Vuzix AR Glasses For EMTs

During the experimental program, select ambulances are given access to a Vuzix M400, lightweight smart glasses capable of projecting virtual images over the real-world, which EMTs can use to convey critical information to hospitals before their arrival via two-way audio and video calls.

By allowing doctors and nurses access to a patients vital signs, ECG readouts, and facial expressions in real-time, Vuzix claims that various departments can perform examinations and preliminary medical treatment before the ambulance even arrives. Hospital staff can also advice EMTs during in-transit emergency treatments, such as a blood transfusion or surgery.

“Among their expanding healthcare uses, Vuzix smart glasses can be an important life-saving tool for EMTs that require critical interaction and support from the hospitals to which they are headed,” said Paul Travers, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vuzix, in an official release.

“Our glasses are lightweight, comfortable and completely wireless, making them ideal to be used alongside the other head-mounted equipment EMTs must wear. We look forward to seeing an expansion of this trial by its participants, as well as adoption for similar usage by other providers in Japan and around the world.”

Vuzix AR smart glasses are currently being tested in select ambulances operating out of the Shunto Izu Fire Department in Japan, with plans to expand to additional ambulances in the future. The collaborative effort is being spear-headed by Juntendo University, Shizuoka Hospital, the Shunto Izu Fire Department, and AVR Japan Co., Ltd.

RealWear Launches Cloud Offering

RealWear Cloud is a new multi-purpose software offering for IT and business operations. Through the new dashboard, IT and Business Operations can remotely and securely streamline control of their RealWear device fleet. As companies grow their fleet of RealWear devices, RealWear Cloud allows for convenient low-touch, over-the-air firmware updates, keeping the devices secure and company data protected. Working alongside organizations’ existing EMM or MDM software such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager (InTune), the offering further provides teams more real-time data and metrics to optimize operational efficiency. RealWear Cloud complements existing EMM/MDM solutions and enables device-specific control and configuration capabilities. Also, it is the only way to gain trusted and secure access to certified third-party apps designed for our product portfolio.

In addition, RealWear is introducing RealWear Cloud Assistance as part of the offering.  RealWear Cloud Assistance provides real-time remote technical support and troubleshooting to frontline workers to quickly identify, diagnose and fix device issues. Reducing device downtime through remote troubleshooting will have a growing impact on company bottom lines. According to VDC research, individual incidences of device failure result in 72 minutes of lost or disrupted productivity for frontline workers. Remote support, firmware updates, and data analytics will not only increase productivity but will be necessary as businesses face ongoing talent shortages, the scarcity of which Gartner notes was exacerbated in 2021.

“As a deployment of RealWear devices grows across sites and countries, it’s critical that we provide great IT tools and real-time metrics for those ultimately responsible for the successful deployment of the devices in the field,” said Andrew Chrostowski, Chairman and CEO of RealWear. “We’re capturing data that will drive better decisions. It’s exciting to see RealWear transitioning from a device-centric company to a platform solution company with the introduction of our first software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.”

RealWear’s previous lightweight device management tool, will transition to RealWear Cloud. Current Cloud customers will automatically be enrolled in the Basic plan.

“Wearable technologies are becoming more and more mainstream in the enterprise, and making deployments simple and frictionless is one of our key goals,” continued Chrostowski. “Wearables are no longer viewed as a novelty but are now trusted by enterprises to bring value and solve real-world problems.”

About RealWear

As the pioneer of assisted reality wearable solutions, RealWear® works to engage, empower, and elevate the modern frontline industrial worker to perform work tasks more safely, efficiently, and precisely. Supporting over 65,000 devices, RealWear gives workers real-time access to information and expertise while keeping their hands and field of view free for work. Headquartered in Vancouver, Washington and used by 41 of the Fortune 100 companies, RealWear is field-proven in a wide range of industries with thousands of world-class customers, including Shell, Goodyear, Mars, Colgate-Palmolive, and BMW.

Taqtile Completes AR Programme for IAG Airports

Manifest, AR Remote Guidance

The AR technology firm provided direct onboarding during a trial with British Airways, which introduced Taqtile’s products to onsite workers.

Dirck Schou, the CEO of Taqtile, added,

“This unique accelerator program has been a great way to introduce airlines to cutting-edge technologies like Manifest which can help them improve the performance of technicians and engineers immediately”

Additionally, the 10-week programme taught staff how to utilize the Manifest platform. Taqtile’s service operates on spatial devices such as Magic Leap and Microsft’s Hololens 2; the product also works across multiple devices, including tablets and smartphones.

