Vuzix M400 AR glasses add Onsight Cube thermal scanner for coronavirus

When Vuzix introduced its M400 smart glasses last year, it expected that the enterprise-class mixed reality wearable would be used for medical purposes, such as dental work. Now the company has found a particularly timely application for the hardware: real time thermal scanning of the sort that could be used to help screen people for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Vuzix is continuing a previously announced partnership with Librestream, maker of Onsight AR and collaborative software, to bring the thermal imaging technology to front line screeners. While Vuzix provides the glasses, Librestream is supplying an industrial wearable camera called Onsight Cube, as well as Onsight software that helps wirelessly connect the screeners to viewers located elsewhere.

Potential users include medical screeners, first responders, and border patrol guards, backed by global medical experts or other officials. Colorful images provide heatmaps that can be used to quickly detect body temperatures in excess of specific thresholds, as well as other heat flare ups or reductions.

As the wearer looks at people and sees the camera’s raw thermal video, the practitioners located elsewhere can capture snapshots or videos, adjust the lighting and zoom, and otherwise control the thermal settings. The companies expect that the wearable will speed up health data sharing and increase practitioners’ safety, in addition to letting front line workers take measurements without using their hands.

Concerns about the coronavirus have reached a fever pitch this week, as U.S. cities have clamped down on large public gatherings, and the federal government has restricted travel from multiple countries. Infection and death tolls continue to mount, as the virus is believed to have a relatively high contagion rate while remaining largely undetected for days.

Pricing for the combined Vuzix-Librestream solution hasn’t yet been released. The M400 sells alone for $1,800, and notably can be used as an Android-based smart wearable for other purposes, powered by Qualcomm’s XR1 processor.

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