Topcon has announced a new collaboration on a hard hat equipped with augmented reality for construction.
And you might remember the hard hat in question here. Last year, we reported on the Smart Helmet, a new piece of wearable technology designed with construction and other industrial uses in mind.
Made by augmented reality company Daqri, the Smart Helmet is a very sleek hard hat with an advanced “4D” visor that inserts data and media you’d normally have to look at a phone or tablet to see, directly into your field of vision.
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It’s kind of like Google Glass, but much more protective and much more useful in that it truly fills your full field of vision with information. Beyond that, the device is designed to pay attention to a worker’s surroundings in order to make sure the information it displays is truly pertinent. It does so using a combination of sensors and 360-degree cameras.
Topcon says the collaboration with Daqri on the Smart Helmet is going “to change the way construction and survey professionals interface with the jobsite.”
Topcon will work with Daqri to integrate the Smart Helmet with Topcon positioning solutions, allowing those on the jobsite to view more in-depth data about their project in real time.
Though the Smart Helmet was unveiled last year, it isn’t widely available as Daqri is working with a range of companies, like Topcon, on exploring the potential of the device. Topcon says it hopes this collaboration will bring wearbles and augmented reality to “a wider arhitecture, engineering and construction (AEC) user base.
“DAQRI is a leader in providing solutions in outdoor environments, which will meld well with our positioning and software innovations,” said Jason Hallett, Topcon vice president of product management. “It’s the first step in utilizing our mutual synergies to develop rugged, heads-up display technology for our marketplace.”
The Smart Helmet is certainly an interesting device. We haven’t seen any real world demos of the helmet, so it’s a little hard to imagine something this sleek providing data that truly fills your vision. And after seeing some of the latest augmented reality goggles—which attempt to do similar things but are no where near ready for prime time— during our recent visit with Caterpillar at UI Labs in Chicago, it’s especially difficult imagining the Smart Helmet working as advertised when considering how badly augmented reality hardware is lagging behind the software.
That being said, it’s exciting that a company is dedicated to bring the technlogy to an industry that will benefit greatly from it. And it’s very positive to see Topcon adding its resources to its development.