In Los Angeles, a startup called Daqri has designed a different kind of hard hat: an Android-powered one that’s capable of augmented reality. As such, it really looks more like a bike helmet than a hard hat, equipped with sensors, cameras and a transparent visor that functions as a head-up display.
Unlike Google Glass that was designed with all kinds of consumers in mind, though, this high-tech hat was meant for industrial environments, to be used by engineers or blue-collar workers. It can show instructions and other digital elements superimposed against real-world equipment and objects without having to be manually operated. The hat can also give out early warning signals in case it catches anything that could be dangerous, or perform thorough quality checks on expensive machinery like satellites. If needed, it can pair up with smartwatches, phones and other devices, as well.
Daqri president Andy Lowery told the Wall Street Journal the company’s sparing no expense building the high-tech hat. Couple that with the fact that it’s going to need a lot of processing power — it runs on two Snapdragon processors and will save data on flash cartridges — and it’s easy to guess that it’ll be more expensive than other AR headsets. According to Lowery, it’ll probably be priced closer to laptops with military capabilities, but we won’t know how much for sure until its launch in October. … (Read more)