Knowing what’s next in consumer electronics? See what the army is doing and add ten to twenty years. Just like the internet (back then called ARPAnet) a lot of technology finds it origin on the battlefield. And while we are waiting for products like Glass to hit the consumer market, Q-Warrior is the latest version of a helmet-mounted display technology from BAE Systems called Q-Sight line. It’s main goal? To provide soldiers in the field with rapid, real-time “situational awareness.”
Besides enhanced night vision, waypoints, routing information, the ability to identify hostile and non-hostile forces, track personnel and assets and coordinate small unit actions, the helmet also overlays the view of a soldier with a data and video stream. Q-Warrior will initially be deployed with Special Forces and at the section commander level, but BAE says it expects the technology to eventually reach all soldiers. Watch a live video here.
The real (business) value of wearables
The unique strength of wearable computing is that it add connectivity where it was hitherto impossible. A forklift driver cannot possibly have a laptop on his lap all the time. But digital glasses that give access to the right kind of information add connectivity in a situation where that was previously impossible. A docter also need to keep his hands free for example.
To find out where your business can deploy wearable technology, just consider gaps in the information known about employees. Where can real time connections with information add value and contribute to the work someone is doing, if only to make things easier or more efficient? Value is determined by the extent to which the information links up with and responds to the user’s context and raise the situational awareness.