What is MR?
Mixed reality is a term introduced by Microsoft to describe the different types of virtual reality systems.
As shown in the graph it can be divided into multiple subtypes which just indicate how much of the environment is created virtually. Environments on the left tend to have less virtual elements whereas environments on the right mostly consist out of these.
Augmented Reality (AR)
In AR the real world is extended with virtual objects. Individuals interact mostly with the real world, but with additional information or overlays.
Use cases for AR are for example the projection of measurement data, x-ray vision, our HUD (heads-up displays). We implement AR for devices like the Microsoft HoloLens, or for smartphones using Google’s ARCore which enables apps to place virtual objects in the live camera view.
Augmented Virtuality (AV)
In AV a virtual reality world is extended with physical objects. This is applied for example in games where players interact with a completely virtual world, but using their own real hands, tracked by sensors. AV allows for a high level of immersion, i.e. one’s perception of being physically present in a virtual environment.
Example devices applying AV are motion controllers such as the Leap Motion, or the HTC Vive in use with its handheld controllers.
Virtual Reality (VR)
In VR the entire perceived world is simulated and computer-generated. The user is totally separated from the real world. The environment only consists out of virtual objects.
VR can be used for simulation of another place at your current location. VR devices include smartphones via Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Playstation VR and others.
Catalysts’ field of work
Catalysts creates solutions for mixed reality applications which include the app itself and all of the necessary additional software, such as server applications or companion apps on the phone. Additionally we provide support when it comes to integration of mixed reality in the users’ daily workflow.
Visualization and Configuration of 3D Models
Mixed reality allows to visualize 3D models in true size or at a scale. You can examine how an appliance would look like, before building it. The use of motion controllers even allows to test some functionality before even a prototype is built.
Visualization also allows to demonstrate big machines without having to move them, for example at exhibitions. Potential customers could see how their configuration wishes would look in full scale.
In addition mixed reality gives manufacturing businesses the opportunity to let their customers take home any 3D visualizations and view them on their smartphones in private.
Remote Collaboration and Displaying Information
Integrated cameras and microphones of the HoloLens allow to use it for remote collaboration. An expert located at the office can instruct an engineer remotely.
Furthermore additional Information can be displayed to the engineer. This could be an overlay of real-time sensor values as well as instructions out of a manual.
Training of Personnel
Whenever there is a new appliance or vehicle, personnel needs to be trained for operation. However this means that the appliance cannot be used for production during the training. Building a simulator can be expensive, bulky and inflexible in terms of transportation. This is where a Mixed Reality solution pays off.
Mixed Reality offers the possibility to train personnel without having to block an appliance.
While it might be the most obvious application, augmenting the view of a person can create huge benefits. There are virtually endless possibilities. Displaying objects as if the operator had x-ray vision, highlight areas of interest on real-world objects, use a desk as display, projection of plans of piping or electrical installation, etc.
In short, we can make information visible which is hidden by nature.
By combining AI with augmented reality we are able to not only develop algorithms that interpret images, but also have an intuitive user interface that visualizes the results directly on real world objects.
This allows us to create applications that support engineers with dynamic data generated directly from their field of vision.
By displaying results close to real world objects we can reduce human errors during locating and interpreting AI results. Hence, the inspection times are shortened in general.
Have a look at relevant projects
How to start?
- Get in touch with us to see how Computer Vision methods can improve your quality assurance process!
- Prepare some image material from your production line. We will develop a small proof-of-concept prototype to show you what today’s algorithms are capable of.
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