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How to Choose the Right Devices

Last Updated: May 26, 2020

Overview

Assembly, operations, and maintenance workers are becoming more productive and accurate thanks to Vuforia Expert Capture. The instructions they need to perform their jobs are now delivered when and where they need them. Determine whether 2D eyewear, 3D eyewear, smartphones, tablets, or computers are the best fit for your users.

One key advantage to delivering instructions with Vuforia Expert Capture—as opposed to paper-based instructions—is that the user’s hands are free to perform a task. For this reason, we recommend investing in eyewear devices for your users.

Device considerations

There are a number of factors you should consider when choosing devices:

  • Is it important for the people capturing and consuming work instructions to have their hands free?
  • Are there safety or compliance requirements for electronics in your work environment?
  • Where will workers use Vuforia Expert Capture? Are the environments cramped or poorly lit?
  • Is it important for workers to be immersed in their environment?

Compatible devices

Vuforia Expert Capture is compatible with: 

  • Microsoft HoloLens
  • Microsoft HoloLens 2
  • RealWear HMT-1
  • RealWear HMT-1Z1
  • Android phones and tablets (viewing procedures only)
  • iOS phones and tablets (viewing procedures only)
  • Desktop and laptop computers (editing and viewing procedures only)

3D eyewear: Microsoft HoloLens

The Microsoft HoloLens is a 3D eyewear device that leverages the full functionality of Vuforia Expert Capture.

Benefits:

  • Delivers work instructions, hands free
  • Experiences render in three dimensions and feel more immersive
  • The wearer uses hand gestures or voice commands to control the device
  • The device can guide the wearer through physical space in their real environment: If the worker needs to retrieve an object from across the room, the HoloLens will point them to the right spot
  • Conforms to the basic impact protection requirements of ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3 and EN 166 in North America and Europe
  • Workers can comfortably use the device while wearing helmets, safety glasses, and eyeglasses

Drawbacks:

2D eyewear: RealWear HMT-1 and HMT-1Z1

The RealWear HMT-1 and HMT-1Z1 are assisted-reality devices that display information in two dimensions.

Benefits:

  • Delivers work instructions, hands free
  • Displays information adjacent to the wearer’s field of view: doesn’t block the environment
  • Longer battery life and more lightweight than HoloLens
  • Drop proof and waterproof
  • Workers can comfortably use the device while wearing helmets, hats, safety glasses, and eyeglasses
  • Vuforia Expert Capture is compatible with two RealWear devices: The HMT-1 and HMT-1Z1. The RealWear HMT-1Z1 is intrinsically safe for use in explosive environments.

Drawbacks:

  • Displays information in two dimensions: not as immersive as HoloLens
  • Lacks spatial-awareness functionality: The device cannot guide the wearer through physical space while performing tasks
  • Operated using voice commands only (no gestures)
  • Vuforia Expert Capture is compatible with two RealWear devices: The HMT-1 and HMT-1Z1. The RealWear HMT-1 is not intrinsically safe for use in explosive environments: Review the health and safety information to ensure it’s safe to use in your environment

Phones and tablets: Android and iOS

Workers can view Vuforia Expert Capture work instructions on an iOS or Android phone or tablet. However, workers must use eyewear devices to capture/record procedures.

Benefits:

  • Use the devices you already have
  • Reduced training needs for frontline workers

Drawbacks:

  • Workers’ hands are occupied, making it more difficult to focus on instructions and task at hand, simultaneously
  • Displays information in two dimensions: not as immersive as HoloLens
  • Lacks ability to capture procedures in-situation 

Desktop and laptop computers

Workers can edit and view Vuforia Expert Capture work instructions on a laptop or desktop computer. However, you need eyewear devices to capture/record procedures. An internet connection and a Chrome or Microsoft Edge web browser are required to edit and view procedures.

Benefits:

  • Use the devices you already have
  • Reduced training needs for frontline workers

Drawbacks:

  • Workers’ hands are occupied, making it more difficult to focus on instructions and task at hand, simultaneously
  • If using desktop computers, workers aren’t mobile
  • Displays information in two dimensions: not as immersive as HoloLens
  • Lacks ability to capture procedures in-situation

While each device has definite benefits and drawbacks, personal preference may also guide your decision. If your organization is having difficulty choosing the right devices for your Vuforia Expert Capture project, try using Expert Capture on 2D eyewear, 3D eyewear, and a mobile device; then decide.

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