RealWear glasses - a head mounted tablet
The HMT in RealWear HMT-1 stands for Head Mounted Tablet, meaning that their screen simulate having a 7 inch tablet at arms length. I find this part to be a really good comparison for people who aren't that used to this type of device. When looking at them with fresh eyes, they are more or less just a new type of tablet or smart phone 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 type of device also means that you do not need to use your hands and have to remove gloves to navigate them, you simply tell them what to do. It's a new way of working which of course needs a bit getting used to compared to a smart phone, but so did smart phones when they were first released.
XMReality's application specialist thoughts about smart glasses
If you look at smart glasses as the next smart phone 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 smart phone that 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 the situation where you need to hold a phone while at the same time 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 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 every day life, but 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 actually 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 support a bunch of different types of smart glasses, who all have their own pros and cons. Some are stand alone, which means you need to 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 yet so 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 in the right way, it felt like they quickly became more a part of me than a smart phone 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 was currently moving around the oily cogs in the feeding carriage of a saw mill.
What do we think about the RealWear Navigator 500?
RealWear just released the by me long awaited next pair of hardware, called RealWear Navigator 500. Even if the new device look very much alike the HMT-1, they will be lighter, have better noise cancellation, have a better camera - and in my opinion the most important aspect, they will have a better screen that will be even easier to fit and get a good picture in. This is crucial for users that are not very experienced using RealWear smart glasses, as it's getting even easier to get started using smart glasses 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 really 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.