Toshiba is introducing a new AR glasses solution that could rival Google Glass Enterprise as a high-tech way to improve workflow and efficiency in manufacturing, logistics and technically-skilled jobs.
Toshiba's dynaEdge AR system is a rugged, lightweight AR glasses solution that comes complete with a navigational handset and is compatible with Windows 10. Using Vision DE Suite, businesses can work with Toshiba to set up data and cloud systems tailored to their needs. Google Glass Enterprise introduced this type of technology in 2017, and Toshiba's latest release shows how AR is continually expanding in the manufacturing and logistics field.
Toshiba's technology can be scaled and immediately incorporated in a business's workflow. dynaEdge supports storage up to 512GB and includes up to 16GB of RAM. The glasses arm, which can be mounted on Toshiba glasses, can be pivoted and swiveled so the viewer can choose how to view the device's screen. It also has a touch sensor on the side, a speaker and a camera.
Google Glass Enterprise includes similar features, including 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, blink and wink sensors, and 720p video recording. Glass Enterprise is being used by several companies, one of which said it had decreased its production time at warehouses by up to 46 percent.
One major difference between these two solutions is software. Toshiba offers Windows 10 compatibility and its own software for the technology called Vision DE Suite. Google partnered with other companies like Upskill and Streye, to provide Google Glass users with software that worked for their business. This assessment of Glass is based on Streye's Glass Enterprise option. [Read related story: Google Glass Enterprise Edition: Is It Good for Business?]
There are some major hardware differences between Glass Enterprise and dynaEdge. dynaEdge includes a set of glasses and a handset that connects at the back of the rail-based hardware. The hardware can be mounted on a few Toshiba glasses models, and the handset moves the weight of the system off the user's head and into a convenient, hand-held device. The glasses only weigh 1.65 ounces.
Glass Enterprise includes all the hardware in the glasses. Users don't have a handset, but can use a touchscreen on the side of the glasses to navigate. dynaEdge also offers this feature. Despite not having a separate handset, the Glass Enterprise specs are still lightweight.
Both solutions offer 5-megapixel cameras, but dynaEdge offers 1080p video recording, edging Google's 720p capability. Both also include built-in speakers and microphones for easy communication with administrators or remote workers. One main difference between the two is the positioning of the physical screen – Glass Enterprise's screen is fixed in a position just above the eye while the dynaEdge screen can be rotated and adjusted into a place that's convenient for the user.
From a hardware standpoint, dynaEdge and Glass Enterprise are two very different solutions that offer the same result. Glass Enterprise's edition is arguably sleeker, but the functionality and flexibility of dynaEdge makes it a great option for workers in the field.
Toshiba offers an all-in-one hardware solution that can be customized to your business's needs. They can also help train your IT department and employees on how to use and develop the software. Vision DE Suite is broken down into three main levels: communication, documentation and tools. Users can video conference with technicians in remote places or talk with operators and administrators while they work. In the documentation tab, users can pull up blueprints and schematics of what they're working on. The tools function serves to provide other resources for the worker.Credit: Toshiba Credit: Toshiba
Glass Enterprise offers similar features, like video recording, video and phone calling, built-in blueprints and schematics, and other resources. The difference between Toshiba and Google's products is that Toshiba's is Windows 10 compatible and has a software infrastructure that can be scaled and applied to many different businesses. Google's offering is tailored more toward the needs of specific businesses – enterprise users will have to work directly with Google to develop the right solution.
If you want to set up dynaEdge or Glass Enterprise for your business, you'll have to talk directly with either Toshiba or Google. The price model will likely follow an upfront hardware cost and a subscription-based monthly fee for software and support, depending on your plan and which company you choose. For context, Streye offers Glass Enterprise Edition directly to businesses or consumers for around $1,800. Toshiba said its hardware would cost $1,899 in addition to a subscription-type fee based on business needs.
Both these solutions provide businesses and manufacturers with a way to increase efficiency and cut production costs. These companies provide hands-on training and support for slowly integrating this type of technology into your work flow. The kind of personalized attention both Toshiba and Google provide can make this solution ideal for larger manufacturing, logistics and operations businesses looking to add a new type of technology to their arsenal.