Realwear Navigator 500 Palms-On: Nice smartglasses for enterprise

Possibly they aren’t horny or thrilling to speak about, however industrial smartglasses are very profitable of their area as a result of they get the job carried out for an affordable value. And Realwear, one of many main corporations within the area, has not too long ago launched its new machine, the Realwear Navigator 500, which guarantees to be much more helpful than the earlier mannequin for area staff that need to carry out help operations. I went hands-on with it at AWE, and these have been my impressions.

Realwear Navigator 500 Enhancements

Presentation video of the Realwear Navigator 500

The Realwear Navigator 500 is the brand new era mannequin meant to substitute the wonderful Realwear HMT-1, which was very profitable inside warehouses and different industrial amenities. At a speedy look they could appear very related, as a result of they’re each monocle glasses with a small show in entrance of the person and a digicam on high of it, however there are literally some enhancements which might be value noticing.

realwear navigator 500 vs hmt-1
Realwear Navigator 500 (left) vs HMT-1 (proper). The left unit seems to be smaller and extra polished

To start with the digicam: the sensor framing the surface world has within the Navigator 500 a staggering 48MP decision. In fact, all this decision could appear ineffective if the digicam stream will get both compressed (to be streamed to a management room for distant help operations), or proven contained in the very small display that the person has in entrance of his eyes. However truly, all these further pixels are available very useful: to start with, in commonplace utilization, each 4 pixels of the digicam are used to reconstruct just one pixel, to create a ultimate picture of 12MP that’s proven to the person. This zooming-out operation is supposed to create a brand new picture that’s much less liable to noise and that’s extra dependable in low-light situations than if the unique sensor was a 12MP one. Moreover, in case the person needs to zoom the digicam, ranging from 48MP signifies that you may nonetheless zoom at 1.8x and acquire a clear 12MP picture with none artifact, since you already had these pixels, so that you don’t need to carry out any form of digital zoom. There are additionally extra IMUs put in onto the machine, that along with the one which was already current within the digicam module, assure a greater stabilization of the picture. All of that is nice to ensure optimum picture high quality to the operator that has to carry out distant help operations inside industrial warehouses, which generally characteristic numerous difficult situations.

camera realwear
Render of the digicam module of the brand new Realwear glasses (Picture by Realwear)

The machine can be modular, and the digicam will be simply indifferent and connected. This isn’t solely good so to substitute the digicam simply in case it breaks, however it is usually elementary to extend the lifespan of the machine. Realwear makes skilled headsets, and within the enterprise world, corporations need a product that’s sturdy and on which they’ll depend on for lots of time. This is the reason the expected lifespan for this mannequin is 4 years. However in 4 years, cameras are for positive going to evolve quite a bit, pushed by the innovation of the smartphone sector, which is for positive quicker than the sensible glasses one. Because of the removable digicam, Realwear could resolve within the subsequent years to launch a brand new upgraded module of the digicam with out having to launch a full new mannequin of the sensible glasses. Corporations can so be certain that they will purchase a product with an extended life and that may be upgraded in its most vital modules.

Detaching the digicam and attaching it again

The machine can be lighter than the earlier mannequin and has an inside elastic headband that ought to assure higher consolation. This manner it may be worn for extra hours by the employees that need to make use of it.

The working system has additionally been up to date and now the Realwear Navigator 500 runs the trendy Android 11.

Let me share with you some extra images I took in regards to the machine. They aren’t one of the best images I’ve ever taken, however in these exhibitions the time is at all times very tight…

realwear front view
Entrance view
realwear lateral
Lateral view
realwear top view
Prime view… the inside “circle” that you just see is the elastic headband


I went hands-on with two demos of the Realwear Navigator 500, and each have been aimed on the most distinguished use case for these sensible glasses: upkeep.

realwear field worker
The demo by Transition Applied sciences targeted on distant help. Discover how the Realswear headset matches nicely with the security helmet

