Augmented reality may be a bit more promising than virtual reality for commercial engineering applications given its basic difference-it enables you to layer electronic information directly on the surface of the physical “data, reality or ”. It’s important to remember that the nascent augmented reality market has not proven itself to be a reliable commodity for engineers. For media and entertainment, it’s impossible not to notice the success and popularity of Pokémon Go, the augmented reality game from Nintendo. Engineering applications are in short supply but they do exist.
In this post, we’ll cover a cross- section of augmented reality headsets and focus on the ones that have the most promise for engineering apps, such as training, maintenance, collaboration and visualization.
Differentiating Augmented Reality Products:
Augmented reality could be experienced on mobile devices such as a smartphone and tablet. Additionally, there are augmented reality headsets referred to as head-mounted shows (HMDs), eyeglasses, visors, helmets and also a pair of augmented reality contact lenses.
Truly Immersive Augmented Reality Requires a Big Headset:
One of the most interesting issues with making immersive augmented reality is the amount of physical property it requires from an individual. There exists a direct ratio that will require the quantity of optics to improve as the desired display dimension and field of view boosts. With a concise wearable like Google Glass, for example , the widest field of view (FoV) you’ll achieve is just about 20 to 30 degrees. Google Glass is 13 something and degrees like the Epson MoverioBT-2000 gets around 23 degrees.
That is basically why headsets yield a far more immersive experience.
Augmented Reality Terminology:
Many of the terms such as FoV, latency, frame rate and refresh rate are similar to those you need to familiarize yourself with in order to understand virtual reality, which you can see here, in a previous post I wrote called “ Knowing Virtual Reality Headsets. ”
Virtual retinal display (VRD), that is particular to AR, beams a raster projection directly onto an user’s irises. The result is comparable to seeing a display before your eyes directly, much like some type of computer or television screen. The effectiveness of VRDs has improved with the development of LED technology greatly, allowing users to find them during hours of sunlight even.
Summary of Augmented Reality Applications:
Augmented reality has been found in a variety of novel ways, across many different fields and disciplines, including archaeology, construction, medicine, emergency management, industrial design and the military.
The first three headsets featured here have the most potential uses for engineers. Afterwards, I’ll briefly explore a cross-section of augmented reality headsets and glasses with commercial and enterprise applications and possible.
1) DAQRI: The Wise and Safe Helmet:
The DAQRI Wise Helmet (DSH) is really a combination safety helmet and augmented reality headset that overlays virtual instructions, safety information, training and visual mapping over specific reality information. Workers in gas and essential oil, automation and producing sectors who need to understand or follow complex instructions to perform complex processes can look through the DSH and see digital information overlaid on a variety of different contexts-whether it is a Siemens controller, scanning high quality or device control equipment intended for metrology purposes.
The DSH overlays electronic instructions over equipment in adjusts and realtime to the movements of the workers. (Image thanks to DAQRI. )
The helmet comes with its own battery and docking station and weighs as much as any typical industrial hardhat. The DSH varies widely in price, fetching anywhere from $5, 000 to $15, 000, because the features need to be custom built.
Powered by the sixth-era Intel Core m7 RealSense plus processor scanning technology, the DSH may be the first functional and useful HMD that uses augmented actuality to greatly help human workers perform challenging tasks.
The DSH’s face shield and injection-molded plastic helmet component are ANSI-compliant. The inner area of the helmet’s shell will be a mix of cast aluminum and carbon fiber composite.
Thermal PoV through the DSH. (Image courtesy of DAQRI. )
DAQRI’s multiple cameras work together to make this the first fully industrial augmented reality headset. If features a13-megapixel HD video camera to capture videos and photos, track objects and recognize 2D targets and colors. Intel’s RealSense technology has two infrared cameras built-in, and DAQRI integrates them having an infrared laser projector that may sense depth by calculating deflected infrared lighting. A low-resolution camcorder is integrated having an industrial-grade inertial measurement device (IMU), that allows the helmet to compute its relative place in space in real time via a combination of gyroscopes and accelerometers. Another high-quality IMU is available for additional applications. For sound, there are four microphones, volume and power buttons and an output jack for headphones.
