RealWear, the pioneer and leader of industrial extended reality (XR) wearables, has named Dr Chris Parkinson as its new chief executive.

Parkinson is the co-founder, former CTO and visionary mind behind the HMT-1 flagship headset that started the RealWear story in 2016.

A graduate of the University of Manchester, he moved to the USA in 1996 but has remained a prominent figure in the North West, currently residing in the Tri-Cities area in Washington state.

The HMT-1 was RealWear’s first industrial head-mounted tablet computer on the market and catapulted RealWear into the spotlight for delivering an Extended Reality (XR) solution that worked for frontline teams who required the use of both hands to do their work and whose operations demanded 100 per cent equipment uptime.

Parkinson’s specialty lies in developing hands-free computing built on high-accuracy, noise-robust speech recognition, and gesture-controlled user experiences.

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Before co-founding RealWear, Parkinson led the technology development of the ground-breaking ‘Golden-I’ series of head-mounted computers, which laid the foundation for RealWear HMT-1 as well as today’s flagship product.

This transformative work for Kopin Corporation covered nine years of research and development, and resulted in more than 100 patents around head-worn computing and five generations of headset devices.

In 2015, he embarked on his entrepreneurial journey, forming the company that eventually became RealWear, to realise his ambitions of introducing ruggedised hands-free computing to the world.

Commenting on his new position, Parkinson said: “I am deeply honoured and excited to have been appointed as the CEO of RealWear.

“Our mission is clear: to empower frontline professionals with cutting-edge XR wearables and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven solutions that enhance their productivity and overall work experience.

“It is essential to provide them with the same or even better level of technological support that has been enjoyed by knowledge workers for years.”

The new CEO’s vision for RealWear centres around a commitment to delivering solutions, not just hardware, that effortlessly integrate into the everyday routines of frontline professionals in manufacturing, automotive and healthcare.

He said: “Two of my biggest priorities will be incorporating AI and sustainability into everything that we do.

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“We will do this through our own engineering teams and through our many incredible partners who are participating in our growing App Marketplace.”

Parkinson succeeds Andrew Chrostowski, who has retired from his position.