We were lucky to get early access to the official Trimble Hard Hat for Microsoft HoloLens. They arrived today, so I will offer my first impressions in this post.
But first, why would anyone need a hard hat for the HoloLens? If you want to even step foot on a construction site today you must have proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); hard hat, safety glasses, reflective vest, etc. At LHB we have a profession Safety Coordinator to ensure we stay in compliance in general and on the various government and industrial projects we work on. Thus, if we want to start exploring uses for Augmented Reality on job sites, a hard hat that accommodates the HoloLens is a must.
I can sum up my first impression in one word...
It exceeded my expectations. In addition to being required, when required, it has two huge benefits;
- It is so much easier to take on and off and switch between users.
- It is so much more comfortable.
Everyone knows how to put a hard hat on. The HoloLens, by itself, can be a little awkward to put on. I almost always help someone the first time... saying "just position it on your nose and I will tighten it for you".
Once on, the HoloLens can put a lot of weight on your nose. Especially for new users who do not know who to adjust the weight to the head strap. But, even for that to work the strap has to be pretty tight on your head. With the Trimble hard hat solution, the weight is simply a non-issue.
Like the HoloLens without the hard hat, it still fits over prescription glasses (top picture) and safety glasses (all of the pictures of myself).
The box comes with the hard hat, connectors, lanyard stickers and a special T7 screw driver to remove the head strap from the HoloLens and reconnect the device to the hard hat. A user guide is also included with nice color images and step-by-step instructions on attaching the HoloLens to the hard hat. Once the set up is complete, it is not mean to be used apart from the hard hat, without using the screw driver and reversing the set up steps. Given the benefits I mentioned above, I think I will just leave the hard hat on all the time now.
The yellow connectors also allow a slight adjustment of the lens, up and down, relative to the brim of the hard hat. Notice the three gear-type positions in the image below.
Here are a couple more photos of me using the Trimble hard hat with the HoloLens. The screen behind me is actually what I am looking at in the HoloLens.
The hard hat conforms to ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2014 Type 1, Class E for impact safety and electrical protection. And per the provided Health and Safety document that came in the box, "wearing safety glasses under the HoloLens is recommend". It also says the Trimble hard hat is "endorsed by Microsoft and will not void your Microsoft HoloLens Commercial Suite warranty".
Again, when a hard hat is required this is a no brainier. But given the added ease of use and comfort, it may be worth the $300 US price tag alone. This post may sound a little sale pitchy, but we paid full price for them and just happy to share how much I like them! I may have hinted at a post for early access, but no promises were made:)
We have been using the HoloLens on a number of projects. The "case study" post on this blog is the #3 post (on this blog) with a couple thousand views; Microsoft HoloLens in Architecture; Case Study with Vertical Endeavors Rock Climbing. That post, and included video, also use the Trimble SketchUp Viewer for HoloLens.
For more information, or to order, click this link: Trimble Mixed Reality
Here is the official Microsoft HoloLens site: Microsoft HoloLens
Just received the carrying case in a separate shipment. Very handy as the hard hat and HoloLen will not be separated.
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