Augmented reality. It’s a term that gets technology enthusiasts excited, but has now started gaining attention of the masses. AR glasses and displays have been hailed as a potential game-changer for the way we conduct our lives.
The SPEX™ HMD is a hardware and software platform combining the best of augmented reality and virtual reality features into an all-day wearable, head-mounted display.
One Thing You Need to Know About Visual AR: Not All Systems Are the Same
There are a few methods to creating AR headsets and glasses.
When Google Glass first came out, it was essentially a frame with a small scaled piece of glass in the corner. Glass projected its display onto that small piece of glass. The AR in this case is fixed in that position, and can’t adjust itself to your vision.
Projection-based AR can also be mapped to sensors and used for public demonstrations of AR. The best example of this is UC Davis’ AR Sandbox. It projects a map onto a box of sand, and adjusting the sand adjusts the projection.
The other method is based on a technology called light field, such as what companies Avegant and Magic Leap have leveraged. Light field projects the AR images right into your eyes, and its goal is to seamlessly blend AR images with how you see the real world.
With all of these methods of augmented reality technology, it’s no wonder that its gaining the attention to really disrupt many areas of business including employee training and sales processes. This innovation can only continue to expand.
An Introduction to a New Augmented Reality HMD, Re-imagined
SPEX is a new division of eSight Corporation. eSight was founded in 2006, and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Building upon the breakthrough success of eSight’s electronic glasses that allow many people who are legally blind to see again, SPEX is fulfilling the company’s original plan to bring enhanced vision to many other real-world mobile applications that struggle with the difficulties of high quality vision acuity.
SPEX is the manufacturer of the SPEX™ HMD, an AR product like no other before it. SPEX enhances your vision for precision tasks, allows you to pan and zoom into the real world, and brings critical information to the point of task without overwriting or obstructing your natural vision. SPEX is a proven hardware and software platform that enables application developers to rapidly deliver high-quality, mobile, mission critical applications.
What Sets SPEX Apart
SPEX combines the high quality opaque displays of a VR system with the respect for native vision typically associated with an AR system, and unprecedented user control over how the displayed images are processed. The end result is a tremendous visual experience in any lighting condition that allows the wearer to be active, mobile, independent, and very well informed.
By combining the best of AR and VR technologies into a single all-day wearable HMD, SPEX delivers superior vision to users in precision viewing applications such as surgery, surveillance, manufacturing, hand assembly, interactive training, inspections or drone and ROV control.
The SPEX 21.5M pixel HD camera, combined with powerful optics and rapid automatic focus, produces Super Vision that is better than the human eye can acquire by itself. High-resolution, fast OLED screens and custom display optics provide images at much higher contrast than AR systems with much better (3x) angular resolution than found in VR headsets. And Mixed Reality objects created for the SPEX platform maintain contrast and solidity under any lighting conditions, because background light never shines through these objects.
With patented Bioptic Tilt, users can adjust the visor of the SPEX HMD to the precise position that presents the best view for them of video or data, while maintaining their native central and peripheral vision for complete mobility.
Or, they can tilt the visor into an immersive position for more detailed viewing at up to 24x normal human vision, but still maintain peripheral vision cues. This ensures comfort with the device and prevents nausea associated with prolonged use of other immersive technologies.
Some of the applications envisioned for the SPEX HMD include:
SPEX provides a unique platform for interactive training by combining video streaming and VOIP to and from the SPEX HMD with remote control of all features of the SPEX Super Vision camera and display system including zoom, contrast, freeze frame, autofocus, flashlight and others. A remote trainer can manage the experience for the trainee(s) from the next room or across the globe.
Field Service and Remote Expert Advice
SPEX is an ideal platform for improving the effectiveness, productivity and safety of field service and maintenance & repair workers. SPEX enables two-way audio and video exchanges between remote, centrally-located, experts and technicians onsite in the field, in maintenance and repair centers or mobile within multiple large facilities.
Manufacturing and Inventory Management
SPEX helps physicians and surgeons deliver better patient outcomes. Medical practitioners’ jobs are enhanced by SPEX presenting relevant images and patient data in the most convenient, comfortable and efficient location. Through the use of the SPEX high-resolution and high-contrast camera system, they can clarify areas of interest and improve the accuracy of work being performed.
SPEX brings more coverage and flexibility to indoor and outdoor security applications. Situational awareness is brought to a whole new level through the SPEX Bioptic Tilt and high resolution opaque displays that can be viewed in almost any lighting conditions. Bi-directional streaming video increases security by feeding live video updates, or images, from each team member, or from a central data bank to all mobile personnel.
“Our new SPEX HMD represents the evolution of our healthcare technology platform to now make it applicable to a broad range of commercial, medical, and industrial applications,” said Dr. Brian Mech, President and Chief Executive Officer, eSight Corporation. “SPEX is a proven hardware and software platform that enables application developers to rapidly deliver high-quality, mobile, mission critical applications.”
SPEX development kits will be available for development partners in early Q3 2018.
The SPEX™ HMD, will be on display at this week’s Augmented World Expo (May 30 – June 1 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, booth #526).