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A CDE Definition

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hands-free computer

See body-worn computer.

body-worn computer

A computer that is strapped to the body and accessed via voice recognition and a head mounted display (HMD). The computer is ruggedized for the natural abuse it receives in the work environment. The head mounted display gives the illusion of a floating monitor in front of the user's face.

In the 1980s, vendors compressed a full computer into a backpack, which by the mid-1990s became much smaller. Of course, today's smartphones are tiny by comparison but have far more computing power. See head mounted display and Google Glass.

The Trekker
In the mid-1990s, Rockwell's Trekker packed a voice-activated Pentium system into a body-worn unit. A decade later, millions of people carried a hundred times more computing power with them in their smartphones every day. (Image courtesy of Rockwell.)

Hands Free
In the late 1990s, these earlier Xybernaut units connected to voice-activated, body-worn PCs, allowing technicians to review instructions while working with both hands. (Images courtesy of Xybernaut Corporation.)

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