Augmented reality headsets are becoming important tools for enterprises, enabling frontline workers to instantly access reference data as they’re in the field. Today, industrial AR headset maker Zebra announced that it will upgrade its smart glasses with Remote Guidance software developed by XMReality, a Swedish knowledge sharing company with nearly 100 enterprise customers in 60 countries.
Used on smartphones, XMReality’s software enables a remote technician to not only see what a customer is seeing, but also combine the customer’s view with a technician’s real-time “hands overlays” and/or drawings, providing visual directions on how to perform a diagnosis or repair without the need for an in-person visit. Wearing a Zebra headset, technicians could use the same remote software without having to hold a phone in one hand to film the other or make on-site visits while being guided by more experienced experts located elsewhere.
The Zebra-XMReality partnership is significant for technical decision makers because it demonstrates how wearable augmented reality displays are increasingly connecting frontline workers to enterprise data hubs, placing both human expertise and warehoused data within the grasp of remote employees. XMReality’s desktop-scale camera system can turn any Windows computer into a guidance station to help remote workers, and its software also supports select industrial AR glasses from Realwear and Vuzix.
While XMReality’s remote guidance software will also work with Zebra handheld devices, the deal is notably supporting the HD4000 Enterprise HMD, a head-mounted display that weighs only 1.06 ounces and is designed for warehouse management, manufacturing, field mobility, and retail applications. Equipped with a 9-axis head tracking sensor for sophisticated user tracking, the HD4000 has a color screen that can display text, graphics, and video content, and it uses a 5-megapixel camera to capture imagery from the field.
Illinois-based Zebra is best known globally as a leader in bar code reading devices, but it has been involved in RFID-based enterprise asset-tracking solutions for years, acquiring Motorola’s enterprise solutions business in 2014. The company’s products are used by over 10,000 channel partners in 45 countries.