Hard hats with augmented reality to ship to construction companies by end of this year; more capable than Google Glass

A prototype (left) of Atheer’s safety glasses that would implemented augmented reality technology when paired with a special hard hat.A prototype (left) of Atheer’s safety glasses that would implemented augmented reality technology when paired with a special hard hat.

While discussing the reasons construction companies should become early adopters of Google Glass, we mentioned that the much-talked-about device was worth exploring since it is a precursor to much more sophisticated technology.

Turns out, we were closer than we thought to those types of new devices as a startup company named Atheer has plans to launch a hard hat by the end of the year with capabilities much more impressive than Glass.

One of the biggest setbacks of Glass is that the information the device displays is relegated to a corner of your vision. According to a report from GigaOm, Atheer’s augmented reality hard hat, on the other hand, completely fills your vision by integrating the device’s display into safety glasses.

One second a worker is looking through the lenses of transparent glasses and the next, data is streaming into his vision through the glasses’ transparent display.

“They need to be doing something physical with their hands, … but also they need to look up data and share information with other people and get other people’s perspective on things,” Atheer CEO and Co-founder Soulaiman Itani told GigaOm. “Currently the best solution they have is they have these ruggedized tablets. They need to take it, scan something, maybe communicate, send images to someone back at the base and look up information, then put the thing down, try to do some work and pick it up again.”

Itana says Atheer has integrated the technology into the design of the hard hat by placing the electronics into the side walls of the helmet.

Atheer says workers will be able to pull up blueprints, images, emails and much more. In fact, in a demo of the device for GigaOm, Atheer CTO and co-founder Allen Yang showed how it could remotely connect to a laptop and let a worker view and control the Windows desktop.

The company is halfway through development of the hard hats and has plans to make the first shipments by the end of this year.