While Google’s Project Glass certainly leads the pack when it comes to wearable computers, they aren’t the only show in town. The new Motorola Solutions HC1 is just one of Google’s competitors in the wearable computer market.
Before you get too confused, this isn’t the same company as the Google-owned Motorola Mobility. Motorola Solutions is an independent company, but they do have similar roots. So what sets these two devices apart? Quite a bit, actually. With Project Glass you get a sleek device that runs on Android and is aimed at everyday consumers and business professionals. In contrast, the bulkier Motorola headset runs on Windows CE and is aimed at engineers and fieldworkers.
The HC1 also has different hardware than Google’s Project Glass. The Motorola wearable computer runs on an 800MHz OMAP3 dual-core processor and has a virtual 15-inch panel. Other special features include a custom speech recognition system, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, twin bi-directional noise-canceling microphones, USB, 9-axis heading tracking, and Windows CE 6.0 Professional. Curiously, there is no mobile broadband with this headset.
The biggest “killer feature” in the HC1 is the device’s remote communication abilities. The bulky wearable computer allows a fieldworker to connect to a remote agent for sharing information such as manuals, videos and diagrams. Using a detachable camera, the wearer can also show the agent exactly what they are seeing in real-time. Besides the communication aspects, the HC1 can also access files, movies and data directly stored on the mobile computer.
Both Google’s glasses and the HC1 headset have their merits and will likely be used for very different types of work. For those that are curious, the Motorola Solutions computer will cost around $4,000 – $5,000 a unit, though Motorola will offer volume discounts. What do you think of the HC1?