Augmented reality start-up Daqri acquires smart headband maker Melon

Melon activity monitor headband
The Melon activity monitor headband raised almost $291,000 on Kickstarter. It measures the brain’s electrical activity to determine how focused an individual is.

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.


Twitter: @peard33

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