Augmented reality main­ten­ance

bitnamic CONNECT

smart glasses guide

Augmented reality is the next stage of digital main­ten­ance processes. Our smart glasses guide explains how augmented reality can be used in industry and pres­ents proven models.

Expand reality

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality, or AR for short, describes a process in which reality or an actually “mate­rial scene” is expanded by virtual elements. Augmented reality is not the same as virtual reality, since there is no immersion in a comple­tely virtual world. With AR, the real sensory stimu­la­tion remains present — a crucial aspect in the context of main­ten­ance and service.

Flexi­bi­lity

Both hands free for working on complex machines

Augmented reality can be used via diffe­rent hard­ware. In the industry sector, smart glasses are parti­cu­larly recom­mended. Smart glasses display context-rele­vant infor­ma­tion in the user’s field of vision. The view of a smart­phone or tablet is ther­e­fore no longer neces­sary and the hands remain free.

In general one can distin­guish between two tech­no­lo­gies: AR light and 100% AR. With the help of our smart glasses guide, you will find the right smart glasses for your indi­vi­dual service and main­ten­ance needs

Smart glasses

Smart glasses as an ideal intro­duc­tion to augmented reality

Android-based smart glasses such as the Real­Wear Navi­gator 520 or VUZIX M400 models are located between stan­dard plat­forms and AR. This can be referred to as AR light, as there is no direct reality overlay. The smart glasses have a 2D assis­tance screen located in the peri­pheral field of vision. Infor­ma­tion can be sent to the external expert via this screen, for example with the help of bitnamic CONNECT – Remote Main­ten­ance. At the same time, videos, appli­ca­tion windows, docu­ments etc. can be received from the expert via screen sharing. The inte­grated micro­phone also enables verbal commu­ni­ca­tion.

Smart glasses promote effi­cient trou­ble­shoo­ting: as the camera is in the imme­diate vici­nity of the eye, the expert can more quickly under­stand which compo­nent the service tech­ni­cian is focu­sing on and give appro­priate instruc­tions. Trig­gered func­tions such as anno­ta­tions or laser poin­ters, which charac­te­rize our remote main­ten­ance soft­ware, are trans­mitted directly to the screen of the smart glasses.

Holo­Lens

The Micro­soft Holo­Lens offers the full augmented reality program

“100%” augmented reality can be achieved with the Micro­soft Holo­Lens. The Head-Mounted Display (HMD) offers exten­sive possi­bi­li­ties and func­tions, for example spatial detec­tion by sensors, spati­ally appro­priate visua­liza­tion or the exact super­im­po­si­tion of real objects.

Inte­grate any 3D objects and benefit from signi­fi­cantly more place­ment options due to the repre­sen­ta­tion of virtual elements in the entire real space — in contrast to the limi­ta­tions of classic 2D displays. Due to the posi­tio­ning in the complete field of view inclu­ding spatial ancho­ring, the virtual objects always remain in their original physical loca­tion, even if you as the carrier change your posi­tion.

With the Micro­soft Holo­Lens you merge reality with virtual content and faci­li­tate all work­flows in main­ten­ance processes thanks to the spati­ally matching over­lays.

Microsoft HoloLens 2 augmented reality maintenance

Recom­mended smart glasses

The follo­wing refe­rence models are offi­ci­ally supported by bitnamic CONNECT:

Find out more about the new Navi­gator series from Real­Wear in our compa­rison of the Navi­gator 520 and Navi­gator 500.

A direct compa­rison of Real­Wear Navi­gator 520, Vuzix M400 and Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2 offers our article Smart glasses for industry | The top 3 by compa­rison.

RealWear Navigator 520

Real­Wear Navi­gator 520

  • Android 11 plat­form
  • 1.280 x 720 Pixel Hyper­Dis­play
  • 48 MP camera
  • Pure voice control (can also be used offline, available in 17 languages)
  • IP66 MIL-STD 810 H certi­fied
  • 6–8 hours battery life, hot-swappable
  • Addi­tional Micro SD card slot for suffi­cient storage space
  • Compa­tible with safety equip­ment
  • Noise cancel­la­tion up to 100 dBA
RealWear Navigator 500

Real­Wear Navi­gator 500

  • Android 11 plat­form
  • 854 x 480 Pixel Micro­Dis­play
  • 48 MP camera
  • Pure voice control (can also be used offline, available in 17 languages)
  • IP66 MIL-STD 810 G certi­fied
  • 6–8 hours battery life, hot-swappable
  • Addi­tional Micro SD card slot for suffi­cient storage space
  • Compa­tible with safety equip­ment
  • Noise cancel­la­tion up to 100 dBA

VUZIX M400

  • Android 9 plat­form
  • OLED screen > 10.000:1 contrast ratio
  • 12.8 MP camera, 4K video
  • Phase Detect Auto­focus (PDAF), optical stabi­liza­tion
  • Language control (perso­na­lizable, supports multiple languages)
  • 3 control buttons and a 2‑axis touchpad with multi-finger support
  • IP67-certi­fied
  • Safety against falling up to 2 meters
  • Hot-swap capable 2–12 hours battery life (depen­ding on the choice of external battery)

