I am pleased to present the second blog in a series of interviews with companies introducing interesting and potentially disruptive emerging technologies that impact the new era of Industry 4.0. Today we explore product innovations in augmented and mixed reality technologies (AR/MR) glasses and software with Nick Cherukuri of the company ThirdEye.
Nick, please tell me about your company and products and how they can be applied to help us meet new challenges.
ThirdEye is a leader in smart glasses and AR/MR software development- with our X Series Mixed Reality Glasses and ThirdEye MR Workspace App software platforms being used by organizations around the world. Mixed reality glasses bring about a new era of hands-free human interaction by directly interacting with surrounding objects through the Internet of Things (IoT) or placing digital information directly into your field-of-view. ThirdEye has hundreds of software developers creating apps focused on enterprise applications. ThirdEye also have an App Store where third-party developer apps can be found & ThirdEye’s products retail around the world via our distributor channels. From everyday consumers to Fortune 500 companies, ThirdEye is bringing the power of mixed reality to them. Mixed reality has the potential to change the way the world operates and our vision is to help generate the future.
ThirdEye’s background is its team has over 20+ years of military DoD experience developing AR and other technologies for the US Military. For example, there was a range finder system called “PAWS” system that we developed, it is a unique system that when paired with the X2 MR Glasses, a soldier can look through the X2 and view information such as where to aim taking into factors such as wind speed, altitude, distance to target and other situational factors. The X2 provides a wide field of view and a wide range of target information to be displayed.
Now for First Responders, we are using our X2 Glasses & workspace software to allow a front-line EMS worker to hands-free communicate and stream their live field of view to a remote expert. We also have a thermal camera addition that allows first responders to obtain a thermal view of a patient without having to physically touch the patient- enabling first responders to be more safe and effective in the field.
How do you define the differences between virtual and augmented reality?
Virtual reality immerses the user into a separate world entirely (i.e. an Oculus Quest) and is primarily used for gaming & entertainment purposes. Augmented Reality keeps the user in the real world but “augments” and provides more info to the user. For example, image recognition of an object or a live annotation. Whereas virtual reality replaces your vision, augmented reality adds to it. AR devices like the X2 MR Glasses are transparent, letting you see everything in front of you as if you are wearing a large pair of sunglasses. The technology is designed for completely free movement while projecting images over whatever you look at. AR displays can offer something as simple as a data overlay that shows the time, to something as complicated as holograms floating in the middle of a room. While VR completely covers and replaces your field of vision, AR apps show on the Glasses screen, and can project images in a limited area in front of your eyes- enabling the user to still have their peripheral vision which is critical for enterprise. So AR is useful for aiding workers for enterprises (healthcare, manufacturing, field services) while VR is used for consumer gaming mostly.
As Covid19 has caused us to distance and operate more in a digital environment, where will be new applications for your technology?
The current climate is leading to remote work optimization- at ThirdEye we are using our AR platforms like our Workspace remote collaboration app on our Glasses for hands-free connect for customers. The security/privacy of this remote work and sharing date is critical which is why we only use remote work platforms that offer end-to-end encryption. 5G can have a valuable impact on industries. Using a 5G connection, live video streaming for remote assistance can be low latency <5ms and offer a more seamless experience for frontline workers. For example, medics or first responders wearing the X2 MR Glasses can connect to a doctor located in a hospital with live audio/video communication. A front-line telecom worker can get diagram & step-by-step instructions displayed faster and improve worker efficiency (~40% savings in task time) & safety Rendering a lot of data like 3D models and diagrams also is improved with 5G. A frontline worker can also simply slip a 5G hotspot offered by one of the major cellular networks in their pocket or leave in their work setting & connect up to fifteen X2 MR Glasses to it. Overall 5G will lead to faster information being transmitted for AR Glasses enabling better user experiences and improved safety and efficiency.
Can you expand on new uses of AR/MR for Telehealth?
ThirdEye is seeing three main AR use cases for healthcare: Telehealth, AR Vision Loss & AR 3D surgical overlay. For telehealth, ThirdEye’s AR platforms are HIPPA compliant so patient data can be transmitted from a hospital database to a frontline EMS workers (Video Link). Telehealth enables front line workers and patients to access a remote expert Doctor and receive a diagnosis. AR enables the user to be hands-free and not have to repeatedly touch a phone or tablet. The X2 Glasses can screenshot and record and save all patient data. AR can also help aid people suffering from macular degeneration by maximizing (zooming in) to what they are seeing, doing OCR (text to recognition), color changes, and other fixes that help improve the daily lives of people suffering from vision loss. Unlike VR, which replaces the natural senses and can introduce vertigo and other nauseous symptoms, AR helps enhance the real world, which is the optimal solution for vision loss. In a study of patients with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited degenerative eye disease that results in poor vision, Keck School of Medicine of USC researchers found that adapted augmented reality glasses can improve patients’ mobility by 50% and grasp performance by 70%.
HIPPA compliance is a requirement for vendors who handle any patient medical data- by making our platforms secure to pass HIPPA, ThirdEye’s Glasses and workspace app can handle transmitting data from a hospital to an EMS ambulance frontline worker. For example, if an EMS worker can view patient data, it will provide more information for the worker to allow them to better diagnose the patient. The EMS worker can also enter any symptoms they see into the workspace app for the patient.
If you would like more info or a demo, please visit www.thirdeyegen.com
Thank you Nick for an informative interview on an interesting emerging tech offering impacting our evolving digital world!