• DirectIndustry e-Magazine - # 22 - MIXED REALITY - DirectIndustry e-Magazine


    News coverage of virtual reality has exploded since Facebook’s Oculus Rift was released earlier this year. Now, the term augmented reality (AR) is entering the popular lexicon thanks to Nintendo’s smash hit game, Pokemon Go. AR should mushroom over the next five years, with smart glasses shipments expected to reach 27 million units.

    AR is already a promising industrial tool. Heads-up displays with digital overlays can be used for hands-on training and remote assistance. AR is definitely spurring the development of tomorrow’s hands-free factory.

    Fullpage Bentley Systems
    Putting a hands-free instruction or training manual into the field of vision of an on-site engineer could be huge.

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    Heads-up displays with digital overlays can be used in hands-on training and remote assistance that promises true interactive mixed realities.   When it comes to immersive technology, virtual reality (VR) takes a back seat to augmented reality (AR). The main difference between VR and AR is that in VR, the person...

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    Banner Geserco
    INDUSTRY 4.0
    Neuroscience is driving the design of the interfaces
    Courtesy of DAQRI

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    News coverage of virtual reality (VR) has exploded since Facebook’s Oculus Rift was released this year. Now, the term augmented reality (AR) is becoming a household term thanks to Nintendo’s hit game, Pokémon Go. Beyond gaming, AR can help architects, engineers and other professionals. But such applications require a great headset. DirectIndustry e-magazine offers some tips on making the best choice.


    AR may be a bit more promising than virtual reality for industrial applications, given its fundamental difference—it allows you to layer virtual information right on top of the real-world background. The potential for visualization, training, maintenance and collaboration in situ is far greater when the two are combined. Two devices illustrate the current state of industrial applications.

    1. DAQRI: The Smart Helmet

    The DAQRI Smart Helmet (DSH) is a combination safety helmet and AR headset that overlays virtual instructions, safety information, training and visual mapping on a real-world background. Workers in the oil and gas, automation and manufacturing sectors often need to understand complicated instructions to perform complex processes. The DSH enables them to see digital information overlying different contexts—a Siemens controller, a scanning device or quality control metrology equipment.

    The helmet comes with its own battery and docking station. The price varies from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on customization options. Autodesk, GE and Hyperloop are currently testing it.


    DAQRI CEO Brian Mullins says:

    A field engineer may be responsible for 600 different work packages, using some perhaps only once in a career. Having the added data when it’s needed makes a big impact. Augmented reality is going to be a top-down industry, similar to the evolution of smartphones from enterprise to consumer devices. At first, people only used them to stay connected at work and make decisions, and to transfer knowledge as needed. Slowly, over the course of decades, they evolved into today’s smartphone. We think this is beginning to happen with augmented reality.

    The device’s face shield and injection-molded plastic helmet are ANSI-compliant. The inner part of the helmet’s shell is a combination of cast aluminum and carbon fiber composite.

    The DAQRI 13-megapixel HD camera recognizes colors, 2-D targets and can track moving objects. The helmet uses Intel’s RealSense technology with two built-in infrared cameras. DAQRI integrates them with an infrared laser projector that can sense depth by measuring deflected infrared light. A low-resolution camera is linked to an industrial-grade inertial measurement unit (IMU), enabling the helmet to compute its relative position in real time. It also comes with four microphones, which allow users to call a technical expert in the company.

    2. Metavision’s Meta 2: Neuroscience Drives the Interface

    The Meta 2 has a 90-degree field of view, a tremendous breakthrough for industrial applications like training, maintenance and manufacturing. Being physically tethered to a workstation limits all kinds of training applications and use on a factory floor for assembly or maintenance.

    According to CEO Meron Gribetz:

    The idea here is for people to share holograms, making them a lot more connected with the work and with each other. The neural mechanism that explains it is called mirror neurons. This subsystem of our minds suggests that we understand collaborative work much better when we can see each other’s faces and hands in full 3D at zero latency. To leverage that, everything has to be visible south of the eyebrows—you can see my eyes and I can see yours. We’re networking the glasses, so I can send you a hologram of a 3D model. That way, we’ll both see it from our relative perspectives. Neuroscience is really driving the design of our interfaces.

    Metavision is accepting pre-orders for the Meta 2 developer kit, priced at $949. The devices are expected to ship in Q3 of 2016.

    It will soon be possible to reconstruct any 3D data as a large-scale digital hologram that appears to float in midair.


    Scientific visualization, engineering design and medical imaging could soon benefit from 3D images that can be seen without headsets or special glasses.   There has been an explosion in the production of 3D data in recent years. Whether from product designs and layouts created using computer-aided design (CAD),...

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    Camille Rustici

    Camille Rustici is a Video Journalist and the Editor-in-Chief for DirectIndustry e-magazine. She has years of experience in business issues for various media including France 24, Associated Press, Radio France…

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    Didier Géneau

    Didier Géneau is a high tech editor with experience in industry 4.0, connected devices, cybersecurityin. He has worked for several IT magazines (01 Informatique, 01net, Newbiz) and European newspapers (Le Monde, L’Echo, L’Agefi). 

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    Andrew Wheeler

    Andrew Wheeler writes about science, technology, engineering and 3D printing for various media, from Virginia in the USA .

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    Jamie Carter

    Jamie Carter is a journalist based in Wales, who writes about technology for the South China Morning Post, Mashable, MSN, the BBC Sky At Night, TechRadar.com and Korean Air’s Morning Calm.

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