Micro­soft Holo­Lens 2

  • Windows Holo­gra­phic Opera­ting System
  • Trans­pa­rent holo­gra­phic lenses (wave­guide)
  • 2k 3:2 Light gene­rator reso­lu­tion
  • 4 cameras for visible light, 2 IR cameras
  • 8 MP camera, 1080p30 Video
  • Real-time tracking (eye tracking)
  • Voice control (commands and control on the device, natural language with Internet connec­tion)
  • Envi­ron­mental inte­gra­tion in real time
  • 2–3 hours battery life (active use)
Apple_Vision_Pro_Hardware

Apple Vision Pro

  • visi­onOS
  • 2x Micro OLED display with 23 million pixels each
  • 12 cameras, 5 sensors
  • Eyetracking
  • Spatial Audio (HRTF)
  • Control with eyes, hands and voice
  • Dual-chip processor
  • 2 hours battery life
Smart glasses request

You use other smart glasses?

On request, we will check the compa­ti­bi­lity or a possible porting to smart glasses from your stock.

Example scena­rios

Augmented reality in use

How can augmented reality be used in prac­tice? The follo­wing two scena­rios have already been successfully tested and show how work­flows can be simpli­fied.

Ultra­sonic measu­re­ment in avia­tion

This avia­tion example shows how ultra­sonic measu­re­ments are supported by AR.

Chall­enge:

A compo­nent from aircraft cons­truc­tion is to be examined for mate­rial defects. An ultra­sonic measu­ring device is used for so-called non-destruc­tive mate­rial testing: This method makes it possible to perform the mate­rial testing without causing damage to the compo­nent.

Usually the tech­ni­cian has to look at the screen of the device to which the measu­ring device is connected (e.g. to a laptop). This neces­sity is elimi­nated with the use of the Micro­soft Holo­Lens, thus ensu­ring more effi­cient work.

How augmented reality helps:

With the help of bitnamic CONNECT, a Holo­lens appli­ca­tion guides the user step by step through the entire testing process. Textual expl­ana­tions and images are displayed to show the user, for example, which action is required in the current step or how this action should be performed.

During the course of the scenario, possible defect areas are indi­cated by animated markings, which are then to be inspected by the user with the ultra­sonic measu­ring device. After a measu­re­ment process, the result is displayed directly above the inspected area on the compo­nent. This makes testing much faster and mini­mizes errors.

The opera­tion can be carried out comple­tely without the use of hands. This scenario has already been subjected to a large number of user tests and showed a consis­t­ently posi­tive result.

IoT inte­gra­tion

The scenario described in the follo­wing shows a possible inte­gra­tion of exis­ting machine data in combi­na­tion with the advan­tages of our remote main­ten­ance solu­tion.

An indus­trial robot is visua­lized three-dimen­sio­nally in space (provided by Salt and Pepper). The indus­trial robot is part of a produc­tion plant and equipped with various sensors. Exis­ting sensor values of the indus­trial robot are trans­mitted by the Beat Moni­to­ring System (BMS) to our servers and visua­lized live on display elements on the model.

The data is synchro­nised with our servers. If an error occurs on the indus­trial robot within the produc­tion plant, the Holo­Lens user is informed of this. Depen­ding on the affected compo­nent of the robot, it is high­lighted in colour and the corre­spon­ding error text appears.

Since fault clearance is only possible with the support of an expert, the user can then set up a Remote Main­ten­ance session and transfer his own camera image to the external expert. Due to the complete inte­gra­tion, the external expert sees the video image, the sensor data and the error message of the faulty compo­nent. With the help of the expert, the error can be corrected and the indus­trial robot can be returned to a fault-free state.

The networ­king of machine data and the infra­struc­ture of our solu­tion enables fast and effi­cient assis­tance with fault clearance tasks. For this appli­ca­tion example, the virtual repre­sen­ta­tion of a machine was chosen. In real use, a direct visua­liza­tion of the sensor data on the actually exis­ting machine would take place instead (see ultra­sonic scenario above).

Faci­li­tate daily service processes

Augmented reality main­ten­ance

Main­ten­ance processes can be signi­fi­cantly simpli­fied with the help of augmented reality. A distinc­tion can be made between two vari­ants: “Augmented Reality light” using smart glasses such as the Real­Wear Navi­gator 520 or VUZIX M400, which ensure the technician’s hands are free and simplify the flow of infor­ma­tion; and “real” Augmented Reality with the Micro­soft Holo­lens, which can display addi­tional infor­ma­tion in the technician’s entire field of vision.

bitnamic CONNECT supports both use cases and has already proven itself in various appli­ca­tion scena­rios.

We would be happy to advise you on the possible appli­ca­tions of augmented reality

Request now

Infor­ma­tion mate­rial about bitnamic CONNECT

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