The future of wearables looks quite promising as ‘heads up displays’ are set for an exponential growth in the year 2015. Just when market watchers were expecting that Google, the pioneer of wearable display technology would reap greater benefit from this upsurge, a latest announcement from the company which came just two weeks ago surprised many. The company announced its decision to withdraw support and investment from Google Glass thereby terminating the Explorer Edition.
The Google news might dampen spirit of small or medium sized companies which were planning their innovations around HUDs. Still there are handful enterprises which take the news in their stride and proceed with planned projects. One such company is 3Squared which decided to proceed with its pilot project that integrates Google Glass with Building information Modeling 360 Field, i.e. a Construction Management Software developed by Autodesk.
It should be mentioned in this regard that 3Squared is a Sheffield based software service provider, highly acclaimed worldwide for its 3D applications. Recently it has partnered with Autodesk to introduce advanced wearable technology concepts to benefit the construction and logistics industry. BIM 360 Field which has already experienced a successful run in some of the world’s largest and most successful construction companies will receive further boost by incorporating Smartglass technology.
As the Managing Director of 3Squared announced on 30th Jan 2015, that his company and Autodesk are working in collaboration with several contractors in the UK and across Europe to complete the Glass trial project. The trial is also conducted at Autodesk’s offices in Sheffield and San Francisco.
The pilots received green signal six months ago and will continue for another two more months. The trialing with Google Glass is done from an H&S and snagging perspective. The main aim of Crossrail trials is to explore how wearable devices could provide on-site construction managers with project documentation. Other perspectives that are explored include capturing videos, pictures and other field data during commissioning and handover of a building project. The wearable technology would also alert on-site workers about hazards or restricted areas.
While expressing sadness over sudden termination of the Explorer Edition, the company MD feels that their project won’t be hampered anyway considering steady progression of the heads-up display wearable segment. He is quite optimistic that the pace of progress will further increase as several wearable HUDs are waiting to grab headlines in 2015.
The company has already started evaluating US-produced DAQRI smart helmet. After assessing a demonstration at the Autodesk University last year, 3Squared team now feels that the DAQRI smart helmet armed with next generation 4D interface is actually more practical for the construction industry as compared to Google Glass. So rather than mourning over Glass, the 3Squared- Autodesk team is quite ready to look for new entrants in the heads-up display device space.
They won’t be disappointed with promising line-ups like Oculus Rift owned by Facebook and HoloLens from Microsoft’s. The above development indicates that time has come for Google Glass to pass the baton to newer entrants in the wearable display segment. Now it is to be seen whether these newcomers can fulfill user expectations or not!