Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ newsletters and blogs. She writes on a number of topics, including but not limited to geospatial, architecture, engineering and construction. As many technologies evolve and occasionally merge, Susan finds herself uniquely situated to be able to cover diverse topics with facility. « Less
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
New Mixed-Reality Headset from Trimble Enables Front-Line Workers to Access 3D Models
March 1st, 2019 by Susan Smith
Jordan Lawver, Portfolio Manager, Mixed Reality – Trimble Buildings Division, spoke with GISCafe Voice about the results of a new partnership between Microsoft and Trimble, and the new mixed-reality headset, Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2 that has transpired from that relationship.
Describe the new product that has been announced.
Trimble announced Sunday, on stage during Microsoft’s keynote at MWC Barcelona, a new mixed-reality headset, the Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2. The Trimble XR10 integrates OEM components from the new Microsoft HoloLens 2 into a certified solution for use with a hard hat for worker safety in restricted access work areas, for instance jobsites. This announcement marks the next chapter in the ongoing partnership between Microsoft and Trimble to empower frontline workers to transform the way they work with mixed-reality and spatial computing technology.
Which pieces of the technology are being built by Trimble?
The core componentry in the Trimble XR10 is the same as what one will find in the standard HoloLens 2 device; the XR10 will have all of the same spec, performance and functionality improvements. For the XR10, Trimble has built these components into a new chassis that can adapt to a standard hard hat that will satisfy the extrinsic and intrinsic safety requirements of most work sites.
In addition to the hardware, Trimble also provides mixed-reality software and professional services that provide field-oriented workflows leveraging constructible 3D models and mixed reality to solve daily work tasks in construction.
What are the advantages of being able to access holographic information with the XR10?
Microsoft’s partnership with Trimble gave us the ability to customize the HoloLens 2 technology and build a complete hard hat solution, enabling field workers to visualize both their 3D data and the physical environment at the same time through a mixed-reality application. This new field technology makes it possible for front-line workers to access, understand and make actionable decisions on constructible model data without needing to be experts on the model itself. For Trimble, this aligns with our mission of “3D for everyone”; democratizing the data so that our customers can further realize their investment in BIM workflows to improve productivity, safety and quality of work.
What kinds of industries and workflows are benefiting from this technology?
A wide variety of industries are finding value in mixed reality today, though the ones that are benefiting the most are those that are already heavily invested in 3D content generation and/or capture; AEC, manufacturing, oil and gas, automotive, healthcare, and retail to name a few.
In AEC, mixed reality is being utilized today in the architect’s office for design review and onsite for the contractor’s day-to-day sequencing and QA/QC. Prefabrication facilities are using the technology to guide their workers in building complicated assemblies and then passing them to onsite subcontractors who can use mixed reality to assist in the install process. After construction, facilities companies are utilizing the technology to visualize instructions for performing operations and maintenance tasks.
Parallels can be drawn to workflows in other industries, such as manufacturing and automotive, which are using mixed reality for similar design-to-production-to-maintenance operations. HoloLens 2 and the Trimble XR10 will push these mixed-reality use cases out of the early-adopter and proof-of-concept phases and into more wide-scale ubiquity in all of these industries.
How is collaboration made easier with the Trimble XR10?
It’s human nature to better understand and interact with information that is fed to us three dimensionally. In its most fundamental respect, mixed-reality technology provides data to a user in a way that’s more intuitive for them to understand. Because of this, data that has been created by one person and shared to others is naturally transmitted with less loss of meaning and purpose when it’s consumed in 3D.
Building on this foundation, software applications like Trimble Connect for HoloLens provide the tools required to properly share and communicate this data through the cloud to a diverse group of stakeholders on a project. In addition, embedded collaboration features in the mixed-reality applications make it so that various users can interact with each other and their data as part of a holographic telepresence session, regardless of location.
How does the second-generation HoloLens and Trimble hard hat integration improve on the first?
The new HoloLens 2 and Trimble XR10 are the result of years of closely listening to customer input on the requirements for a mixed-reality device that can be put to real use where enterprise customers are doing their work every day.
The first, most noticeable, difference is a holographic field-of-view that is now twice that of its predecessor without any loss in resolution or text-readability. The devices now also support eye-tracking and 10-finger custom gestures, allowing users to tap, push, grab and pinch their holograms in a much more natural way. The eye-tracking sensor is also used to calibrate the display for each user who puts it on and can scan their iris to log them in.
The new device has been intensely studied and shown to improve comfort significantly compared to the first version, improving the prospect of front-line workers wearing it for hours at a time. The overall weight has decreased and, more importantly, has been distributed more evenly between the front and rear of the device. For times when the mixed reality content is not needed, users can flip the front display up and out of the way.
Last, more out-of-the-box software solutions, such as Trimble Connect and SketchUp Viewer, will be available for download on day one and help customers to shorten their time-to-value for the technology.
What is the price point for the Trimble XR10? When will it be available?
The Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2 will be available later this year for MSRP $4,750.00. The solution will have bundle options with Trimble mixed-reality software that will be tailored to specific trades and use cases.
To learn more and sign up for pre-order, please visit http://mixedreality.trimble.com
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