NEC Testing New Augmented Reality Workplace Efficiency Solution

By Andrew Fenn
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NEC has announced it is developing a new augmented reality solution for the workplace.

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The new technology will allow users to perform tasks without taking their focus off of what they’re working on and is targeted towards employees in manufacturing, logistics and other industries. The solution is currently being tested at a hospital pharmacy and a manufacturing floor, where subjects have identified an increase in productivity and a reduction in errors.

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The solution uses a combination of smart glasses and the accelerometer of a smartwatch worn on the wrist, in conjunction with an updated version of NEC’s ARmKeypad. In an official press release, Hiroshi Kuzuno, General Manager of System Integration and Services Market Development Division at NEC, described how the technology is used.

“In contrast to NEC’s original ARmKeypad, which created a virtual selection screen on a user’s arm, the ‘eyes-free’ ARmKeypad in this solution displays an input selection screen on a pair of smart glasses. As a result, users can make selections simply by inclining and touching their arm, which allows work to be completed without the need to look away from objects. This is very helpful in workplaces where mistakes are likely to occur due to eye movements or workplaces where working speed is required”.

The device can also be used to scan barcodes, display lists and direct employees to the specific items they need, claiming to reduce workplace mistakes to “virtually zero”. A reduction in working time of 18.2% has also been found during the testing phase.