The primary one was made in collaboration with Transition Applied sciences PSC, and it confirmed the traditional distant help operation, with one worker utilizing the Realwear glasses and the opposite individual being on the laptop computer, seeing what the primary worker was seeing and guiding him. The use case was very commonplace, however what was fascinating was that the digicam stream of the Realwear was despatched to the cloud, the place a pc imaginative and prescient system labeled in real-time the objects the operator had in entrance of him and despatched these information again to him. The digicam stream was so augmented, however not on the Realwear headset, which is a small cellular machine, however on the cloud. The sphere operator might then see the step-by-step directions in regards to the operations to do, powered by the automated labeling utilized by the cloud. The system additionally featured automated translation, in order that the sphere employee could converse a language and the operator within the management room could also be a local speaker of one other one, and the system took care of writing the interpretation of what each individual was saying within the language of the opposite one. That was a cool thought, however the Italian translation I might learn on the show was simply ok-ish and never at all times good (like all automated translation these days). The demo was efficient, by the way in which.

realwear navigator 500 hands on
Sporting the headset for the second demo

For the second demo, I might lastly put on the machine on my own and check out a system that allow me see some objects and advised me if there have been errors or not in what I used to be seeing, telling me what I ought to have fastened. This was extra a quality-check/upkeep demo to be carried out alone, so to simulate an automatic situation. This demo labored as meant, too.

The fascinating a part of the second demo is that lastly, I received to strive the machine for a couple of minutes. That is the suggestions I can inform you for the quick time I had with it:

  • The headset is for positive lighter and extra comfy than the primary unit. The scarf is a superb addition, in my view, as a result of it makes the smartglasses sit higher across the head
  • The show was shiny and the textual content inside it readable, which is essential contemplating that individuals need to learn directions which might be written inside it. The one drawback it had was some form of crimson leaking and a few glares in some contrasted zones of the show
  • The actual drawback with these sensible glasses is that you need to discover ways to use them. You have got the show simply in entrance of one among your eyes, so should you preserve gazing it, your eyes get an enormous pressure, as a result of it’s as if you need them to focus at completely different distances: one on the show and the opposite at the true world. This is kind of the identical drawback I described for the Google Glass v2: just one eye ought to deal with a detailed show and skim tiny writings on it, and that is tiresome. In my session with Realwear, I realized that most likely one of the best method is to make use of your eyes within the regular method, trying on the world round you, after which give quick peeks on the closed small show with one eye simply when it’s essential to see a bit of data there
  • The digicam is connected to your head, however not essentially frames what you’re looking at together with your eyes. You had higher rotating it up and down till it factors the item you wish to increase or to ship to the management room
  • These glasses work largely with a voice-recognition interface. The voice recognition labored fairly nicely, and it failed only a few instances within the difficult situations I used to be in, that could be a noisy present ground atmosphere with the person talking with a powerful Italian accent. I like the concept of voice recognition as a result of it lets the person work hands-free, which is nice for staff in industrial environments. However on the identical time, working with menus together with your voice is super-cumbersome, as a result of you need to learn aloud every part: think about should you needed to do the identical together with your computer: even simply creating a brand new Phrase file means saying “OPEN START MENU”, “OPEN WORD”, “FILE MENU”, “CLICK NEW…”, “CLICK OK”, saying EVERYTHING you need to function on could be very cumbersome and a touchpad is way quicker, in my view
  • The onboard audio was clear for the situations I needed to function in

Last impressions

realwear navigator 500
Me carrying the Realwear Navigator 500

I admit I’m not an enormous knowledgeable in industrial sensible glasses, however I do know that Realwear is among the main manufacturers there, and for a cause. This new Navigator 500 headset integrates vital upgrades over the earlier mannequin, and particularly the higher-resolution digicam and the higher stabilization of the photographs can assure a lot better performances to its customers. And the modular kind issue can be an enormous benefit for corporations that buy it. In fact, this isn’t a tool that will excite folks within the XR group, however this isn’t its goal: it have to be very sensible and efficient, and in my view, it does its job fairly nicely.

My solely concern is about the way forward for these monocles: they aren’t very comfy for the eyes and so they have a really small show, so I believe that in the long term they are going to be substituted by one thing extra akin to glasses. In 4 years, Meta is rumored to launch its first AR glasses devoted to shoppers, so I suppose that through the Navigator 5000’s lifetime, Realwear should carry out a know-how change.

Disclaimer: this weblog comprises commercial and affiliate hyperlinks to maintain itself. If you happen to click on on an affiliate hyperlink, I will be very pleased as a result of I am going to earn a small fee in your buy. You’ll find my boring full disclosure right here.


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