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RealWear debuts industrial AR wearable

Jan. 24, 2022

RealWear launched Dec. 8 its Navigator 500 assisted reality (AR) wearable interface. Building on the global success of its HMT-1 head-mounted display, Navigator 500 includes a family of AR products with a new modular platform, improved user experience, and comfortable ergonomics that let frontline users safely perform tasks, while keeping their hands and fields of view free for longer periods in hybrid environments.

Navigator 500 combines hardware, software and cloud-ready services with a rugged headset that's one-third lighter and slimmer than RealWear's  previous generation, making it easier for users to wear for entire shifts. The hardware consists of a modular platform with an upgradeable, 48 megapixel (MP) camera system, truly hot-swappable battery, WiFi, and an optional 4G (and soon-to-be-available 5G) modem. The voice-controlled user interface includes noise-cancellation technology for high-noise environments. RealWear also has more than 200 optimized partner apps, supporting a variety of use cases, such as remote collaboration, guided workflow and IoT and AI data visualization.

“Navigator 500 delivers the next generation of work with a reality-first, digital-second enterprise solution for remote collaboration, operational efficiency and hybrid work in safety-critical industries,” says Andrew Chrostowski, chairman and CEO at RealWear. “More than augmented or virtual reality, assisted reality is designed for frontline workers who require both hands for their jobs, and striking the perfect balance between keeping workers 100% present and self-aware with the ability to safely navigate industrial surroundings.  After all, nobody wants to be near hazardous equipment with their head stuck in the metaverse.”  

Navigator 500 reflects feedback from thousands of RealWear users. Its features include:

  • Patented modular platform that lets users swap out specific modules, such as camera, modem, battery and others in the future;

  • Truly hot-swappable, full-shift battery that enables users to complete longer tasks over multiple hours without losing any work;

  • Camera system with 48 MP sensor, advanced auto-focus and strong video stabilization, which can also capture high-quality photos in extremely low-light; enhanced zoom in telephoto mode that can capture greater than 4X zoom, while still maintaining full-HD (1,080 p) quality;

  • Clear, vibrant,adjustable display;

  • Light, sleek form factor that can withstand a 2-meter drop-test without compromising RealWear HMT-1’s IP66 ruggedness rating;

  • Secure, seamless device sign-on options and centralized enterprise deployment and management capabilities; and

  • Best-in-class noise-cancelling technology, with reliable local voice recognition in environments up to100 decibels (dBA).

Navigator 500 is also expected to further accelerate adoption remote collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams. With a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, lighter weight and hot-swappable battery, RealWear adds remote collaboration will become more seamless and a preferred way of communicating. Also, Navigator 500's low-light camera and potential future camera modules, users workers will be able to capture better POV shots to share and collaborate in new ways.   

“Microsoft Teams for frontline workers has grown tremendously thanks to partners like RealWear, and we expect Navigator 500 to take our success to new levels to accelerate hybrid work,” adds Kristina Behr, product VP for Microsoft 365 Frontline Worker and Industry. "With Navigator 500, RealWear allows industrial frontline workers using Teams to quickly collaborate with remote experts to safely solve complex issues, while keeping their hands free and maintaining full situational awareness."