Augmented reality gets a second life in manufacturing

IDG News Service | Mar 23, 2017

Although augmented reality may not have gotten very far in the consumer market, the technology is getting a second look in the manufacturing sector.

Track 1: Augmented reality gets a second chance on the manufacturing floor

Track 2: It’s been two years since Google ended sales of its Google Glass smart glasses to consumers, but augmented reality is long from dead.

Track 3: In fact, the technology is being embraced in manufacturing and design.

Track 4: One company that’s taken advantage of augmented reality is Lockheed Martin.

Track 5: Here a group of engineers examine an interactive 3D-model of a Mars lander. Using augmented reality, the team is able to zoom into different portions of the model and double-check the lander’s design. The technology also proves useful on the production floor.

SOT: “We are able to give the HoloLens to a technician, they can wear that device and that can guide them through an assembly procedure on the shop floor…Another way we envision the HoloLens, is as a technician is wearing that, he can tie in a remote expert and that expert could see what that person is seeing through the HoloLens.” – Darin Bolthouse (Engineering Manager, Lockheed Martin)

Track 6: Another company embracing augmented reality is DHL. By swapping floor pickers scanners and paper lists for smart glasses, workers can get a visual display of where an item needs to be placed on a trolley, saving them time and increasing accuracy.

Track 7: DHL began testing of its augment reality system in the Netherlands in 2015, and has since rolled out pilot programs in the US, and UK.

Track 8: IDC says the augmented reality market was worth $209 million in 2016 but will grow to $49 billion by 2021. And much of those sales are expected to be to industry, not consumers.

Track 8: So what companies like shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries is doing is interesting. It found augmented reality so useful, that it created a whole team dedicated to work with the technology. The company uses augmented reality for inspections, maintenance, and training

Track 9: So, while you may not be seeing too many people walking around with a computer strapped to their heads, augmented reality on the manufacturing floor seems to be going full steam ahead.