Through the looking GLXSS: augmented reality a dream come true for couriers and doctors, says Chinese firm making ‘super specs’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 February, 2016, 7:27pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 February, 2016, 1:35pm

Companies in the logistics and medical field may soon be using augmented reality technology to increase their productivity - courtesy of a pair of smart glasses by Chinese start-up LLVision.

Dubbed GLXSS (pronounced “glax”), the smart glasses resemble Google Glass, a wearable computer housed in a pair of specs that allows users to take photographs, shoot videos and even display real-time navigation.

But instead of focussing on consumer use, GLXSS is targeting enterprises, said LLVision CEO Wu Fei. The Beijing-based company also develops software and applications for its clients to use alongside the device.

Augmented reality technology allows the user to supplement their view of the real world with computer-generated information in the form of images, overlaid text or video.

“GLXSS can add the necessary information based on the users’ point of view to help them better accomplish certain tasks,” said Wu

Augmented reality can also help streamline work processes. For example, a courier wearing these glasses could use them to scan barcodes on packages instead of relying on a handheld scanner, he added.

WATCH: Australia through the eyes of GLXSS

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Another spokesperson for the company said the X in the product’s name represents its “X-factor”.

GLXSS comes equipped with a Cortex A7 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, according to the company. It also has a nifty 8-megapixel camera that is capable of recording 1080p video.

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And at 3,999 yuan (US$608), the device costs less than half Google’s offering (US$1500). It can only be purchased at present via China’s e-commerce powerhouse JD.com, meaning it is mostly targeting a Chinese audience.

Wu said the logistics, courier and other industries stand to greatly benefit from this kind of technology.

“Courier companies often need to scan barcodes on each parcel before sorting them for delivery,” he said.

“But we have developed software that works with GLXSS, such that the scanning of barcodes can be done by simply wearing the device, making the process hands-free and allowing the employees to be more mobile at work and accomplish more at the same time.”

In December, LLVision worked with China’s People’s Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing, providing one of its surgeons, Dr. Lu Shichun, with a GLXSS.

WATCH: Experience how it feels to look though a Google Glass (GLXSS has no such public videos at present)

Lu wore it while performing surgery on a patient with bile duct cancer. The device enabled a video stream from Lu’s point of view to be broadcast in real-time to participants at a medical forum via a pre-installed server.

LLVision said it will continue to work on improving the device for the medical industry.

It also hopes to develop technology that can display X-ray images of a patient on the GLXSS display. This would allow surgeons to easily access information without disrupting surgery.

But although the company has racked up a numer of successful cases where professionals have used the device, Wu said the biggest obstacle to augmented reality going mainstream is that most companies don’t know how to properly integrate it into their working practices.

“Augmented reality technology already exists, but industries do not yet place enough emphasis on using it,” said Wu.

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“On paper, the benefits of augmented reality can make perfect sense, in many cases helping businesses make dramatic differences in productivity and gain a competitive edge,” said Bryan Ma, vice president of market research firm IDC’s client devices research.

“But in practice, it might not be as easy as it sounds. Businesses already have existing processes in place, some of which have already been in place for such a long time that sheer inertia means that [shifting to augmented reality] won’t be easy.”

Ma expects 75 per cent of augmented reality usage will stem from commercial applications like healthcare and manufacturing rather than consumer use by 2020,.