The human eye is one of the most complicated structures known to man, capable of interpreting a slice of the electromagnetic spectrum and turning it into useful information. But for all its brilliance it still has limitations, not least of which is its ability to only see what is directly in front of it.
The technology of augmented reality breaks through this limitation by layering additional contextually relevant information over whatever the eye beholds.
Dr. Ambarish Kulkarni and his team at Swinburne University are focused on exploring the application of augmented reality and wearables to industrial processes. Kulkarni sees enormous potential in the field of industrial maintenance, where augmented reality could provide step-by-step instructions projected directly into a technician’s field of vision. Swinburne University has already engaged in visualisation projects with the train manufacturer Bombardier.
Airbus is experimenting with AR glasses on the production line. “When they are doing maintenance they can put on a head-mounted display and visualise the complete maintenance activity through that,” Kulkarni says. The key benefit is in reduced training time, potentially by up to 60 per cent.