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What can Augmented reality offer the machinebuilding and maintenance sector?

Augmented reality proves to be an excellent tool to speed up and improve the quality of work during the assembly, building and maintenance of heavy machinery.

Are you curious how this is possible? Read our article about machinebuilding AR to learn more!

What kind of AR technologies are there?

Augmented Reality is possible by combining a number of different technologies. Here are some elements that are of great importance for AR applications:

Simultaneous Location And Mapping is used to compile a map of an unknown space, while recording the position of the device that determines the location. For example, it is possible to put a virtual character on the table, to walk to another room, and when you return that doll is still on the table. This is not possible with image recognition alone. SLAM is also used in, for example, cars that can drive autonomously.

Point Cloud
This is a 3D field of reference points in space. By recognizing objects, a device can determine how large a room is, which objects are in it and thus compile a collection of reference points with which you can position AR information in very specific places. For example, if you place a virtual chair on the floor, it will not fall through the floor.

Artificial intelligence
Artificial Intelligence or AI is playing an increasingly important role in everyday life. For example, Google can determine that you search for information without using the specific words. AR can place new information in context and draw a conclusion from it. An important difference between image recognition and speech recognition with and without AI is the ability to add new information to existing information.

For example, a camera can recognize your face, or a voice assistant can better understand your voice and dialect. Incidentally, the bar for AI is constantly being raised, as soon as a machine has learned a new skill, it is quickly assumed that it is not really intelligent. AI algorithms play an important role in Augmented Reality.

ARKit and AR Core
Augmented Reality applications for mobile smartphones have been developed since 2008. These were often applications based on proprietary software, as a result of which the quality often left something to be desired, and development was slow. In 2014, Google released Project Tango, a Mixed Reality platform for mobile devices based on specific hardware.

Unfortunately, there were very few devices that could use this technology. Apple released ARKit in 2017, a platform within the iOS 11 mobile operating system that makes developing AR apps a lot easier, as the building blocks for app development are readily available. In addition, there was the advantage that ARKit was immediately usable on hundreds of millions of Apple mobile devices.

About a month before the introduction of the new iPhone, Google decided to release their own AR system for Android devices under the name AR Core. This was basically the same as Tango, but without the need for a camera that can record depth.

The functionality between ARKit and AR Core is very similar, with the big difference that ARKit is only suitable for Apple products, and AR Core only for Android products.

Incidentally, there are technical requirements for the AR Core platform with which you cannot use this Augmented Reality platform on every Android device. ARKit theoretically works with all Apple mobile devices with a 64bit processor and iOS11.

The names are very similar, in addition there is also ARToolKit, an Open Source library for the development of Augmented Reality applications that is available in addition to Linux and Windows for Apple iOS and Google Android. ARToolKit dates from 1999, so far before the systems of Apple and Google.

What is AR?

With Augmented Reality or AR, a digital layer is placed over reality. You see the world around you, and on a screen. For example on a smartphone, or through a projection on a prism with “smart glasses” you can see virtual images floating before your eyes.

The term “augmented” stands for “added”, new information is added to reality as we can perceive it.

What is the difference between AR and VR?

Virtual Reality
VR gives a completely immersive experience. Immersive means immersion. You enter a completely different world and it is not possible to see your real environment.
The strength of immersive depends on the number of techniques used. This will be discussed in more detail later.

Augmented Reality
A combination of reality and a simulation (such as a hologram) or text that appears before your eyes and floats on the screen.

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