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Augmented reality helmet moves to Skylake, RealSense, Linux

Jan 8, 2016 — by Eric Brown 2,321 views

Daqri has upgraded its augmented reality Smart Helmet, which now runs Linux on a 6th Gen Intel Core M7 processor, and includes an Intel RealSense camera.

Daqri first announced its Daqri Smart Helmet in Sept. 2014, and rolled it out to aerospace, construction, oil & gas, and other industrial firms for pilot programs shortly thereafter. At CES this week, Daqri showed off a second generation model of the Linux-based augmented reality helmet that will ship commercially later this quarter.

Daqri Smart Helmet v2 from the front (left) and back
(click images to enlarge)

Apparently, beta testers called for more processing power, as the helmet has moved from dual Qualcomm Snapdragon chips to a top-of-the-line 6th Gen Intel Core M7 “Skylake” processor that is claimed to be five times more powerful. Daqri has also integrated Intel’s RealSense 3D cameras, enabling improved depth sensing capability. Not surprisingly, Intel featured a segment with Daqri at this week’s Intel event at CES.

First-gen Smart Helmet

Whereas the original helmet ran a version of Android, the new model runs Daqri’s Linux-based 4D Operating System, according to a Daqri rep. Applications are developed with a Daqri 4D Studio augmented work instruction platform.


Daqri did not list pricing, but CNET says it will range from a $5,000 to $15,000 per helmet. Despite the high prices, Topcon, Hyperloop, and KSP Steel have already signed on for commercial deployment, says Daqri. According to the company, pilot testing has shown a reduction in quality errors by over 90 percent and reduced assembly times by over 30 percent.

More views of the revised Smart Helmet
(click images to enlarge)

The helmet’s “industrial-grade human-machine interface” displays overlays that insert real-time information including augmented and mixed reality work instructions, safety information, and maps. The overlays are designed to maximize safety, productivity, and well-being for industrial workers, says Daqri. The Smart Helmet provides features including object recognition, environment mapping, and 3D reconstruction of a facility.

As before, the helmet integrates Daqri’s Intellitrak computer vision and navigation technology, built around an industrial-grade inertial measurement unit. It also offers a 360 degree sensor array with HD video.

In addition to the new RealSense camera and Intel Core M7 chip, a 14nm fabricated dual-core chip which offers a turbo clock rate of up to 2.9GHz, the biggest change is the integration of thermal vision sensors. The sensors let workers see temperature data in the real world environment for better predictive maintenance and worker safety. A shift-long battery is also included.

Further information

The revised 2016 version of the Daqri Smart Helmet will ship in the first quarter. More information may be found at the Daqri website, although at publication time, it was still showing off the first generation model.

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