Workers putting on the DSH can easily see augmented instructions that shift relative to their actual environment. The employee shall be in a position to look at a device with 100 readouts, and the DSH shall pull their focus on a pressure gauge, for example , that’s reading too much or too reduced. The DSH’s infrared cams can constantly monitor apparatus by overlaying normal thermal data and current thermal data to make distinctions and judgements on the fly. Workers equipped with the DSH can visually scan for out-of-tolerance thermal anomalies that may put an operation in danger.
The DSH’s face shield and the hard helmet itself are ANSI compliant. The outer shell is injection-molded plastic. ( Image courtesy of DAQRI. )
The DSH was used in a case study with Hyperloop in a way that illustrates the collaborative power when used between workers of a large and widely dispersed manufacturing facility. A novice operator was utilizing a robotic welder for specific spot welding in design. A more encountered operator could tune in to the networked DSH of these less-experienced counterpart, assess what these were doing and relay correct directions immediately.
This means that a company could buy a custom-built series of DSHs, scale up operations with less-experienced (less-expensive) workers and have several experts remotely monitor and guide all of them the way to production.
In accordance with DAQRI, the DSH can be acquired for purchase by Q1 2016 to its top-tier customers.
2)Metavision’s Meta 2:
The Meta 2 by Metavision includes a 2560×1440 FoV and display. (Image thanks to Metavision. )
The Meta 2 can be an augmented reality headset from Metavision with several features which are promising for potential industrial uses, like a wide FoV. Weighed against virtual reality, less FoV isn’t desirable but not susceptible to the exact same distraction as a little FoV in an augmented reality headset. In virtual reality, whatever isn’t in the FoV (which contains 3D models of various polygonal sizes) is surrounded by pitch-black darkness. In augmented fact, a low FoV equals a tiny translucent digital window with 3D content surrounded by the real world of physical data that certain would see with out a headset.
The FoV on the initial Meta was 25 to 35 degrees, that is small when compared to average virtual reality FoV. The Meta 2 includes a 90-degree FoV, that is a tremendous breakthrough, particularly when considering industrial programs like training, maintenance or manufacturing. There is a trade off that allows this wide FoV. Like its predecessor, the Meta 2 is tethered. Connection to a workstation limits all kinds of training applications and limits use on a factory ground for assembly or maintenance. If the Meta is compared by you 2 to an augmented reality headset like the Microsoft HoloLens, which is untethered, you realize immediately that the Meta 2 reaches a disadvantage for useful uses. But it has to end up being interpreted as a long-term design strategy for both Metavision and Microsoft. Microsoft believes it can advance its untethered AR headset through designers planning for a wireless hardware device, and Metavision is planning to develop the technology and untether before a consumer version is in demand. It is important to keep in mind that both the HoloLens and Meta 2 are usually basically developer kits rather than full-fledged consumer products.
Meta takes full benefit of the continuing miniaturization and democratization of inexpensive sensors paired with a new high-definition camera to compute the hands inside the context of the digital and physical atmosphere they exist inside through the headset. The hand-tracking handles of the Meta 2 are not as sophisticated as the Leap Motion Orion controllers, but the notion of separate hardware for hand-tracking may be going the way of the dodo in favor of eye-tracking technology, though this is debatable. Preorders of the Meta 2 developer kit are available right now for $949, and Metavision says the gadgets will ship in Q3 2016.
It’s understood at this time that the possible killer engineering or even industrial app for augmented truth headsets like the powerful Meta 2 are still to come.
Microsoft HoloLens is an augmented reality headset that was developed under the code name ProjectBarrio. It is also known as a “mixed reality ” headset, or holographic computer. “ Mixed reality” is really a term that’s gaining momentum in the press and may also be used to describe headphones that may switch from virtual reality setting to augmented reality mode. Miracle Leap, the mysterious startup without products but main investments led by Search engines and Alibaba, has pushed for this linguistic distinction in particular.
Microsoft HoloLens costs $3, 000 and is primarily for developers at this time. The advantage it has over the Meta 2 is that it is untethered, allowing for a relatively huge degree of freedom. (Image thanks to Microsoft. )
Besides semantics, the HoloLens descends from the movement detection and scanning technology hardware referred to as the Microsoft Kinect, that was released this year 2010. Microsoft uses the word hologram to spell it out the digital information that’s overlaid on the physical planet (which you can look out of the visor). The wish is that headset holographic computing will eventually replace the screens (laptop, PC, mobile devices ) we use around the clock today.
