Microsoft Groups integration can help drive desire for RealWear’s head-mounted industrial units – GeekWire-TechWeu

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Taylor Soper

RealWear worked with Tencent on this headset that lets health professionals in China to conduct movie conferencing with distant colleagues. It can also velocity up the physique temperature screening course of action. (RealWear Image)

As quite a few tech startups scramble to slash bills and discover new income streams amid the COVID-19 outbreak, RealWear is dealing with just the reverse.

The Vancouver, Clean.-centered startup noticed a 35% boost in company past month as it handles a flood of requests for its head-mounted, voice-managed devices that recently built-in Microsoft Teams.

The pandemic has pressured production providers to figure out how to maintain their factories managing when adhering to social distancing mandates.

RealWear’s headset offers field staff a way to collaborate with distant colleagues by means of palms-free of charge remote online video contacting, photo capture, doc navigation, and a lot more, all driven by voice technology and a 7-inch pill display screen that sits just below line of sight. It is related to a Google Glass notion, but 1 that is personalized for industrial use situations (Google sells a competing enterprise solution).

For illustration, a wind turbine producer is employing RealWear headsets so its on-the-ground workers can get true-time guidance from suppliers positioned elsewhere.

There are also clients reconfiguring their generation traces to assist make ventilators and PPE tools for healthcare staff. They are using RealWear headsets to rapidly coach staff members on producing competency.

The COVID-19 outbreak is accelerating the implementation of technology-powered solutions such as telehealth and online grocery. RealWear is suffering from something related with the use of its headsets. Boundaries this kind of as pricing or stability “seem to be less urgent than finding it deployed in this sort of disaster condition,” reported RealWear President Sanjay Jhawar.

“A good deal of the modest objections are currently being moved in excess of in pursuit of the more substantial photo of keeping a factory jogging,” he stated.

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RealWear is effective with much more than 50 tech associates to help power the software that operates on its hardware, but none much larger than Microsoft, which just lately introduced its Groups collaboration app on the HMT-1 gadgets. The tech huge very last month highlighted its partnership with RealWear when touting increased utilization of Groups because of to the pandemic as distant get the job done surges.

RealWear lately mounted thermal cameras from FLIR directly on the HMT-1 headset. (RealWear Image)

Considering that the Teams announcement on March 19, “we’ve seen a incredible explosion of curiosity from shoppers,” said Jhawar. Element of the enchantment is that several providers now use Business office 365 and Groups for other responsibilities, so they can conveniently integrate the headset into existing workflows.

The pandemic has also designed a new organization vertical for RealWear: healthcare.

RealWear China, the company’s joint enterprise, partnered with Chinese tech large Tencent in February to develop a palms-cost-free option in China’s hospitals. The headset allows medical doctors to carry out online video conferencing with remote colleagues, and can pace up the entire body temperature screening approach.

Considering the fact that then, RealWear has figured out a way to mount thermal cameras from FLIR specifically on the HMT-1 headset. The notion is to give buyers a hands-absolutely free process to rapidly evaluate a group of people for large temperatures and likely fevers.

Jhawar stated staff will finally appear back again to factories — “robots really don’t correct them selves,” he famous. But he thinks the pandemic will power companies to speed up adoption of electronic and cloud-similar systems this sort of as the RealWear headsets.

“The ability of companies to entry know-how from distant areas and carry it into their each day operations — that will get more quickly, and it will adhere,” mentioned Jhawar, who helped start out RealWear in 2016 soon after a 6-calendar year stint at Sonim Systems.

RealWear has far more than 20,000 products presently in use. A single-third of its income are now COVID-19 associated, the business explained.

Past yr, RealWear raised an $80 million Sequence B personal debt and equity spherical, bringing its complete funding to $100 million. Investors consist of Teradyne, Qualcomm, Bose, Kopin Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, Columbia Ventures, Mentors Fund, Realmax Technological know-how, and Plug and Participate in Tech Centre. RealWear is ranked No. 86 on the Group200, our index of best Pacific Northwest startups.

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