I sat down with Sina Fateh, Executive Vice President, Ketan Joshi, VP of Marketing and Theo Goguely, Senior Product Manager of Atheer Labs at Health 2.0 to learn more about their immersive augmented reality glasses.
Tell me about the company.
Ketan: “We call it augmented interactive reality – you can reach out and interact with the device very naturally while communicating with your peers.”
Sina: “I’m a medical doctor by background – a tablet is good to have, but when doctors are moving around, they have to bring the tablet with them everywhere. If I have a tablet in my hand, then I’m not being hands-on with my patient any more. We allow doctors to access information at any time, without losing patient interaction.”
What are other problems that this solves?
Sina: “As a surgeon, the time you spend changing gloves and washing your hands, scrubbing in and out, can take hours per day. If you need to access a touch screen, you have to take your gloves off. If you need to check data on a computer outside the operating room, you have to scrub out and back in. We want to reduce all this unnecessarily wasted time. Also, Atheer eliminates health contamination. Contamination is not just viral – when you have many people using the same keyboard to access information, you have a lot of fingers touching shared hospital technology, which is an easy way to pass on germs.”
The system has wide ranging capabilities since annotations can be overlaid on live objects. The system can also display information on top of a video feed.
The device – dual displays, see-through optics, variety of 3-D sensors to capture hand gestures and objects, RGB camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, and more.
How do you compete with other ‘Glass’ devices?
Ketan: “Google Glass is a monocular device. There is very little surface area to show information. Other wearables are tethered, so you have to physically touch the device or an external trackpad. This is the first glass device where you can communicate your data to others by simply gesturing in the air. It is contamination free and mobile. We have a strong patent portfolio that highlights our specialty in virtual touch and visual ergonomics.”
Sina: “We can personalize content and fit to you. As soon as you wear it, we do a tiny calibration tailored to you. Our brain likes to be focused on one thing rather than many – especially when we are reading – so anything we see in-between is eliminated. That is why we went for two lenses. With one lens there is no depth. With Atheer, I can read a 3D annotation while looking at you at the same time.”
Theo: “You can render objects in 3D and look at one object from all viewpoints.”
Theo Goguely, Senior Product Manager, demoing the device.
Who are your customers?
Kenta: “We are focused on enterprise companies because they understand the utility of the product in making job functions more efficient and safe. Consumer interest will catch up eventually.”
Theo: “We are iterating fast. With each version, the device will be lighter and smaller, which will be more socially acceptable as well.”
When are you aiming to launch to the public?
Atheer is looking to launch in the 2nd half of next year. They are initially concentrating on enterprise clients, with consumers to follow. Their enterprise target market includes industrial applications, healthcare applications (nurses, operating rooms, surgeons), oil and gas (remote field workers), defense and construction. Are you a developer interested in creating 3D applications for Atheer? SDK and docs can be found here: Developer Portal.