The Microsoft HoloLens is certified as protective eyewear, and Microsoft promises a hardhat accessory in 2018, but some companies are already working in the field with the headset and needed the protection now.
Geographic Information System provider Meemim already has a HoloLens-based application which allows users to see through the ground and see the location of pipes, cables, sewers and other hidden features, which offers great utility in a construction environment.
The same environment however often demands a hardhat, with its absence being a fireable offence.
Not prepared to wait for Microsoft’s solution, they have created an adaptor of their own which allows them to use the HoloLens with a pre-certified hardhat without compromising the protection and features of either.
Constructed of 3D printed elements, it attaches to the same attachment points of the HoloLens headband and actually makes the headset more comfortable to wear for extended periods by distributing the weight over a much wider area of your head than the headband.
The modification only requires the removal of 2 screws from the HoloLens and does not void your warranty or compromise the protection and comfort of either the headset or the hardhat.
The hardhat was created with the help of Birdstone Innovations Inc. from Toronto and has gone through a number of versions, with version 3 currently in the works. All parts can be 3D printed or sculpted using moulds.
Meemim notes their solution works splendidly, with installation only taking 2 minutes, and with the device easily reverted to its original state by simply removing two screws and replacing the attachments with the original supporting band.
Their hardhat has seen over 200 hours of field testing and the team are willing to share their knowledge and can be contacted by email here. They are planning further developments to the concept, notably making it easier to use the HoloLens in bright sunlight, a current weakness of the headset.
Follow their progress and read about their other applications here.