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Osterhout Design Group has launched new augmented reality smartglasses that are certified for hazardous locations.

San Francisco-based ODG has been shipping its R-7 AR glasses for professional users for $2,750. Now it is adding a $3,500 model, the R-7HL, as a rugged version that meets the requirements for workplaces such as construction sites.

“We’ve taken the R-7 and its features and made a another version of it for hazardous locations,” said Pete Jameson, chief operating officer at ODG, in an interview with GamesBeat. “It’s a ruggedization of our technology.”

Customers can order the glasses today via its website or through its partner programs. The R-7HL will begin shipping by the end of the second quarter.

“ODG built the R-7HL to answer the demands and needs of customers who operate in extreme environments,” said Ralph Osterhout, ODG CEO, in a statement. “R-7HL brings a durable, hands-free, wearable computing platform to professionals in oil exploration and production, energy, mining, utilities, chemical production and pharmaceuticals and enables heads-up, hands-free checklists, guided assistance tools and manuals, remote assistance support, and the delivery of real time notifications and alerts. It keeps users safer and helps them be more efficient and will further help to change the way work is done.”

The R-7HL is built with reinforced and protective goggle-like eye housing. It has MIL-STD-810G certification for drop, shock, vibration, low pressure, and temperature extremes, as well as ANSI Z87.1 dust-proof and splash-proof certification.

R-7HL’s specifications make it perfectly suited for potentially dangerous settings in oil exploration and production, utilities, chemical production, airport refueling, and pharmaceuticals.

“As with the smartphone, the demand is there for robust and rugged devices that can aid productivity, but the benefit with smartglasses is that your hands are free and your head is up, bringing even greater efficiencies and safety protection,” said Mike Jude, Ph.D., research manager for Frost & Sullivan, in a statement. “We have had the opportunity to review the ODG R-7 and were very impressed with its capabilities.”

ODG was founded in 1999 as a technology incubator. In December, ODG raised $58 million in funding.

Investors include 20th Century Fox, Shenzhen O-film Tech Co., Ltd., and Vanfund Urban Investment & Development Co. Ltd.

Rivals such as Daqri are making safety glasses with a hard hat, but Jameson said that many people don’t want to have their helmet combined with glasses, because for many locations both aren’t necessary at the same time.

Plus, “everybody has their own favorite hard hat,” he said.


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