From Idea to Execution: Building DAQRI Smart Glasses™

January 17, 2018

ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT

At CES in 2016, we announced DAQRI Smart Helmet® and offered a developer preview program to engage organizations who wanted to put professional-grade AR to work. The DAQRI Smart Helmet developer program was quite a ride. We worked with over 100 enterprises to prove out professional-grade AR and to learn what our customers need from AR to effectively drive worker productivity.

From this customer and partner experience, DAQRI Smart Glasses™ were born.

Taking all of the customer feedback we received from 2016 and early 2017 into consideration, we tirelessly debated over how to build the most robust and lightweight smart glasses to deliver a professional-grade AR experience. The DAQRI Smart Glasses spec saw two months of review sessions, intense scrutiny, and revision of the requirements which led to two separate lists - “doable for the glasses” and “not (yet) doable for the glasses.” Various customer perspectives and product testing then determined how we would move forward with the final design.

THE DESIGN

Luckily, we had a great place to start. The vast majority of the product architecture for DAQRI Smart Glasses is based on the success of the DAQRI Smart Helmet. The boards have a similar layout and both devices have similar cameras, batteries, and compute hardware, which are robust enough for any industry. However, we then had to rationalize some opposing forces within the design.

From a mechanical side, the glasses must be as thin and lightweight as possible to be worn comfortably on the head, yet rigid enough to support calibration and optical sensors. To address this challenge, we designed DAQRI Smart Glasses with certain components in the actual glasses while other resources are housed within the “Compute Pack” that secures to the user’s belt or clothing. Simply by transferring the battery from the user’s head (in the DAQRI Smart Helmet) to the Compute Pack, we reduced weight on the head by 75%.

DAQRI Smart Glasses are connected to the Compute Pack by a cable. We took user activity and movement into account to avoid an interrupted signal. We ensured a strong connection by adding two tiny screws that secure the cable between the DAQRI Smart Glasses and Compute Pack.

DAQRI SMART GLASSES TODAY

Today, DAQRI Smart Glasses are manufactured by Flex, where approximately 200,000 professionals across 30 countries provide innovative design, engineering, manufacturing, and real-time supply chain insight and logistics services to companies of all sizes in various industries and end-markets. Through Flex, DAQRI gains manufacturing expertise and the ability to scale to the needs of our largest customers.

We are excited to participate in your augmented reality journey by delivering the hardware, platform, and solutions you need to successfully deploy professional-grade AR.