Beyond fitness trackers and smartwatches, wearables have arguably lacked the impact and widespread adoption that the technology industry has shouted about.
Sure, the discontinued Google Glass might have been trialled at a few hospitals to assist doctors with operations, and wearables brand Vuzix has seen some of its industrial-grade smart glasses put to use in manufacturing, but few have really punched into a cross section of industries with any gusto.
Intel could change that. The company revealed a set of helmet mounted glasses at CES 2016 in Las Vegas akin to science fiction X-ray specs that can effectively see into objects such as pipes and machinery.
X-rays are harmful out of controlled environments, so Intel has worked with augmented reality company Daqri, which developed the helmet, to provide its RealSense 3D camera and Core m7 processor that can produce an overlay of wiring, schematics and problems over a piece of machinery or industrial installation.
A 360-degree array of sensors allows the helmet to track a wearer's movement and vision and provide information such as step-by-step instructions on how to carry out a task. Wearers of the Daqri Smart Helmet, as the headset has been dubbed, can effectively peer into the workings of equipment in real time.
This could save engineers and mechanics time when it comes to fixing or diagnosing problems with machinery and components, while ensuring that the work is carried out safely.
The helmet is not dissimilar to Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality concept, but appears to be a more mature product.The wearable device is very much focused on industrial use, rather than a consumer product that has applications in the business world.
However, unlike other industrial wearables, Intel and Daqri have created a product that does not need to be used in very specific situations and could be used in all manner of industries, from heavy manufacturing and car production to high-end electronics and aerospace.
No information has been revealed about how much the Daqri Smart Helmet will cost, but it has been slated for an early 2016 release and could see wearables finally making headway in the enterprise world with compelling and flexible applications.
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