An onsite worker can access guidance resources such as digital manuals, video guides, holograms, and 3D models, all presented as detailed AR visualizations. Manifest displays digital resources in the field of view (FoV) of a worker’s headset, and the wearer can navigate a spatial interface hands-free.

Schou continued, stating,

“Through demonstrations of our AR-enabled work instruction platform over the 10-week program, airline industry leaders have gained a better understanding of the tangible benefits Manifest is capable of delivering”

For frontline airport staff, Taqtile’s solution helps workers learn invaluable company-centric knowledge and enhance their efficiency when performing maintenance tasks.

Taqtile explained how airports could leverage its Manifest solution by dispersed teams providing live guidance from an operations centre to frontline employees.

Manifest supports several file types, including photos, videos, real-time 3D (RT3D) content, computer-aided designs, and PDFs. Taqtile recently teamed up with Microsoft this month to integrate the Azure Remote Rendering platform into Manifest.

The move enables firms to perform large-scale onboarding, training, and operational duties with increased efficiency and engagement. Taqtile and Microsoft achieve this by integrating Azure-powered streaming to enhance RT3D content distribution across Manifest-ready devices.

Magic Leap 2 – Pricing Released

Magic Leap 2 Base

$3,299 (US only)

Magic Leap 2 Base targets professionals and developers that wish to access one of the most advanced augmented reality devices available. Use in full commercial deployments and production environments is permitted. The device starts at an MSRP $3,299 USD (US only) and includes a 1-year limited warranty.

Magic Leap 2 Developer Pro

$4,099 (US only)

Magic Leap 2 Developer Pro provides access to developer tools, sample projects, enterprise-grade features, and monthly early releases for development and test purposes. Recommended only for internal use in the development and testing of applications. Use in full commercial deployments and production environments is not permitted. Magic Leap 2 Developer Pro will start at an MSRP $4,099 USD (US only) and includes a 1-year limited warranty.

Magic Leap 2 Enterprise

$4,999 (US only)

Magic Leap 2 Enterprise is targeted for environments that require flexible, large scale IT deployments and robust enterprise features. This tier includes quarterly software releases fully manageable via enterprise UEM/MDM solutions. Use in fully commercial deployments and production environments is permitted. Magic Leap 2 Enterprise comes with 2 years of access to enterprise features and updates and will start at an MSRP $4,999 USD (US only) and includes an extended 2-year limited warranty.

Most Immersive

Magic Leap 2 is the most immersive AR device on the market. It features industry leading optics with up to 70° diagonal FOV; the world’s first dynamic dimming capability; and powerful computing in a lightweight ergonomic design to elevate enterprise AR solutions.

Built for Enterprise

Magic Leap 2 delivers a full array of capabilities and features that enable rapid and secure enterprise deployment. With platform-level support for complete cloud autonomy, data privacy, and device management through leading MDM providers, Magic Leap 2 offers the security and flexibility that businesses demand.

Empowering Developers

Magic Leap 2’s open platform provides choice and ease-of-use with our AOSP-based OS and support for leading open software standards, including OpenGL and Vulkan, with OpenXR and WebXR coming in 2H 2022. Our platform also supports your choice of engines and tools and is cloud agnostic. Magic Leap 2’s robust developer portal provides the resources and tools needed to learn, build, and publish innovative solutions.

Magic Leap and NavVis Announce Strategic Partnership to Enable 3D Mapping and Digital Twin Solutions in the Enterprise

Combining Magic Leap’s advanced spatial computing platform with NavVis’s mobile mapping systems and spatial data platform, the two companies aim to enhance the use of AR applications across key industries, including automotive, manufacturing, retail and the public sector.

As part of this strategic partnership, NavVis will bring its NavVis VLX mobile mapping system and NavVis IVION Enterprise spatial data platform to Magic Leap’s new and existing enterprise customers with an initial focus on manufacturing. Magic Leap customers will be able to leverage NavVis’s expansive visualization capabilities to generate photorealistic, accurate digital twins of their facilities at unprecedented speed and scale.

The market opportunity for digital twins and other forms of advanced visualization is significant – with demonstrated potential to transform the world of work as we know it. While attention around the potential of the metaverse has put a greater focus on all types of mixed reality technology, AR represents an immediate opportunity for businesses to enhance productivity and improve operational efficiency. Magic Leap’s open, interoperable platform will also enable the metaverse to scale for enterprise applications.

While the Magic Leap 2 platform offers cutting-edge scanning and localization capabilities in real-time on the device itself, NavVis’s technology will allow Magic Leap customers to pre-map and deploy digital twins in large, complex settings that can cover up to millions of square feet – including but not limited to warehouses, retail stores, offices and factories – for a variety of use cases, such as remote training, assistance and collaboration. Such applications will enable companies to reduce operational costs, enhance overall efficiency and democratize the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow.

