At the begin­ning of December 2021, Real­Wear gave us an early Christmas present: With the Real­Wear Navi­gator 500, the US specia­list for indus­trial smart glasses presented the successor of the Real­Wear HMT‑1.

The new model not only received an optical upgrade, but also offers some impro­ve­ments and novel­ties compared to its prede­cessor.

We have tested the Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 in prac­tical use and this much can be said in advance: Bitnamic is thrilled.


Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 in test

The Navi­gator 500 is the latest member of our refe­rence models and — just like its prede­cessor HMT‑1, the Vuzix M400 or the Micro­soft Holo­Lens — is espe­ci­ally suitable for use in industry. You can find a direct compa­rison of these three top smart glasses for industry in our maga­zine.

But first, let’s take a closer look at the new Real­Wear Navi­gator 500.  



Design & wearing comfort

The basic shape of the Navi­gator 500 is based on that of the HMT‑1, but the new model pres­ents a more modern, more slender design. The power button with inte­grated finger­print sensor is on one side. The camera and display are on the oppo­site side, the latter is atta­ched to the so-called boom arm. The Navi­gator 500 has one more joint on the boom arm than the HMT‑1 so that the user can align the display accor­ding to his specific needs even better.

The Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 is charac­te­rized by even greater wearing comfort: The new model weighs just 272 grams and is thus over 100 grams lighter than the HMT‑1. The work­band, which is included in deli­very, ensures even weight distri­bu­tion. The smart glasses can thus be worn comfor­tably for several hours.

Unlike the HMT‑1, the Navi­gator 500 is based on a modular concept, which means that indi­vi­dual compon­ents such as the display, camera or battery can be easily replaced in the future. In this regard, Real­Wear has already announced that addi­tional modules will be presented shortly. This makes it possible to respond indi­vi­du­ally to diffe­rent tasks and chal­lenges.  


Display & camera

Regar­ding the display, not much has changed in the Navi­gator 500: Like the HMT‑1, the new smart glasses model has a 24-bit LCD color display with a reso­lu­tion of 854 x 480 pixels and a 20° field of view. The display is thus still equi­va­lent to a 7‑inch tablet. In the course of the announced new modular compon­ents, products that can improve the quality of the display will presu­mably also be intro­duced.

What has defi­ni­tely improved is the camera of the Navi­gator 500: While the HMT‑1 is equipped with a 16 MP camera, its successor enables high-reso­lu­tion 48 MP photos on profes­sional camera level. Videos are recorded in Full HD, but with a doubled frame rate of 60 fps. Thus, smooth recor­dings are guaran­teed.  



The Navi­gator 500 is also voice-controlled, but unlike the HMT‑1, it also has an action, forward and back button. This is a nice addi­tion, but it is hardly needed because the voice control of the Navi­gator 500 works excel­lently.

True to the motto “say what you see”, as our partner Barcotec puts it, the user of the Navi­gator 500 only has to say what he sees on the display of the smart glasses and it will be executed. Voice control also works offline and in ambient noise of up to 100 dB.

Regar­ding the number of supported languages, Real­Wear has increased from 15 to 17 languages: In addi­tion to German, English, French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Portu­guese, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Indo­ne­sian, Japa­nese, Korean, Mandarin and Thai, Canto­nese and Czech are now also available.  


Storage & battery

The memory has also been increased: Instead of the previous 32 GB, the Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 has 64 GB of internal storage and 4 GB RAM. It can be expanded by up to 512 GB via the microSD card slot.

The successor of the HMT‑1 is also equipped with a 2600 mAh battery. It is hot-swappable, i.e. it can be replaced during opera­tion; restarting the smart glasses is not neces­sary.

The change itself is easier and ther­e­fore faster with the Navi­gator 500 than with the prede­cessor model: Thanks to the clip-in system, it can be quickly removed and replaced with a full battery.

Real­Wear has increased the battery life: The HMT‑1 can be used actively for about five hours, the Navi­gator 500 even up to 8 hours.  


Scope of deli­very & access­ories


  The stan­dard scope of deli­very of the Navi­gator 500 includes:

  • 1x Real­Wear Navi­gator 500
  • 1x USB‑C 3.0 char­ging cable
  • 1x Work­band

As for the HMT‑1, a variety of access­ories are offered for its successor:

  • Hard hat clips
  • Head straps
  • Head­phones (with hearing protec­tion)
  • LTE / 4G Modem
  • Batte­ries and char­gers
  • Bags and cases


Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 price

The price for the Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 is curr­ently 2,530.00 Euro. The price includes instal­la­tion and support by Bitnamic.  


Fields of appli­ca­tion of the Navi­gator 500 — THE smart glasses for industry

With the HMT‑1, Real­Wear has deve­loped a pair of smart glasses speci­fi­cally desi­gned to meet the requi­re­ments of indus­trial envi­ron­ments. The Navi­gator 500 is meant to follow in the foot­s­teps of the HMT‑1 — and it succeeds effort­lessly.

Robust, dust-proof, jet-proof, drop-proof up to 2 meters on concrete and usable at ‑20°C to +50°C — the Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 is ideally suited for daily use in industry. It faci­li­tates

  • commis­sio­ning of machines and plants,
  • main­ten­ance,
  • repairs

and can be used both outdoors and indoors (the Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2, for example, is prima­rily suitable for indoor indus­trial or medical envi­ron­ments). Smart glasses for industry, such as the Real­Wear models, are most commonly used on cons­truc­tion sites, in produc­tion, logi­stics, oil, gas, auto­mo­tive, and heavy industry.  


