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Motorola HC1: Head-Worn Computing For Workplaces With Deep Pockets 42

Posted by timothy
from the remarkably-cheap-from-historical-perspective dept.
alphadogg writes "Motorola Solutions has unveiled a head-mounted, voice-controlled computer that's targeted at the military and other industries where workers need hands-free access to information. Called the HC1, the device runs on an ARM processor and has an optional camera to send back real-time video over a wireless network. Unlike Google Goggles, though, the HC1 is aimed at the enterprise market with a price tag of $4,000-$5,000 per unit. Areas the company has been experimenting with include 'high-end repair markets,' such as aircraft engines, said Paul Steinberg, CTO of Motorola Solutions (which is the part of Motorola Google did not acquire). 'Emergency medical personnel at trauma centers might be looking at this too.' The HC1 will augment what users see by providing additional data, he said. Multiple units could be networked together and share information. Video here. "
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Motorola HC1: Head-Worn Computing For Workplaces With Deep Pockets

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  • I have all sorts of ideas of things I'd create with an affordable device of this type and an API. Feels like this might be the next application gold rush, if we can get an affordable one that doesn't make you look like a mouth breathing neck beard.
    • by Krneki (1192201)
      Then look no further then smart phones evolution. To make virtual reality affordable we need affordable high resolution screens and a lot of computing power at minimal consumption, exactly what the mobile market is pushing right now.
  • It could also have a market for one-handed porn adicts
  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday October 22, 2012 @11:02AM (#41728721) Homepage Journal
    Pictures [motorola.com]

    Hideous Contraption 1

    Head Crab 1

    Heavy Crap 1

    Horrifying Cranium 1

    Headborn Casheater 1?
    • by ElmoGonzo (627753)
      Head Cancer -- what's the EMF rating on this puppy?
    • Pictures [motorola.com]

      Hideous Contraption 1

      Head Crab 1

      Heavy Crap 1

      Horrifying Cranium 1

      Headborn Casheater 1?

      Wasn't there an entire section in Snow Crash about 'Gargoyles' who had embraced wearable computing in a big way, and how everybody hated them and thought that they were freaks?

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I knew I wouldn't have to scroll far to find the Snow Crash reference.

        A guy named Lagos had something whose description sounded a lot like this thing, but with a visible laser scanner on it, too. That didn't end well. Mental note, infrared.

        • Does someone with your sig ever need to scroll far to find a Snow Crash reference?

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Does someone with your sig ever need to scroll far to find a Snow Crash reference?

            Well, it's that or I have to leave a comment...

    • Harmed Cervicals 1, Hooray Chiropractors 1...
    • Funny. At first glance I thought it was actually "HCl" [wikipedia.org], which is something that you would not exactly want on your head.

  • And so where's the ACTUAL difference between this and the Google Goggles? Besides the pricetag? (Or in other words: what justifies that price difference?)

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      And so where's the ACTUAL difference between this and the Google Goggles? Besides the pricetag? (Or in other words: what justifies that price difference?)

      Google Glass is a consumer level device. This is an enterprise-level device. So lots of little things, like specifications, ability to attach accessories, probably battery life. It's hard to give numbers, as AFAIK Google hasn't released detailed specifications about Glass yet, but in general, they aren't even targeted at similar markets.

      • But nothing keeps an enterprise customer from buying consumer-class equipment if that also fits the specific requirements.

        Those similar priced markets only exist because they have different requirements. "Targeting a business market segment" is not a carte blanche for selling the same crap at overprized rates.

        Except of course this company: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2012-10-21/ [dilbert.com]

      • And so where's the ACTUAL difference between this and the Google Goggles? Besides the pricetag? (Or in other words: what justifies that price difference?)

        Google Glass is a consumer level device. This is an enterprise-level device. So lots of little things, like...

        Calling them "Enterprise". That's always good for a 3X markup in marketing alone

    • by rlwhite (219604)

      I'm not familiar with the HC1 specifically, but I am familiar with Motorola Solutions products in general. They target enterprise, and typically the devices are ruggedized. They write their own web browser that includes APIs for their built-in peripherals (barcode scanner, MSR, etc.) Their Android devices also feature significant tailoring of the OS, for example they have multi-user support in an Android 2.3 build. In the past year they have acquired RhoMobile and integrated that company's cross-platfor

      • by Synerg1y (2169962)

        Depends on the industry, some companies have far deeper pockets than others, everybody operates at a different level of efficiency... besides all that man hours tend to be the big cost to most employers, so if this is proven to reduce those, the investment will pay for itself over time.

    • by citizenr (871508)

      >The HC1 runs Microsoft Windows CE 6.0 Professional

      Ahahaha looks like they dug up this project form archives.

    • what justifies that price difference?

      Applications. Back when Microvision was in this space, they had customers like airplane engine repair. The techs could overlay a schematic of the engine on the engine they were working on, for instance. How much is that capability worth? Probably at prices over $15K, they'd start to to question the cost effectiveness.

      Besides - nothing like early adopters to help fund development of the mass-market product, all while being competent beta testers for your effort.

  • ...I, uh, I want you to collect magazines from everybody.

    Hudson -> Is he fuckin' crazy?
    Frost -> What do you expect us to use man... Harsh language?
    Gorman -> Flame units only - I want rifles slung.
    Apone -> But, sir...
    Gorman -> Do it Apone... And no grenades.

  • With a price tag like that, I'm sure this thing could pack some decent quality hardware. But the actual value of a system like this is entirely dependent on the software it comes with, and I don't know how much I trust Motorola's ability to deliver on that aspect of it.

    The huge advantage of a platform like Android, iOS, Windows etc is the enormous ecosystem of third party developers, who have relatively open access to fill in all the gaps in the software feature set that originally shipped with the hardware

    • by paiute (550198)

      Anyway, it certainly looks the part for a cool cyberpunk character design in a movie.

      Yeah, a '90s movie.

  • We had Motorola HC12 boards all the way back in the 90's, and they were complete crap back then too!

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday October 22, 2012 @12:09PM (#41729565)

    I've worked for organizations with very deep pockets before.

    Usually that isn't all that great an indicator regarding expenditures because these same organizations had short arms.

  • I scanned through various product pages, and couldn't find anything about display resolution. I'm not interested in sitting through videos. Can anybody summarize some actual specifications?

    • by Artifex (18308)

      I scanned through various product pages, and couldn't find anything about display resolution. I'm not interested in sitting through videos. Can anybody summarize some actual specifications?

      From one of the links [motorola.com]:

      Display type

      Full color, SVGA, Transmissive TFT (800 x 600) micro-
      display with an adjustable backlight; Field of view: 32
      degrees (diagonal); Virtual image size: 15 in. diagonal

  • And I thought my laptop case and touch-screens got oily fast from fingers. Head-worn devices will bring it to a whole new level for a lot of people.

  • If anyone actually came to me and said they "needed" one of these, they would instantly become the laughing stock of the company.

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