“We are seeing significant demand for digital twin solutions from our enterprise customer base and are thrilled to partner with NavVis to make our shared vision for large-scale AR applications a reality,” said Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap. “Coupled with our Magic Leap 2 platform, NavVis’s advanced visualization capabilities will enable high-quality, large-scale and novel AR experiences that business users demand.”

The NavVis partnership is an essential component of Magic Leap’s strategy to cultivate an ecosystem of best-in-class technology partners that will deliver on the promise of enterprise AR, leveraging Magic Leap 2’s powerful, open platform. With a global customer base of more than 400 companies, including the likes of BMW, Volkswagen, Siemens and Audi, NavVis has a proven track record of delivering immediate and long-term value to enterprises looking to modernize their operations.

“Enterprise AR solutions for larger-scale activations will open the door for greater innovation in the workplace,” said Dr. Felix Reinshagen, CEO and co-founder of NavVis. “Our own experience shows that 3D mapping and digital twins are a fundamental foundation for large-scale persistent AR applications. We’re experiencing strong demand across many verticals with industrial manufacturing as a clear front runner. Magic Leap is a world leader in delivering impactful, innovative experiences in these verticals, and we are excited to collaborate with the company to advance this mission and further enable the future of work.”

About Magic Leap

Magic Leap, Inc.’s technology is designed to amplify human potential by delivering the most immersive Augmented Reality (AR) platform, so people can intuitively see, hear, and touch digital content in the physical world. Through the use of our advanced, enterprise-grade AR technologies, products, platforms, and services, we deliver innovative businesses a powerful tool for transformation.

Magic Leap, Inc. was founded in 2010, is proudly headquartered in South Florida, with eight additional offices across the globe.

About NavVis

Bridging the gap between the physical and digital world, NavVis enables service providers and enterprises to capture and share the built environment as photorealistic digital twins. Their SLAM-based mobile mapping systems generate high-quality data with survey-grade accuracy at speed and scale. And with their digital factory solutions, users are equipped to make better operational decisions, boost productivity, streamline business processes, and improve profitability. Based in Munich, Germany, with offices in the United States and China, NavVis has customers worldwide in the surveying, AEC, and manufacturing industries.

Why AR is Worth a Thousand Words to Frontline Workers

Due to Covid-19, restricted travel and social distancing requirements have accelerated AR-based solutions for remote assistance, since it has now become a necessity for industry operations. As opposed to video-calling applications such as Zoom or Skype, Augmented Reality is software technology allowing users to overlay graphic material onto video images via mobile network. For instance, an expert and on-site technician could both view a panel of switches on an annotatable screen connected via their own PC, phone, or tablet. The expert could then circle or drop a virtual arrow on the part that needs attention for the technician to see on the screen.

Key advantages of AR-based remote assistance noted in the article include:

  • Instantaneous feedback system – users interact with the elements of their work in addition to with one another
  • Highly mobile form of communication – includes annotations, on-site images, and graphic augmentation as well as a two-way voice connection
  • Increases safety – e.g. reduces number of healthcare workers needed in a hospital room, limiting exposure to Covid-19
  • Helps maintain workflow continuity
  • More intermittent, special-purpose vehicle of communication than video conferencing

Other potential features of AR, dependent on the specific software, include:

  • Retaining images
  • Issuing push notifications
  • Looping in multiple users
  • Recording a session for future training
  • Object character recognition
  • Transferring files

The article concludes by stating that, even post-pandemic, AR is likely to become a prominent tool for operating personnel and frontline technicians to rely on.

Mercedes-Benz Adds Augmented Reality to Techs’ Toolkit

The technology allows experts to help identify and solve complex issues remotely, via viewing what the technician is seeing in real time. Documents and images can also be displayed in the technician’s field of vision via the glasses. The program, Virtual Remote Support, was recently distributed to all 383 Mercedes-Benz USA dealerships, following an initial pilot program in January that began at 13 dealerships before COVID-19 interrupted business travel.

Christian Treiber, Vice President of customer service at Mercedes-Benz USA, is quoted to have said that COVID-19 accelerated the need to release the technology, as it now enables field specialists to provide support from and to any location. The user benefit also involves a more rapid turnaround on complicated service issues that would usually inconvenience the customer, add to dealership costs, and take up important service department space.

Further key advantages of the smart glasses include:

  • Reduction in time and expense devoted to travel
  • Reduction in potential exposure to COVID-19
  • Greater customer satisfaction, leading to greater customer loyalty
  • Success rate heading towards 60%

Another company that has employed AR glasses is Porsche, via their program Tech Live Look; they use smart glasses from Osterhout Design Group in addition to AREA member Atheer’s AiR Enterprise. According to Porsche, their system can reduce resolution time up to 40%.

