Microsoft Targeting Construction Trades with New Mixed Reality Hard Hat Accessory

Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens

Several years ago, Microsoft released their introduction into the mixed reality headset market with the Microsoft HoloLens.  The headset, which looks like a pair of bulky, futuristic sunglasses, was touted as a game changer to many different industries.  After teaming up with Trimble to directly tackle the construction industry and developing a couple construction technologies for the headset, construction companies have still been extremely hesitant to try out the technology.

Microsoft isn’t giving up on our industry though, as they’ve recently announced that a HoloLens hard hat accessory is in the works and will be released early 2018.

In addition to the accessory, the HoloLens has also passed some important safety and durability tests. These tests have recently confirmed that the headset meets the requirements of ANSI Z87.1, which allows them to be used as safety glasses, and it has also been rated IP50 for dust protection. The 5 indicates that dust is not completely prevented from entering the equipment, but the dust that can enter is not enough to interfere with its operation. The 0 in the second digit indicates that it does not provide any moisture protection, which could be a problem on construction sites.

In a blog post about the release announcement, Microsoft Hololens’ General Manager Lorraine Bardeen explained how she expects the updates to positively affect firstline and information workers. Some of the benefits include:

  • Remote assist to allow real-time collaboration with a remote expert
  • First-person perspective training manuals and how-to guides
  • Augmented reality design features
  • Mixed Reality Meetings
  • Mixed Reality Data & Analytics

Construction’s first line workers don’t often work with computers in their daily work life, so it will be interesting to see if and how companies start to employ these types of headsets.  Do you think your construction company should invest in mixed reality headsets? Tell us in the comments below.

For more information on the HoloLens, check out the video below and Microsoft’s blog post.