As the “Industrial Internet” and The Internet of Things (IOT) go beyond the buzz-words of the board room, aerospace manufacturers and industrial leaders have started to implement some of the latest technology to make their manufacturing processes more efficient with reduced errors, deliver products to market more rapidly and finally leverage big data within their own organization. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are both mediums at which the industries are looking at to make work instructions easier and training more adaptive; these applications can provide “green” talent with contemporary tools and improve the production process. Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences have been created for the entertainment and gaming industries and for various marketing and brand awareness campaigns, nonetheless they still a way to go to influence the aerospace community.
So, with early adoption and various use cases testing the productivity gains within the enterprise, how has Augmented Reality impacted the aerospace shop floor, and what technologies are necessary for its adoption to accelerate?
Industry giants like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Applied Materials have invested in the development of both AR hardware and software solutions and have side projects and secretive labs dabbling with head-mounted wearables, light projections, telepresence or remote assist and SDKs to improve costs, time of task and error reductions on the shop-floor. The good news is that AR hardware and software are improving at a tremendous rate with the help of these use cases and investments. The capability of smart-glasses, smartphones and tablets are making astonishing strides in computational, graphical and sensory power with clearer, higher resolution displays and improvements to battery life enabling easier ways to consume and create AR and VR content. Some limiting factors that developers are dealing with is the amount of available memory and battery power on portable devices. Network latency also requires careful consideration when system architecture dictates whether this content should be stored on the device or a remote content server.
The future of Augmented Reality (AR) in the Enterprise however is a bit clearer today as the result of the recent DMDII/AREA Requirements Workshop in Chicago. At first glance, the two-day event promised to be a worthwhile exchange among parties with shared interests. On one side was the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), which had invested considerable time and effort into creating a detailed set of requirements for enterprise AR with the assistance of American industry heavyweights Lockheed Martin, Procter & Gamble, and Caterpillar. On the other side was the AREA, the organization leading global efforts to drive adoption of AR in the enterprise. The AREA is to take over responsibility for the requirements document and its future.
But when the parties gathered in Chicago in the beginning of March, the event proved to be more significant than anyone could have expected. Here’s why:
2/5/2023 05:23:50 am
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Gates L. Scott
Gates L. Scott is a Senior Land Executive with Mansfield Service Partners developing new markets and delivery fuel management solutions through the Front Range of Colorado and beyond. A former Certified Flight Instructor and commercial helicopter pilot and aviation enthusiast, he loves anything that flies!