Vuzix Augmented Reality (AR) glasses are getting a significant road test. Literally. Vuzix M400 smart glasses are hitting the streets of Japan in ambulances for a trial with emergency medical technicians (EMTs) aimed at gauging the effectiveness of relaying medical information from first responders to caregivers at hospitals. Currently, EMTs primarily communicate with hospital staff via mobile phones, sharing information vocally. With smart glasses in the mix, that real-time information sharing includes much more.
So what can the Vuzix M400 do? Its makers proclaim they’re the “world’s most powerful smart glasses” with voice control for hands-free operation, an autofocus high-resolution camera, and a heads-up display on the lenses. They’re waterproof, Wi-Fi connected, and integrated with a Vuzix Companion app that provides GPS location information through smartphones. The app allows users to manage the glasses, monitor network connections, view battery life, and handle the storage of video and photos, as well as offering remote control of applications on the glasses with a virtual trackpad.
In the trial with Japan’s Shunto Izu Fire Department, the idea is to convey medical information from the ambulance workers to the people at the hospital from the moment they encounter the patient up until arrival at the hospital. This could include the relaying of information such as ECG readings and vital signs while providing views of the patient’s condition that doctors can see in real time. Through this remote viewing, doctors can in turn instruct EMTs on any in-transit treatment that’s needed, such as administering blood transfusions and applying sutures.
As mobility is a key factor in the field application, a main feature of Vuzix’s M400 is hot swapping: the ability to replace batteries without the smartglasses shutting down or going into sleep mode (which is the case with many other smart glasses on the market). A supplemental internal battery keeps the Vuzix glasses going while the user makes the battery switch, which could prove crucial in an emergency. Vuzix CEO Paul Travers adds, “Our glasses are lightweight, comfortable, and completely wireless, making them ideal to be used alongside the other head-mounted equipment EMTs must wear.”