The article concludes with another quote from Treiber, stating that issues can now be resolved in minutes or hours rather than days as a result of the combined Microsoft HoloLens 2 glasses and Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Remote Assist system.

How to Accelerate Your Digital Transformation

  • 70% of companies either have a digital transformation strategy or are working on one, according to ZDNet.
  • VP of Engineering for OnLogic, Michael Kleiner, has stated that digital transformation is about how technologies solve issues rather than simply adopting them – he is quoted to have said that digital transformation requires the company to try a new process rather than the right technology.
  • Drew Falkman, Director of Strategy at Modus Create (digital transformation consulting company), is quoted to have said that the definition of digital transformation varies depending on the organisation, therefore innovation and adaptability are vital for keeping companies competitive and disruptive.

Tips for starting your digital transformation:

  • After coming up with your own definition of digital transformation, start with identifying and aligning on a goal; e.g. looking for places with measurable ROI, with high impact but relatively low effort.
  • The starting point will vary across industries, although organisations that acknowledge a requirement for transforming how they conduct business will generally find a reduction in efficiency, leading to an impact on their bottom line.
  • Other key starting points include: adopting agile methodology, devops adoption, and cloud transformation, and upgrading to an improved operational software.
  • Businesses should ask themselves, ‘how can we improve this, and what data do we need to improve it?’ – for example, the manufacturing industry has benefited greatly from digital transformation as it began identifying how factory floors could become more efficient and smarter by deploying predictive models and downtime monitoring.

The article concludes by reiterating that where you start, and how well you adapt to change matters.

Falkman recommends starting out with a pilot to work out the kinks if you are considering larger transformations. Kleiner also suggests starting out small, such as identifying an obvious efficiency gap and determining an easy solution, before working up to bigger transformations.

This is all great advice. The AREA also guides for getting started if Augmented Reality technology is the way forward for your organization.

What is Projection or Spatial Augmented Reality?

Projection Augmented Reality, sometimes also referred to as “spatial Augmented Reality,” is a method of delivering digital information to users within a stationary context. Target objects and users can move around in the environment, but the zone in which AR experiences take place is limited to the fields of view of both the fixed projector and supporting camera for tracking.

The first example of projection Augmented Reality was called the “Digital Desk.” In November 1991, within months of their contemporaries at Boeing, Tom Caudell and David Mizell, coining the term “Augmented Reality,” William Newman and Pierre Wellner, then researchers at University of Cambridge and Xerox EuroPARC, published a paper in the UIST 1991 conference proceedings called the DigitalDesk Calculator: Tangible Manipulation on a desktop display.

In this 8 minute video, Pierre Wellner explains the concept and demonstrates the working prototype of the first system.

How it Works

Projection Augmented Reality features one or more optical devices (projectors) that project a beam of light onto a specially designed work surface and in some cases directly on the parts on which a user is working. This provides immediate guidance for tasks and reduces the need to interrupt workflows to consult information elsewhere.

Workspaces for projection Augmented Reality also feature any of a variety of stationary cameras. Cameras are positioned to track objects with or without fiducials. Control of the workspace environment, such as lighting, reduce the computational complexity of the tracking algorithms.

Once configured, the projection Augmented Reality system can provide user instructions or assistance in a variety of media. For example, digital information can be:

  • Text, for example, cycle time count down
  • Images, for example, blueprints or simple directional arrows
  • Animations
  • Videos

Some systems also provide assistance by way of task-synchronized audio.

Benefits of Projection Augmented Reality

Projection Augmented Reality can offer the following benefits:

  • Reduces or eliminates the need for computer monitors and screens, as the instructions appear directly in the task space.
  • Reduces users’ cognitive load when following work instructions due to the fact that there is no need for “attention switching” between work instructions and the task at hand.
  • Integrates into manual workflows by promoting a “no faults forward” policy to ensure and confirm correct execution of the preceding step.
  • Provides feedback on completed tasks for process improvement, traceability and unique digital IDs for build cycles.

Use Cases

Projection Augmented Reality can optimize performance of some types of production and logistics tasks when the work can be performed at a station (rather than the user going to the workplace or moving around in a larger space).

Tasks that can benefit from projection Augmented Reality include:

  • Assembly
  • Disassembly
  • Inspection
  • Part knitting
  • Sequencing
  • Maintenance
  • Tool changeovers
  • Gauging
  • Welding
  • Wire harness routing
  • Glue bead replacement
  • Logistics (shipping and receiving)
  • Inspection
  • Training