5 Benefits of Assisted Reality

What is assisted reality?

In Industry 4.0, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are often in the spotlight as the next big thing to boost worker productivity. But these X-Reality (XR) technologies are not always practical when used as frontline or manufacturing tools, often unsafe for workers in many use cases.

Enter another aR: Assisted Reality. But what is assisted reality? How is it different from augmented reality?

Assisted Reality gives you access to the right information right when you need it, giving you complete situational awareness. Unlike augmented reality, it is a reality first, a digital experience second. Assisted reality allows a person to see a screen within the immediate field of vision, with their hands free. The information does not overlap with the real world view.

Let’s explore this by looking at head-up displays (HUDs).

In-vehicle HUDs provide an extra layer of relevant information without obstructing vision or distracting the driver. The driver does not have to look away from the dashboard. They can keep their eyes on what matters most (the road) and have both hands free to control their vehicle.

Assisted reality devices can also be used to be more practical in certain situations.

  • Headphones with micro displays: A small but high resolution screen that is placed in front of the user’s eye. With the right focal depth, a half-inch screen can look like a 7-inch tablet held at arm’s length.
  • smart glasses: Worn like ordinary glasses, specially designed smart glasses project images directly onto the lenses (note: most assisted reality use cases do not rely on SLAM (Simultaneous Location and Mapping) computer vision).

RealWear devices with assisted reality technology are leading the digital transformation of the industrial field with hands-free headsets based on Android, designed specifically with security in mind.

RealWear devices with assisted reality technology are leading the digital transformation of the industrial field with hands-free headsets based on Android, designed specifically with security in mind.

How is assisted reality different from augmented reality?

Assisted reality differs from augmented reality in one key way. Assisted reality gives users access to relevant information in their immediate field of view (FoV), augmented reality uses computer-generated digital content to create an interactive experience in real-world settings.

Is augmented reality better than assisted reality?

Each tool has its intended use. The same goes for x-reality technology. While augmented reality has incredible potential, it may not be the best tool for every situation. This is especially true for digital transformations in industrial fields.

Workers must be able to stay safe from workplace hazards when accessing information. This could mean having both hands available to hold tools or secure equipment. Or, more importantly, don’t be distracted by computer-generated (3D) images (overlays) when they need to be aware of, and focus on, what’s really in their immediate environment.

In these situations, assisted reality technology such as RealWear HMT devices may be the preferred and most practical tools:

  • The HMT Platform commands is totally hands free once turned on. Voice commands are intuitively designed to allow workers to “say what they see” to control the device.
  • These portable headphones that are built for durability in harsh environments. They are resistant to drops of two meters and have an IP-66 rating for resistance to dust and jet water.
  • The HMT-1Z1 is intrinsically safe and meets Class 1 Division 1 and ATEX and IECEx Zone 1 certifications. This means that the HMT-1Z1 does not present any risk of ignition when potentially explosive atmospheres exist in normal routine operations.
  • The devices operate in android platformmaking it familiar and easy to use.

5 RealWear Assisted Reality Benefits

Here are five benefits of using assisted reality headsets and devices – especially RealWear HMT-1” (Turn On Flashlight) device and HMT 1Z1 – in industrial digital transformations.

1. Improve worker safety
RealWear hands-free, voice-enabled headsets are designed with safety in mind. Due to their durable construction and compatibility with personal protective equipment (PPE), including hard hats, goggles, face shields, hearing protection, and hazmat suits, they can be used in almost any industrial setting.

Hands-free controls help workers stay focused on the task at hand, and the slim, adjustable micro-display provides visual feedback without obstructing line of sight.

2. Improve access to information
Workers can access relevant information when they need it, when they need it. Knowledgeable and informed workers are more efficient and productive.

HMT devices can display most forms of multimedia, including documents, images, videos, and more. While it’s possible to get the same access on other devices, laptops are cumbersome, tablets require two hands, and smartphones can be easily dropped.

RealWear headphones have powerful wireless connectivity including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the LTE network. The HMT-1 also has an optional LTE modem attached that extends a 4G cellular link.

