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article imageToshiba launches new AR smart glasses for field professionals

By James Walker     Mar 14, 2018 in Technology
Toshiba's announced a set of augmented reality smart glasses aimed at field workers. The Windows-powered device comprises a head-mounted display and tethered pocket PC. It's aimed to assist workers by enabling efficient access to apps and information.
Announced by Toshiba this week, the dynaEdge DE-100 is one of a growing number of AR head-mounted displays aimed at workers and industry professionals. It's being promoted by Toshiba as a "hands-free wearable" for the enterprise, enabling workers to obtain information without needing to switch location or use a regular PC.
Toshiba notes that the DE-100 isn't so much augmented reality as "assisted reality." The headset doesn't make any attempt to place objects inside the real world, instead providing a heads-up display you can look through. This could make it more applicable to industry scenarios, since the uses of AR are still limited. A heads-up display may have broader appeal and is less complex to create.
The DE-100 connects to a Windows 10 computer pocket pack. The headset itself weighs under three ounces and includes a limited selection of essential hardware. There's a tiny touchpad to help control the device, an ear speaker, microphone and a 5-megapixel camera. GPS is also included for accurate positioning and mapping.
The pocket pack is driven by a sixth-generation Intel Core vPro processor. Battery life is rated at 6.5 hours on a single charge. Although the battery is removable, the limited capacity means the DE-100's unlikely to survive an entire work day. This aligns with Toshiba's positioning of the headset as a way to improve collaboration, rather than a tool to directly assist workers in completing tasks.
Toshiba dynaEdge DE-100 interface
Toshiba dynaEdge DE-100 interface
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"We are proud to be at the forefront of the wearable-enterprise space, introducing the first monocular Assisted Reality solution to combine the power of a Windows 10 Pro PC, the robust feature set of industrial-grade smart glasses, and industry-specific workflow efficiency provided through our partnership with Ubimax," said Maki Yamashita, Senior Vice President, PC & Solutions EMEA, Toshiba Europe GmbH. "This blend enables us to deliver next-level workflow and efficiency optimisation to frontline workers."
Industrial adoption of head-mounted computers is expected to grow over the next few years as digital transformation creates profound workplace change. Currently, it's still early days though and most manufacturers are just piecing together their strategies. The market's led by solutions such as Microsoft's HoloLens, which is a full augmented reality experience already in use at enterprises around the world.
Although Toshiba's DE-100 is far from being a complete HoloLens rival, it is Toshiba's first attempt at building a wearable for professionals. It provides a baseline for developing wearable products for industrial users and is likely to be expanded upon as interest grows. Toshiba expects to launch the device in the second quarter of the year, priced from $1,899.
More about Toshiba, toshiba dynaedge, smart glasses, augmented reality, digital transformation
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