Augmented reality start-up Daqri acquires smart headband maker Melon

With acquisition of Melon, Daqri plans to bring activity tracking, safety features to its smart helmet

Augmented reality helmet maker Daqri announced Thursday that it acquired a fellow Los Angeles wearable technology start-up in hopes of giving businesses a new reason to buy its product.

Melon had developed a headband to gauge people's focus by performing an electroencephalogram, which measures a brain’s electrical activity. Daqri was an early customer in 2013 and decided after some back and forth that it could buy the company altogether and advance the technology to eventually monitor a user’s heart rate, skin temperature, stress level and fatigue. 

Attaching an activity monitor provides a new selling point for Daqri's smart helmet: Companies could monitor their workers’ health, potentially improving workplace safety. The helmet's main function is that screens that rest in front of the eyes display data about a work environment. For example, a plumber could have virtual blueprints overlaid on a wall he's staring at.

Acquisition terms were not disclosed. Arye Barnehama and Laura Michelle Berman, who co-founded Melon, started working on the project as Pomona College undergraduates in 2011. They are joining Daqri’s new neuroinformatics division.

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