Maintenance has always been a hot topic in the industrial sector because of its important usage and high costs. At the same time, augmented reality tech and remote maintenance technologies have drawn the attention of the industries since the 90s.
Today we are going to look into these research fields in order to understand the state of the art and what’s the future of this technology.
Augmented Reality And The Industrial Sector
As we mentioned before, augmented reality has become a very popular research topic since the 1990s.
Most of the old AR systems were just custom head-mounted displays (HMDs) with some sort of transparent screens and a very crude tracking mechanic which was able to just display information to the wearer by superimposing data on what the user is watching at that very moment.
Despite being extremely simple, they were implemented and used into several industrial fields with success.
The most famous one it’s the same system that registered for the first time the term “augmented reality“, and it’s the one developed by Caudell and Mizell for Boeing.
They created a prototype system by using a transparent HMD in order to deliver wiring instructions and manual information to the manufacturing workforce.
The researchers registered a significant reduction in terms of costs and time, empowering human efficiency and optimizing the complicated aeroplanes wiring operations.
Augmented Reality And Remote Maintenance Technologies Today
As of today, smart tech has replaced most bulky customized HMDs for what it concerns augmented reality.
Tablets, smartphones and other smart devices have shown the power of augmented reality even in other fields, as the entertainment sector for example: everybody remembers Pokémon Go boom, which became hugely popular all over the world because of its application of AR in a game through smartphones.
Alas, these devices are not always the best option when we speak about remote maintenance technologies.
Their problem is that those are portable devices, thus they limit user’s mobility and the use of the user’s hands.
That’s a huge problem in some critical sectors such as in the manufacturing process or maintenance of extremely delicate (or even dangerous) pieces of machinery.
Due to this reason, the newest forms of HMDs are still the best option between remote maintenance technologies .
That’s why they have been upgraded and adapted to various disciplines such as surgical operations, collaborative designs and manufacturing.
Remote Maintenance Technologies And Hands-Free Solutions
As we aforementioned, the biggest problem with nowadays smart devices that use augmented reality in order to perform maintenance operations is the fact that they need to be handled.
Today, remote maintenance technologies are going towards a new form of assistance: the hands-free solutions.
In order to achieve these tasks, many companies are currently developing AR-tech wearable solutions.
These solutions are capable of enabling the on-site workforce to receive support while remaining focused on the task at hand by enjoying a “hands-free” solution. That’s the case for example of the latest Kiber product: the Kiber 3 kit.
Kiber 3 kit empowers even the most unexperienced personnel among your workforce with a wearable hardware for remote assistance based on AR technology: a HMD equipped with a unique binocular visor developed by Kiber company, an HD camera, a set of headphones and microphone capable of communicate in every kind of noisy environments, and an hand-cam with a thermal imaging capacity.
Plus, Kiber 3 includes in its offer a 4GB local storage to record any operation performed that may be used in the future as an instructional, or in order to use the stand-alone mode.