Navigator 500 - a head-mounted tablet
The HMT in RealWear HMT-1 stands for Head Mounted Tablet, meaning that their screen simulates having a 7-inch tablet at arm's length. This part is a good comparison for people still getting used to this device. When looking at them with fresh eyes, they are more or less just a new type of tablet or smartphone where you have the camera and screen mounted on your head instead of needing your hand to point the camera and see the screen. This device also means that you do not need to use your hands and remove gloves to navigate them; you tell them what to do. It's a new way of working, which requires a bit of getting used to compared to a smartphone, but so did smartphones when they were first released.
XMReality's application specialist's thoughts about smart glasses.
If you look at smart glasses as the next smartphone in industries, rather than that cool thing that your kid wants for Christmas and intend to play shooting games on, it will be easier to put your mind to what they can be used for. Because as mentioned earlier, they are just a smartphone you put on your head instead of in your hands, so you can use your hands for the work that needs to be done. If you've ever been in a situation where you need to hold a phone while simultaneously needing both hands to fix something, you will instantly know why I think this is so important. If you don't recognize this, then the next time you leave your desk, make sure to notice every time you use both your hands - maybe when you are opening a door while at the same time holding a cup of coffee or having to lift and hold a lid to turn on your computer. Then you can only imagine how many use cases like these there are when you are working on a machine and where a phone in your hand would feel like a burden.
In my work here at XMReality, I have been a part of both helping our customers from different industries utilize smart glasses in their everyday life, also testing and discussing how we want XMReality to work on different types of smart glasses. When I started this job, I had never had a pair of smart glasses on my head and was a bit skeptical if they were useful. But it didn't take long before I saw how simple and useful they were, and it made me happy that my work here at XMReality would mean helping our customers to see the same thing!
As you might know, XMReality supports many different types of smart glasses, which all have pros and cons. Some are stand-alone, meaning you must learn how to navigate them. Some are tethered, which means you will attach the glasses to your cell phone via a cable, and so on. For me, who do have quite some experience from using different technologies if yet never being a full-on Android hacker, I quickly took a liking to the RealWear HMT-1. They were new and cool but down-to-earth and focused on being usable in real-life industries by the operators on the shop floor. After I learned how to navigate them with my voice and how important it was that the screen was fitted on my face correctly, it felt like they quickly became more a part of me than a smartphone ever was. I could call a colleague, take a picture or even set up a Remote Guidance call and navigate that - all without having to use my dirty hands that were currently moving around the oily cogs in the feeding carriage of a sawmill.
What do we think about the RealWear Navigator 500?
RealWear released the by-me long-awaited next pair of hardware, called RealWear Navigator 500. Even if the new device looks very much like the HMT-1, it will be lighter, have better noise cancellation, has a better camera - and in my opinion, the most important aspect, it will have a better screen that will be even easier to fit and get a good picture in. This is crucial for users not very experienced in using RealWear smart glasses, as it's getting even easier to get started without knowing exactly how to wear them or where the microphones are located.
So, in short, they took the great HMT-1 and made them better on all points and easier to use! I am excited about getting my hands on them and seeing what's new - and even more excited about getting to help you and our other customers to utilize all that to give you a safer, easier, and more efficient way of working.