder in storage and the augmented reality interface would recognize the chemical placard and automatically pull up the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for that substance.

One use case cited by DAQRI’s project manager is industrial 3D architecture design. A collaborative team could use CAD software to design a building and then “walk-around” in the blueprint in virtual reality, identifying potential issues. This kind of real-time and in-depth experience is far harder to perform on a computer screen. Even on a construction site, the glasses can allow teams to have “X-ray vision” of a sort, allowing them to see wiring and plumbing inside walls and other details.

About Augmented Reality

DAQRI is an augmented reality hardware company based in Los Angeles, California. Formerly they made a Smart Helmet based on some of the same augmented reality principles. The Smart Helmet debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) expo in 2016, drawing enthusiastic reviews including an Innovation Award from New Equipment Digest (NED). DAQRI first released the Smart Glasses in 2017, to likewise remarks. One of the issues with the Smart Helmet was its bulk, weighing about 3.3 pounds. The Smart Glasses weigh only 14 ounces.

While Augmented Reality hardware has in the past been considered more of a gimmick for entertainment, the technology has made leaps in sophistication recently, which is enough to make it a useful tool in workplace technology. Industries which are finding uses for products like Smart Glasses include STEM fields, natural sciences, EMT and emergency response services, healthcare and life science, aerospace, ocean navigation, and military. Augmented Reality is especially useful in education, allowing students to visualize molecule structures when working in the laboratory or pilots in training to practice a simulated flight from takeoff to landing. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” applies, as many people find that they are visual learners, who benefit more from an illustrated example rather than textbook reading.

Recreational uses of augmented reality hardware extend beyond video games to applications like broadcasting and tourism. For example, visitors to a zoo or museum could use a device like Smart Glasses to view the background information on exhibits while viewing them. Artists are also finding use for augmented reality devices, in fields such as theater, sculpting, or music production.

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