The HoloLens features an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, four depth-sensing cameras, a light sensor, four microphones and a 2-megapixel camera. Aside from the typical GPU and CPU within nearly all computing devices, the HoloLens has something known as a Holographic Processing Unit furthermore, or HPU. The HPU is a sort of “grand central terminal” for all of the input from the various sensors.
Microsoft is also building the Windows 95 of augmented reality operating systems, called Windows Holographic, enabling manufacturers to spotlight developing the hardware rather than worry about the program, which, in theory, can help the development of augmented reality devices get to a tipping point with consumers and help augmented reality move mainstream.
4) A cross section evaluation of alternate augmented reality headphones. There are dozens of augmented reality headsets available today, and this random cross- area is meant to highlight several differences and similarities.
Google Glass: First we’ve Google Glass, that was discontinued after a year to be in the marketplace barely. Google Glass 2 . 0 is currently inside development, and Google is now showcasing enterprise and industrial applications for the headset. It has a heads-up display, a microphone, a CPU, a battery, a GPS, speakers, a microphone and a projector that overlays digital information onto an user’s view by beaming it through a visual prism that focuses the electronic information correct onto the retina.
Google is concentrating on enterprise use cases, want Boeing using them for cable harness assembly. The headsets make use of voice commands and a member of family part panel a la GeordiLa Forge from Star Trek, but they won’t assist you to with your vision, unfortunately.
R-7 Smart Glasses: The form factor of these glasses from OsterhoutDesign Group separates them from the pack of giant and boxy augmented reality headsets like Microsoft HoloLens and Meta 2 . They just kind of look like awkward, oversized sunglasses.
To control your virtual environment on the R-7 smart glasses, you may use a trackpad on the eyeglasses themselves or work with a paired controller. (Image thanks to Osterhaut Design Group. )
They run a custom made version of Android KitKat called ReticleOS, therefore you can run Android load and apps movies.
The R-7s have become light aswell, weighing about 2 . 5 lbs, that is about a pound less than the HoloLens.
Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses: This headset seems like a carbon copy of Google Glass, except it has slightly better resolution and also runs IOS. The 64 GB of internal storage isn’t all that interesting, but it’s partnership with Ubimax and use in the logistics industry is worth mentioning. DHL utilizes xPick on the sooner version of the smart glasses (Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses).
Ubimax produces the Business Wearable Computing Suite, that is a combined band of industrial augmented reality applications much like xPick, including xMake for manufacturing, xAssist for remote xInspect and help for maintenance.
Moverio Professional BT-2000: Epson’s first edition of this augmented actuality headset, the BT-100, premiered before Google Glass. This latest edition is certainly targeting enterprise customers specifically for remote viewing with its 5-megapixel camera, 3D mapping and gesture recognition capabilities.
Name Google Glass R-7 Smart Glasses Vuzix M300 Moverio Pro BT-2000
Company Google Osterhaut Design Group Epson Epson
Shipping Discontinued Yes Q3 2016 Yes
FoV (degrees) 15 30 20 23
Resolution 640 x 360 1280 x 720 960 x 540 960 x 540
Platform Android Android Android/iOS Android
Cost USD$1,500 USD$2,750 USD$1,499 USD$2,999
5) Magic Leap: News of this unicorn startup arrives wrapped in mysterious states of “light-field shows ” and “photonic chips” which are threatening to upend everything we realize about consumer-oriented headset kits just like the Meta 2 . This startup is named Magic Leap, and it’s elevated about $1. 5 billion in funding. The funding was brought by Google (which several speculate was a response to Facebook’s $2 billion purchase of Oculus) on the strength of supposedly ground-breaking technology in which a special light apparatus beams holographic images right onto your eyes.
The light-field displays could reduce the bulky and goofy industrial design that characterizes the majority of augmented reality headsets currently available. (Image courtesy of Magic Leap. )
Magic Leap comes last inside this overview as the promise is represented because of it, potential and global fascination with the continuing future of augmented reality as a fresh computing platform. This company has not released a product as of yet but promises to revolutionize the field of “mixed fact ” or augmented reality, or whatever you prefer to call it.
The potential uses for engineers is there, in the DSH particularly, but a standardized platform this is the exact carbon copy of the iPhone for augmented reality nevertheless remains elusive.
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