The ergonomic design of the consumer and industrial
versions are nearly identical, but some changes needed
to be made to make the glasses to make them fit for the
industrial crowd, which have to meet several safety standards and guidelines.
For industrial applications, the fit needed to be tighter so it
can pass the ANSI Z87.1 standard ballistics test, which ensures
that if a projectile flew off a machine, the face shield would
hold. It could still be removed in case of damage to the lens or
if the worker is going from an indoor to outdoor environment.
“What’s great about polycarbonate is it won’t shatter,
but it will scratch more easily than glass,” says Palumbo,
who’s now the director of technology for Intel’s wearables
division, “so the swappable lenses are a key feature”. He
also mentions prescription glasses are able to fit under
the face shield.
Another major selling point is the ergonomics. The front
curves to contour to your face, with an adjustable nosepiece, and the rear third of the ear stems are rubber over
wire, and adjustable to prevent pinching. And the weight is
“We’ve made them as comfortable as we can, because
it’s something you’re wearing for quite a while,” Palumbo
says. “But we also made them as stylish as we can. In manufacturing and other enterprise environments, you get a bit
of a pass, but we’re still human beings wearing them so
we want to wear the thing that kind of looks the coolest.”
It’s finding the perfect balance between function and
fashion, really. And given that the adrenaline junkies shredding on ski slopes and zooming through urban bike trails
have accepted the Jet, the industrial workers who have
become accustomed to plastic one-size-fits-all safety glasses
and orange mesh vests that scream crossing guard chic will
no doubt appreciate the upgrade.
And along with not making you an eyesore, the Jet Pro is
optimized to inhibit eye strain.
Research has found that monocular heads-up displays
can cause muscle fatigue in the eyes, visual confusion, and
binocular rivalry, the perceptual effect that makes objects
overlap, like watching a 3D movie without the glasses.
“Forcing your eye to look up and read the display pro-
motes eye strain due to the eye muscles not being trained
for that,” Croteau says. “It’s one of the primary reasons that
the Recon products (Snow2 & Jet/Jet Pro) are designed with
the display slightly below your eye level. That is the easiest
and most comfortable place to view a display.”
One other key feature, the patented glance detection
technology, blacks out the HUD when it’s not in use and
wakes up when it senses the user is looking at it. With glance
detection on, the smart glasses consume 25% less power.
So the wearable side of the solution was in a great place.
The usable side though, needed work, as training for the Tour
de France and optimizing a picking application have very little
crossover. They needed more than a killer app, they needed
a full-on software solution geared for critical industries.
Intel had already used the Ubimax xPick solution for its pilot, but to fully leverage the hardware’s power and ca- pabilities, the world’s largest chipmaker needed more. It
needed a partner to come in and perfect the Jet Pro’s SDK.
Because, let’s face it, if you could have an awesome platform, but without awesome applications to take advantage
of the computing power, what do you have? In the case of
the Recon Jet Pro, you have $600 safety glasses.
And the enterprise wearable software has an even
tougher task than their consumer counterparts. Augmented
reality apps for the HTC Vive or Samsung Gear just have to
be interesting; industrial models have to demonstrate a
return on interest.
For that, Intel turned to Upskill, an enterprise wearable
solution provider based near Washington, D.C., that started
out providing HUD apps for the Department of Defense.
“There has to be a key value proposition driver in a business metric that’s tied to it in order for this to really take
off,” says Jay Kim, the CTO of Upskill.
We actually featured Upskill in last February’s cover
story—”2016: The Year of the Wearable.” The story, written by
editor Travis Hessman, was all about how we may have turned
the corner from “goofy monocles” to functional devices,
and how 93% of companies were investigating wearables.
But they were still called APX Labs. Last year, like Recon
Circle 324 on card or visit www.nedinfo.com/66658-324
Upskill’s Skylight provides customized enterprise
wearable solutions for manufacturing, assembly,
field service, and more.