Glasses that 'see' inside machines

Author Alan Richter
April 01, 2014 - 10:30am

Looking to blend safety, style and functionality, XOEye Technologies developed XOne, an industrial-grade wearable computing device in eyewear form that captures and streams high-fidelity audio and video. This enables first-person point-of-view (POV) workplace collaboration in real time, according to the company.

The device is equipped with an 8-megapixel camera, microphones and speakers for two-way audio communication and a suite of sensors, including a gyroscope and accelerometer for data measurement. The camera has options to record locally, stream live and capture still photos for data logging.

Courtesy of XOEye Technologies

XOne from XOEye Technologies is an industrial-grade wearable computing device that captures and streams high-fidelity audio and video.

The device is made with safety-grade optical material, and prescription lenses are available. “We’re developing this eyewear to be ANSI Z87.1-certified, which is the standard for general-safety optical material,” said Anthony Blanco, chief business development officer for XOEye. “We’re looking develop a piece of equipment employees would have to wear anyway for their own safety.”

In addition to the hardware, the technology “stack” includes XOLinux firmware as the operating system and the company’s Vision Runtime and Vision cloud-based software, which is a backend service layer that enables remote management of the device and its applications, Blanco noted.

He explained that the telepresence provided by the one-way video/two-way audio enables users to stream their POV live to anyone with Internet access. This could enable, for example, a parts manufacturer to perform machining operations at the plant and train remote teams, or a machine tool builder to remotely diagnose a downed piece of equipment rather than having a technician travel to the site or rely on e-mailed images. The eyewear device can be connected to the same or similar device, as well as to a computer, tablet or smartphone, Blanco added.

Manufacturers can also employ the device sensors to capture biometric data and help enhance worker safety, according to Blanco. For instance, if back injuries are an issue, the gyroscope could be employed to evaluate how many times somebody is bending past a 90° angle while working.

Blanco noted XOEye is developing several key first-party apps, such as a bar code reader that ties into a company’s existing inventory management system, and is opening its application programming interface documentation and developer portal to those who want to build on the device’s foundational technology and adapt it for specific markets.

The developer community might even use the applications for other wearable computing devices. “You could take an existing piece of hardware and incorporate our firmware and software stack,” Blanco said. “Not every industry needs a safety device. They may need something smaller and sleeker, and we don’t want to limit those customers.”

The company will start its developer program in the spring and release the XOne 1.0 technology to the general public in the summer, Blanco noted.

For more information about XOEye Technologies, Nashville, Tenn., call (800) 230-7047 or visit CTE



Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Including his 20 years at CTE, Alan has more than 30 years of trade journalism experience.