3. Increase the accessibility of experts

Sometimes frontline workers just need extra support. But equipment or facility experts are not always located in the same workplace or even in the same time zone.

RealWear assisted reality headsets are equipped with high-resolution cameras and noise-canceling microphones and headsets. With video conferencing, remote experts can see what the worker sees in real time. This allows on-site workers to collaborate with remote experts and resolve issues on the spot.

RealWear also has dozens of technology partners (for example, Microsoft, Cisco, and Zoom) that help remote participants collaborate with others by presenting their screens and interacting through the headset’s microdisplay.

4. Increase productivity and efficiency

RealWear HMT devices are Android tablets in the form of headphones. This means that everything that can be done on an Android tablet can be done on a RealWear device, access digital resources, capture videos and images, fill out checklists and forms, and even perform location-based tasks using GPS.

5. Reduce costs

The ability to securely collaborate with experts, or any interested party, in hazardous environments can help organizations save significant operating costs. These may include international travel costs for multiple experts. Also, with fewer people in these dangerous workplaces, workplace accidents can be greatly reduced.

Many organizations have experienced faster first-time resolution times and increased first-time resolution rates with assisted reality. By reducing equipment downtime, facilities can return to full capacity operating costs sooner.

To learn more about the total cost of ownership of an assisted reality headset, download the Total Cost of Ownership Study, published by VDC Research.

Assisted reality use cases

Assisted reality devices can be used in a variety of industrial or facility tasks. In fact, many Fortune 1000 companies are already using assisted reality in their manufacturing and production lines, with proven ROI.

Here are some examples of companies using assisted reality technology:

  • Remote Mentoring (also known as Remote Expert)
    Total SA is a large multinational energy company and is one of the seven Big Oil organizations. The RealWear HMT-1Z1 hands-free headset enabled Total to connect on-site workers with expert colleagues anywhere in the world for faster equipment diagnostics and repairs. “You put the HMT-1Z1 on your head and put your hands on free. In fact, I can check vibrations and temperatures with my hands. I can turn wrenches or open a book. I can work.”
    – Adam Hale, Maintenance Execution Superintendent
  • Remote Acceptance Test
    Prysmian Group is the largest manufacturer of telecommunications cables in the world. The multinational organization implemented RealWear HMT-1 running OverIT’s SPACE1 to drive remote acceptance testing and knowledge transfer. “It brings a lot of benefits in terms of efficiency, as it accelerates technology transfer and sustainability.”
    – Carlotta Dainese, head of the digital innovation laboratory
  • Distribution asset documentation
    Burns and McDonnell is an engineering, consulting and construction company. Assisted reality technology with RealWear streamlines site documentation and enables Burns & McDonnell’s senior experts to virtually visit and review sites without having to travel. “Voice-activated hands-free wearable technology in a single solution can keep projects moving where site access is limited due to travel restrictions and health and safety orders. [durante la pandemia de COVID-19]”.
    – John Olander, COO and President of the Transmission and Distribution Group
  • Information accessibility
    Vestas Wind Systems A/S manufactures, sells, installs and services wind turbines worldwide. RealWear helped Vestas’ extensive network of technicians and field engineers access key knowledge resources, including experienced remote workers. “In the area of ​​blades, workers can’t use their hands to navigate through the data they they need.”
    – Mark Jaxion, Senior Specialist, Leading IoT and Industry 4.0 Strategy
  • Virtual Factory Acceptance Test
    Honeywell International Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and a global conglomerate. RealWear enabled Honeywell to virtually perform on-site testing and validation of customers’ newly deployed industrial equipment. “If RealWear wasn’t available, we would have stretched out testing for months and increased costs, which would have drastically impacted our customers.” .
    – Hank Wrenn, Vice President and General Manager of Projects and Automation Solutions for the Americas


For enterprise companies, the opportunity for our physical world to interact with the digital world is exciting. For job tasks that require information at the right time, just when you need it, assisted reality devices like the RealWear HMT-1 are quickly becoming the standard way to empower frontline workers to bring their skills and value to the next level, no matter where. they work.

To learn more about our perspective, learn about HoloLens and RealWear in this previous post.

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