Vuzix Corporation, a supplier of smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) technology and products, has announced that Newcastle University, a UK public research university, has deployed the Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses to carry out remote support among staff and academics at multiple lab sites and home offices in the research of blood cells and diseases including COVID-19. In addition to remote support, lab technicians are using platforms such as Zoom via the M400 Smart Glasses to deliver training across its user base.
According to Vuzix, the Newcastle Flow Cytometry Core Facility at Newcastle University is an advanced technology platform and research lab in the field of Cytometry (the measurement of the characteristics of cells). Newcastle’s laboratory relies on a core team of skilled individuals whose job it is to maintain and operate the blood cell analytical systems called cytometers that are used to perform blood cell analysis, but also to train other scientists to operate certain platforms.
Vuzix added that the systems are not all located in one physical location, and not all members of the team have the same skill sets, meaning that it can sometimes be difficult to align personnel with the necessary platform. In the current COVID-19 global pandemic, this situation is made even more challenging as teams at the facility are working in ‘bio-bubbles’ with one group active on-site and another located at home.
Much of the research work that the team performs in the laboratory is hands-on and requires complete freedom of both hands to operate systems and conduct experiments safely and effectively. Dr. Andrew Filby, Director of the Newcastle Flow Cytometry Core and Lead of the Innovation, Methodology and Innovations Research Theme, and his team chose the Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses to provide remote support and training, since they can be configured with safety glasses and are safe to use in a BioSafety level 2 laboratory, enabling a hands-free working environment.
“The M400 Smart Glasses from Vuzix have excellent specifications, including noise cancellation for work in environments with high ambient noise levels, image stabilization and zoom functions for close detail work as well as being compatible with several very well-known streaming and remote support platforms,” stated Dr. Filby. “Our organization subscribed to TeamViewer and Zoom, so the fact that the M400 glasses are very open in terms of compatible applications is a real benefit. We have been stung in the past by other Smart Glasses only being compatible with limited streaming platforms, so wanted a more flexible smart glasses option. Control and operation of the M400 glasses is incredibly easy and intuitive, and they are rugged enough to withstand the laboratory environment.”
“Using the VUZIX M400 Smart Glasses technology, the team can now operate effectively across its different locations and even ensure expert training and support is available even when the expert is at home or even across the globe. The Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses and its technical features are a vital accessory to continuous lab testing, especially as we move into several projects focused on understanding more about the SARS-CoV2 virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19,” concluded Dr Filby.
Paul Travers, President and CEO of Vuzix, added: “More and more organizations including universities, research labs and healthcare organizations around the world are recognizing the value of using Vuzix Smart Glasses to provide remote support and training to their associates or students.” He continued, “We are pleased to add Newcastle University to the growing list of educational and institutions that are embracing our technology to provide safer and more effective tools to perform research and mentor laboratory personnel.”
For more information on Vuzix and its augmented reality smart glasses solutions, please visit the company’s website.