SmartGlasses for the 4th Industrial Revolution
The Imagination Factory is helping to make the invisible visible, as part of the technological revolution taking place in the manufacturing sector.
Having worked with a holographic waveguide display in the SwimAR project we were keen to see where else this incredible AR technology could provide a benefit.
Since we are conscious that most of the things we design will go through a manufacturing and assembly process, we have a keen interest in supporting the people that make this happen.
After carrying out some research at several automotive manufacturing plants we identified some use cases where overlaying data onto the real world in a person’s field of view would be beneficial.
- Situations where workers rotate around several workstations and complex assembly processes are updated faster than the internal training can keep up
- Remotely supervised maintenance
- Production lines with highly customised orders and where part picking is complicated
- Repetitive assembly processes where there are opportunities for human error such as complex wiring looms with multiple similar connectors
We have decided to work with the Sony LMX-001 holographic display even though it is not the most fully featured solution on the market. It is single colour and has a 20-degree field of view on the diagonal.
However, it is perfect for designers like us because it is available as a standalone module that can be integrated into new products.
This enables us to maintain control over the design for human factors that is so critical in this kind of activity. In order to drive the display, we built our own circuit board that is attached to a Raspberry Pi Zero.
In a final product this will be replaced with dedicated, miniaturised hardware. But for rapid development purposes the platform we have built means we can use the onboard WiFi and Bluetooth and attach different sensors as inputs.
The Raspberry Pi platform gives us options for software development including an open source route using Processing. This has enabled us to create some quick solutions to the various use cases to test with users without large investments in software development.
It’s important to find out things such as how small text can be and what icons or images are visible and understandable on the shop floor.
Want to know more?
We are keen to talk to manufacturers that can see the benefit of this technology to their operators and are interested in exploring tailor made solutions that are appropriate to their environment. Please contact Mark, on firstname.lastname@example.org, if that is you.