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Motorola unveils a computer that straps onto your head

Imagine a computer that isn’t a rectangular box like the PC on your desk or the smartphone in your pocket. Nor is it driven by a touchscreen or mouse and keyboard. Instead you wear it on your head and interact with it through voice commands. This isn’t a fantasy look-ahead to what computers may be like in years to come. It’s an actual product that is scheduled to go on sale in the New Year.

Just don’t expect an exciting name.
The HC1 is made by Motorola Solutions, which should not to be confused with the other half of what used to be the same company, Motorola Mobility, a handset-maker now owned by Google.

The device looks a bit like a massively overgrown telephone headset, with overtones of a cycle helmet and maybe a gas mask thrown in.

It comes in two parts: there’s an adjustable cradle that fixes the device to your head, and the computer itself is in a metal bar that curls around the side of your head.

A miniature screen is located at the front, in front of your face. You need to look down slightly to view it.

Using voice commands, the user can order the device to open files, check emails or zoom in with the camera to look in closer detail at what’s in front of them.

Hands-free helper

It’s intended for use in working environments where people need to access complex information, and having both hands free is an important priority.

“If you imagine somebody up, say, a telegraph pole at the very top, needing to rewire something, they don’t really want to be fiddling with a laptop,” explains Paul Reed, Motorola’s mobile computing product manager.

“They can get all the information they need and do the job safely with this device.”

Potential users include maintenance engineers in remote locations, construction workers, architects and warehouse staff pulling stock off the shelves following complex computerised schedules.

Nottingham-based software firm, Ikanos Consulting, is already developing an app for the product called Paramedic Pro. It is designed to let ambulance workers view medical records and stream video back to a hospital to prepare doctors for a patient’s arrival.

Another firm has shown interest in using the headset to help its workers maintain power lines at heights. Its staff are required to climb out of helicopters to do the job – it is easy to understand how a hands-free computer would be useful in these circumstances!

Read full story on BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated October 26, 2016 at 10:54 PM
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