Google Glass is amazing technology with one big problem in that no one really seems to know exactly who or what it’s actually for.
Los Angeles-based startup DAQRI may be one of the first to crack the augmented reality market proper by targeting a specific demographic — blue-collar workers.
The DAQRI smart helmet has been a four-year project for the company. Founder Brian Muller says: “You just can’t solve the most challenging problems with devices that were designed for consumers.”
For starters, it looks cool, and that’s important. Like Blundstones and small Hard Yakka shorts. But DAQRI sees the iconic hardhat as something else than just protection against bricks falling on your head. By loading it up with sensors and a couple of Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, suddenly you’ve got laptop power computing at a glance.
Here’s some of the highlights of a video the company released late last week.
“We consider the user experience; what the worker would see. We had to make a display that was there when you needed it…”
“Easy to use, intuitive and just right for the medium.”
DAQRI’s talking big. One spokesman says it’s the first time augmented reality technology and ideas have “come together in a product that can change the world”.
It all looks, as one commentor suggested, like a Apple ad for a building site. But the simplicity of the overlays and the fact the wearable tech looks so unobtrusive could see DAQRI with a winner on their hands, if everything works the way it looks to in the promos.
It has 360 degrees of camera vision and works just as effectively in low light, DAQRI claims.
This huge sensor bar across the brow handles all the tracking and alignment tasks.
The idea is the helmet can augment information and data directly over the top of any work environment, including live data.
It also allows users to share the data with others in real time.
DAQRI also developed its own software IntelliTrack to work with the device.
“No matter where you go, it understands the context, so you can use 4D anywhere.”
The helmet, DAQRI says, holds the most computing power ever seen in a wearable, basically because due to its size, it can.
It won’t give out exact prices, but DAQRI told the Wall Street Journal to expect one helmet to run “into the thousands”. But given the potential, they’re hoping that’s probably a price a lot of big companies won’t baulk at.
And as to when we can expect the hardhat of the future to hit the market? Within a month, DAQRI says.
Watch the whole presentation here: