Hidden from your view, there is a secret door behind any innovation — the key to which is held by its founders. AR technology connects people and machines together in the real world. It is one of those innovations that are being continually implemented into the most progressive companies’ TPM (total productive maintenance) and left in the background by those who are ignorant of them.
AR vs. VR
Personal meetings with customers show that not all, but just a few of them see a clear difference between virtual and augmented realities. So, one should bear in mind the operating peculiarities of these two technologies. If there is a virtual content laid over the real world environment, this means you come across augmented reality. It helps to extend our bodies with digital devices where people play the part of an operation system. Whereas complete immersion into a virtual world signifies your plunge into virtual reality. Just as VR has been successfully planted in the gaming industry and training equipment, AR is great for scientific know-how.
Today, AR is widely applied in different fields.
Sectors such as tourism and marketing have perfectly capitalized on this new solution. Thus, you can identify different objects in a city you visit for the first time, observe a weather forecast, or learn what is exhibited in a museum without entering it. Before booking a hotel, you can see what the rooms look like and learn how much they cost.
The solution permits two or more specialists to work on the same project in the construction engineering sector, joining their efforts together toward a goal.
AR is also adopted as a vein visualization technology for blood service in the sphere of healthcare. While giving neurosurgeons the possibility of observing a human brain during surgery, it enhances the chances for a fortunate result.
It helps boost manufacturing performance as well as cut expenses for support staff and additional training in the industrial sector. Let's consider one of the use cases that can be adopted by industrial customers today with minimal effort.
Industrial Maintenance and Mobile Apps With Augmented Reality
Trying to stay in-step with the times and obtain desired results, such as enhancement of equipment performance and cost saving, any company, for now, should look for the most appropriate up-to-the-minute solutions. One of those solutions is to develop a cross-platform mobile app that would allow for on-site maintenance of complex industrial equipment. Basically, it is a tool that creates and plays back interactive repair and service guides with augmented reality.
Such an app:
Helps your service staff perform better and faster.
Provides better decisions for workers in the context of what they are doing.
Digitizes the information that a worker sees in a much more digestible way.
Gives unsophisticated step-by-step instructions in real-time visualization for newcomers.
Reduces service engineers’ training periods, as you can create and play back interactive repair and service guides with augmented reality.
Is quick about difficult situations resolving, as you can contact customer support for a professional solution.
Reduces equipment maintenance time.
On the hardware level, one can choose to use mobile devices or a ‘hands-free' approach. The market of the service is filled with options like Google Cardboard, MS Hololens, and Epson Moverio.
Having arrived at a clear idea of what you want, a software solution can be developed specifically for your needs while meeting all your demands.
An AR App’s Pre-Use Planning
Before using the app for the first time AR developers have to create an interactive visual guide for use in a real-time environment — a ready-made tutorial meeting your company’s demands.
As a first step, a customer takes a photo of, in this case, equipment that needs repairs. That repair work is to be guided by AR technology. With the help of the Metaio SDK, the photo is processed for recognition during playback. This particular tool helps to save on the cumbrous programming of custom markers from the jump.
Having taken a picture, the customer arranges graduate explanations of all the repair operations for different, actual time frames observed through the tablet’s camera. For customers to better understand what's going on, each scene is supplied with issue-related 3D objects — for instance, a screwdriver, that illustrates how to perform a particular piece of work. The supportive objects can be zoomed, displaced, or dragged at any angle you wish. This way, the customer is able to attach some relevant videos, images, or text.
The AR App in Use
Having installed the app, all you need to do is point the tablet’s camera at the equipment and comply with the simple instructions. If the camera is pointed at an unrecognizable object, you will be notified about the need to move it to a previous position. Moreover, you can switch from scene to scene by means of QR code, which makes the task easier. When professional assistance is needed, you can leave a service request or approach the technical experts directly to fix the problem.
While summing up, it should be mentioned that this is just one option of enhancing your industrial performance. More and more companies are adopting Internet of Things solutions to improve efficiency, help with education and training of employees, and enhance equipment efficiency with a focus on maintenance with AR. That's where it's at.