Glass offers window to future of PPE
A new innovation in hard hats, which have integrated augmented reality tech Google Glass-like visors, is hoped to offer the construction industry its next major advance in worker safety.
The device, developed by personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturer Daqri, has been reasonable enough called the Smart Helmet.
Working with a number of sensors and fully-panoramic cameras, the glass provides information to the user about their location, the environment they are in, and the site itself. It offers the wearer what Daqri calls a four-dimensional experience.
In design, the high-tech hard hat looks more like a cycling helmet than a conventional piece of protective headgear. It is sleek affair, which incorporates the visor effortlessly into its style. Covering around half of the worker's face, it would not look out of place in a sci-fi setting.
Embedded in the transparent visor are high-definition screens, one for each eye, which deliver the pertinent information to the user. Always on, the wearer can control the information supplied whilst it is maintained that no matter what the light conditions are, the information is easy to read.
Employing existing Intellitrack technology, the helmet can work out where it is by object and signage recognition. The plans for the still-being-constructed site can also be overlaid through the screens, giving the hard hat excellent potential for site visits from customers, as well as workers.
Able to be used after construction too, for site visits, inspections, maintenance calls, and additional builds, it is an early insight into how wearable tech is coming out of its apprenticeship.