RealWear announces the Navigator 520 Assisted Reality Enterprise Headset

RealWear’s Navigator series of enterprise “augmented reality” headsets just got even bigger. The company recently announced the Navigator 520, an updated version of the flagship model of the series released just over a year ago.

Improvements due to the new “HyperDisplay”.

The RealWear Navigator 500 launched in December of 2021 and does what it’s designed to do well. But, in the XR, doing something well is rarely used as an excuse for not getting better. As a result, you have to look closely to notice the differences between the 500 and the recently announced 520. At least, look at it from the outside.

Looking at product images side by side, you can notice that the Navigator 520 has improved eye relief – that is, the screen is farthest from the wearer’s eye. In industry settings, this means users can see more of their surroundings while still getting what they need on screen. It also improves eye comfort, which is important in a device designed for all-day wear.

Of course, RealWear didn’t move the same screen and called it a new product. The company has managed to improve eye comfort by improving the display itself. The Navigator 520 features the company’s new HyperDisplay technology that integrates a larger eye square and higher resolution display with brighter colors.

“With the launch of the RealWear Navigator 520, we have continued to position ourselves in the shoes of the modern frontline professional who wants to stay connected and empowered,” Rama Urgante, RealWear’s chief product officer, said in a statement. “This product brings together a year of major improvements and innovations on the RealWear platform.”

Navigator 520

Hardware similarities are an advantage for the Navigator 520, as the modular device is compatible with a number of components and accessories already developed for the Navigator 500, including the voice-activated thermal camera that the company announced in November 2022.

Is upgrading to Navigator 520 worth it?

When an updated standby version is released, there are two natural responses: excitement and skepticism. Is it worth updating to 520 if you are already using 500? Is the 520 worth the extra while the 500 is still available for less?

There are demos simulating the 520 resolution difference behind the HyperDisplay link above so you can get an idea of ​​the display changes. It’s also worth asking if your use case would benefit from improved eye comfort. Are long shifts and situational awareness the pain points in your particular case?

It’s also worth noting that due to the cross-compatibility of the two devices, upgrading from the 500 to the 520 doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to replace any units, accessories, and mounts you may already be using.

RealWear Navigator 520 workers

What is the cost difference? The Navigator 500 is $2,500 and the Navigator 520 is $2,700. If you’re looking to get started with RealWear, the difference might be minimal given all the improvements in the newer model.

If you already have a fleet of 500s, replacing them all can be challenging. However, replacing the 500s with 520s as needed may be the way to go given component compatibility. And after all, one year seems to be the standard XR product cycle these days. RealWear headphones are built to last, but that doesn’t mean the specs will never get old.

Options for improvement

RealWear is keeping up with the trend in XR wearables these days, i.e. releasing new devices while the previous generation still has its expiration date. While this can be frustrating when it means replacing entire fleets of units, the Navigator 520 in a RealWear product architecture offers flexibility to users at different stages of device deployment.

See also: TeamViewer and RealWear Partner to deliver a new level of remote support via augmented reality

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