The LA-based augmented reality company DAQRI is engineering an all-new level of safety in the workplace that beautifully merges technology with industrial efficiency. The DAQRI Smart Helmet is a visionary tool for the 21st century worker that promises to reveal the unseen in the workplace.
The DAQRI Smart Helmet, a protective high tech replacement for the traditional hard hat, is powered by a central unit featuring a 6th generation Intel® Core™ processor that allows for intensive AR applications and multimedia functions. It also features a variety of cutting edge technology and fabrication that integrates seamlessly to create a practical, efficient utilization of augmented reality in the workplace. The DAQRI Smart Helmet is rugged enough to withstand the pressures of most industrial environments while providing an intricate 4D interface for its users. It includes a high-speed wide-angle tracking camera with a dedicated processor, an Intel® Realsense™ LR200 intuitive depth tracker, and an absolute scale thermal camera allowing for consistent temperature monitoring of industrial equipment.
Utilization Within the Workplace
One of the most interesting things about the DAQRI Smart Helmet is that what appears in the heads-up display is entirely dependent upon the individual’s role at the job site as well as the job itself. It provides lots of useful metrics and functions for any industrial worker, making this product incredibly versatile and applicable to many different settings.
The DAQRI Smart Helmet offers real-time data visualization and analysis, decreasing the need for a centralized location to review data while increasing worker efficiency and situational awareness. Furthermore, it can provide guided work instructions and even conference in a remote expert to provide assistance, but only if necessary. In fact, the helmet can actually recognize if a worker is breezing through the steps or struggling, and turn on or off accordingly. These features are poised to drastically increase productivity at any industrial site.
According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the device was pilot-tested at the KSP Steel Plant in Kazakhstan and Brian Mullins, the founder and CEO of DAQRI, had this to say regarding the trials.
“Advanced wearable technologies when coupled with a robust sensor package and augmented reality, have been proven to increase productivity and workplace safety… The analysis showed that by eliminating trips back to the control room, the plant would be able to increase overall productivity by around 40% and reduce factory downtime by 50%.”
On top of its already impressive components, the Smart Helmet’s thermal sensor allows for real-world temperature monitoring, enabling workers to make more informed decisions and generally stay safe in the workplace.
Working Hard but Working Safe
Without a doubt, the DAQRI Smart Helmet has been designed primarily with workplace safety in mind. Outside of functioning as sleek protective headgear, the helmet frees workers from the clutter of support tools typically required to be brought along to the job site.
“It replaces the necessity to carry auxiliary tools like tablets, books, digital cameras, laptops etc. These types of hand-carried equipment can be dangerous when a worker is performing a task at high altitudes. By having access to this information in a visual space, workers can have their hands free to perform operations or maintain balance,” says Mullins.
Industrial workers and engineers are frequently at risk for accidents in the workplace. The DAQRI Smart Helmet features two depth-sensing cameras that can alert workers to potentially dangerous situations. Additionally, its thermal sensor prevents workers from interacting with components at unsafe temperatures as well as being able to passively recognize thermal anomalies.
Taking the safety of workers to the next level, the helmet also comes with an optional headband that detects important health metrics such as heart rate, skin temperature, and blood oxygen levels. Allegedly, it can also measure frontal lobe activity in order to monitor workers’ focus and cognitive states; personally, I find this slightly unnecessary and mildly invasive but ultimately it does not outweigh the beneficial functions this device provides.
Unlike many other products these days, the DAQRI Smart Helmet is more than a bunch of unsubstantiated claims of technological marvel. DAQRI’s flagship product boasts positive reviews, extensive on-site testing, as well as the requisite hardware and software to back it up. Whether or not this product will be the future of industrial operations remains to be seen, but it is certainly a promising sign for DAQRI.