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Wearable Tech

Daqri is opening an augmented reality research center in Austria

An industrial smart helmet is the focus, with cars and more to come.

James Martin/CNET

The Intel-powered Daqri smart helmet is one of several players in the still-brewing AR-helmet landscape. The Daqri smart helmet (pronounced like the vacation nectar) was unveiled in January along with Intel, part of a dedicated push towards industrial use cases for augmented reality.

The Daqri helmet will arrive in a developer edition this fall, but in the meantime the research center will focus on building augmented reality out for a variety of devices. Daqri will start with the helmet, then move to other areas including wearables and cars.

According to Daqri CPO Roy Ashok, the company's AR research will start with industrial use cases. Then, the focus will shift to areas including architecture, medical, and eventually consumer.

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The Vienna-based Daqri Holographics Research Center will be led by Daniel Wagner, a former senior director of technology at Qualcomm.

The R&D center will look at applied research over a 12-to-18 month timeframe, as well as longer-range research. Both are needed in augmented reality hardware and software, where nothing has really succeeded yet (beyond Pokemon Go, which isn't really the same sort of thing). Microsoft's HoloLens might be the best of the bunch of AR-focused wearables, but even that hardware has a long way to go. At the moment, VR is far more polished, although AR has a lot of potential. According to Ashok, there aren't any public plans yet for VR products.

AR in cars could be interesting. AR in the workplace, potentially practical. It might take a while, though, for AR to hit a killer headset anyone in the everyday world would want to wear.

Until then, we always have our Pokeballs.

(Editors' note: Daqri is a separate company from Intel, although it's powered by an Intel processor. This article was corrected to reflect that.)