ODG launches rugged smart glasses for heavy industry and ‘extreme environments’

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Image: Osterhout Design Group

Osterhout Design Group (ODG) announced a new version of its smart glasses designed for heavy industry applications and for use in extreme environments. The R-7HL (HL stands for “Hazardous Location”) is a rugged version of the company’s existing R-7 glasses, that will cost $3,500 and begin shipping in the second quarter of this year, a press release said.

According to the company website, the R-7HL offers a protective goggle-like eye housing, which brings additional eye protection for users. It also meets the Military Standard 810G certification for drops, shocks, low pressure scenarios, extreme temperatures, and vibrations, the site said. The glasses also meet the ANSI Z87.1+ standard for being dustproof and splashproof.

The R-7HL is designed to be used in “oil exploration and production, energy, mining, utilities, chemical production and pharmaceuticals and enables heads-up, hands-free checklists, guided assistance tools and manuals, remote assistance support, and the delivery of real time notifications and alerts,” ODG CEO Ralph Osterhout said in the release. “It keeps users safer and helps them be more efficient and will further help to change the way work is done.”

SEE: Why ODG’s new smart glasses could drive AR adoption in the enterprise

The R-7HL is also Zone 2 “Intrinsically Safe,” which the release said means it is “certified for use in hazardous locations where flammable gases, vapors, or mists are not normally present in an explosive concentration but may materialize.”

A Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 805 2.7GHz quad-core processor powers the glasses, which also feature 64GB of on-board storage and haptic feedback in the temple areas. The R-7HL is powered by the ReticleOS framework on top of Android Kit Kat, and also brings sensors for altitude, humidity, and ambient light, as well as an autofocus camera. See the full specs here.

“As with the smartphone, the demand is there for robust and rugged devices that can aid productivity, but the benefit with smartglasses is that your hands are free and your head is up,

bringing even greater efficiencies and safety protection,” Mike Jude, research manager for Frost & Sullivan, said in the press release. “We have had the opportunity to review the ODG R-7 and were very impressed with its capabilities.”

While the R-7 and R-7HL are designed as standalone glasses, ODG also announced two new models at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that could offer a cheaper inroad into virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for businesses. The R-8 and R-9 smart glasses are designed to be used with a smartphone, have a much lower price point, and could be used to bridge the commercial and consumer markets.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. ODG recently unveiled its R-7HL smart glasses, designed for used in hazardous locations and extreme environments.
  2. The R-7HL will cost $3,500 and start shipping in Q2 of 2017. The glasses used the ReticleOS framework on top of Android Kit Kat, and offer multiple sensors.
  3. ODG also recently announced its R-8 and R-9 smart glasses, which are meant to be used with a smartphone and are much less expensive than the company’s other models.

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