Advan­tages of the Real­Wear Navi­gator 500

Thanks to the combi­na­tion of work­band and even lower weight, the new model from Real­Wear can be used actively for longer periods of time without pres­sing uncom­for­tably on the head. In addi­tion, the improved, hot-swappable battery means that the Navi­gator 500 can last an entire workday without running out of power.

Smart glasses for industry should not only provide the user with essen­tial infor­ma­tion, but also make it possible to have both hands free for working on machines. The new models are desi­gned to be used in a variety of appli­ca­tions. This is not the case with models that require the addi­tional opera­tion of buttons on the smart glasses.

The Navi­gator 500 has such a sophisti­cated voice control system that it is child’s play to use. This intui­tive form of opera­tion faci­li­tates work immensely. Added to this is the active noise cancel­la­tion, which allows precise voice control even with 100 dB of indus­trial noise.  


The biggest advan­tages of the Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 at a glance:

  • Robust design, ideally suited for (outdoor) use in indus­trial envi­ron­ments
  • Intui­tive, excel­lent voice control
  • Many languages
  • Noise cancel­la­tion up to 100 dB
  • High photo and video quality
  • High wearing comfort
  • Low weight
  • Indi­vi­du­ally adjus­table camera and display
  • Long battery life
  • Hot-swappable battery


Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 vs HMT‑1 — Tech­nical data in compa­rison


  HMT‑1 Navi­gator 500
Display 20° field of view, 1 meter fixed focus, 24 bit color LCD, 0,33 inch diagonal, also good reada­bility outdoors, WVGA 854 x 480 px (appears as 7 inch) 20° field of view, 1 meter fixed focus, 24 bit color LCD, 0,33 inch diagonal, also good reada­bility outdoors, WVGA 854 x 480 px (appears as 7 inch)
Audio 4 micro­phones with active noise cancel­la­tion up to 95 dB, max. volume 91 dB 4 micro­phones with active noise cancel­la­tion up to 100 dB, max. volume 94 dB
Video Up to 1080p @30fps. Codecs: VP8, VP9 and hard­ware enco­ding support for H.264, H.265 HEVC Up to 1080p @60fps. 6x zoom in HD, Codecs: VP8, VP9 and hard­ware enco­ding support for H.264, H.265 HEVC
Control Voice control only, 15 languages available Voice control incl. action, forward & back button, 17 languages available
Camera 16 MP 4‑axis optical image stabi­li­sa­tion, PDAF with LED light 48 MP 4‑axis optical image stabi­li­sa­tion, PDAF with LED light
Protec­tion IP 66, MIL-STD-810G, 2 m drop test, dust-proof, water-jet-proof, usable at ‑20°C to +50°C IP66, MIL-STD-810G, 2 m drop test, dust-proof, water-jet-proof, usable at ‑20°C to +50°C
Battery 5 hours, 3250 mAh Li-Ion, hot-swappable 6–8 hours, 2600 mAh / 10,0 Wh Li-Polymer, hot-swappable
Connec­ti­vity WLAN, Blue­tooth Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth
Opera­ting system Android 10 (AOSP) + WearHF™ Hands-Free Inter­face Android 11 (AOSP) + WearHF™ Hands-Free Inter­face + Enter­prise features
Processor 2.0 GHz 8‑core Qual­comm® Snapd­ragon™ 626 2.0 GHz 8‑core Qual­comm® Snapd­ragon™ 662 with Adreno 610 GPU — OpenGL® ES 3.2 & OpenCL™ 2.0
Memory 32 GB internal storage / 3 GB RAM / microSD slot (max. 256 GB) 64 GB internal storage / 4 GB RAM / microSD slot (max. 512GB)
Ports 3.5 mm audio, 1 USB Type C 3.5mm audio, 1 USB Type C
Weight 380 g 272 g
Price On request 2,530.00 Euro (incl. instal­la­tion & support)


Purcha­sing Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 — is it worth it?

We at Bitnamic have tested the new smart glasses exten­si­vely and can answer the ques­tion whether it is worth buying the Real­Wear Navi­gator 500 with an unequi­vocal YES — espe­ci­ally with regard to remote service.

The increased chal­lenges of the last two years have shown how important remote support is and how much augmented reality main­ten­ance faci­li­tates the daily work, be it commis­sio­ning, main­ten­ance or repair cases.

As the deve­loper of bitnamic CONNECT, the smart service solu­tion for loca­tion-inde­pen­dent main­ten­ance and service, it was of course parti­cu­larly important to us that the Navi­gator 500 is compa­tible with our soft­ware — both on the tech­no­logy side and in terms of added value for our custo­mers. For example, inter­ac­tion between experts world­wide and service tech­ni­cians on site must be guaran­teed, as must access to the addi­tional modules we offer, such as step-by-step instruc­tions, 3D Manager or manuals.

As it turned out, the Real­Wear Navi­gator is an ideal tool for remote main­ten­ance cases. Both hands remain free for work on machines and systems, while an expert guides the service tech­ni­cian through trou­ble­shoo­ting in an inter­ac­tive video confe­rence.

The decisive factor for the audio­vi­sual connec­tion is the video quality. Full HD reso­lu­tion with a frame rate of 60 fps enables smooth trans­mis­sion, provi­ding the expert with a clear repre­sen­ta­tion of the problem.

Voice control and inte­grated noise cancel­la­tion create optimal condi­tions for fluent commu­ni­ca­tion between the expert and the tech­ni­cian, even in noisy envi­ron­ments such as cons­truc­tion sites or produc­tion faci­li­ties.

Like the HMT‑1 back then, the Navi­gator 500 is also convin­cing — a worthy next gene­ra­tion of Real­Wear.