Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it. Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.
From factory floors to farmlands and even living rooms, the Internet of Things has swarmed into every inch of our lives. Sensors and actuators connected to the cloud via the Internet are creating a data deluge that is attracting mega investments from enterprises. However, to unlock the true potential of the data deluge that IoT is creating a visually efficient medium is required. Such a medium should be easy-to-use, easily scalable and must be easy to integrate into the daily lives of users. Finding such a technology is quite a challenge. Augmented Reality is the tech world’s answer to that challenge.
IoT and Augmented Reality will help businesses get the most out the data that sensors bring to them in dashboard formats. Augmented Reality can help visualize data from hundreds and thousands of sensors simultaneously overlaying such data over any touchscreen with actionable interfaces. For example, the temperature levels, climatic levels, maintenance tasks within an indoor farm can be easily visualized on a mobile device using IoT and Augmented Reality combination.
In an IoT and Augmented Reality combination workflow, IoT sensors will do the task of collecting and transmitting data while the AR services will visualize such data and allow users to interact with it real-time for actionable results. In other words, AR makes it easy to “see” the data that a connected device would be transmitting in binary digits. That makes it so easy for on-the-site personnel to take immediate action.
Technology with real-world problems:
Bringing City Administration:This technology could be used by emergency responders. “Moreover, those same first responders might plug certain variables into an incident as it is unfolding to ‘see’ the prediction of what will happen. They could visualize where the crowds will go, how the flood will expand, where the fire might move and which people and/or facilities would be impacted
Helmet Protect Workers in More Ways Than One:
AR with the help of IoT has developed a helmet that can just protect workers from falling objects but enable them to spot hazards and help them from making mistakes when repairing equipment. The smart helmet can provide employees with guided work instruction and thermal vision to spot overheating components. The technology can reduce errors and repair time while doing away with the need to consult printed instructions. The device is also capable of doing diagnostics and detecting hazards using thermal vision.
Maintaining a Fleet of Heavy Equipment Vehicles:Heavy machinery maker Caterpillar is using augmented reality technology for predictive maintenance enabling a user to look at a machine and instantly see a visual overlay that states when various components need to be replaced, how much fuel has been used, and how much weight, say, a backhoe is carrying. The technology could also actively assist users in maintenance operations, walking them through the steps required to, for instance, change an air filter.
Visualizing Product Design:Imagine if designers could see the products they are developing explode to life in the form of a life-sized virtual replica that can appear like it is sitting in the same room. The designers could instantaneously make changes to the designs in Autodesk software, changing the color of, say, a motorcycle and tweaking the shape of the body, as Microsoft demonstrated last year. And because of the Microsoft HoloLens ability to interact with the real world, designs can also be overlaid over existing vehicles. The ability to instantaneously iterate could cut down on the need for creating prototypes.
Augmented reality technology also could open up a new world of collaboration between product designers and engineers who could interactively discuss product refinements.
Applications of IoT
Monitoring Crops and Farm Vehicles:With droughts becoming more common globally, farmers can’t afford to waste water. But sensors in the soil can help inform them exactly when watering is necessary. Augmented reality technology can help farmers not only monitor moisture, but they can also track the temperature of their crops and keep track of their equipment. “A farmer could be walking through the field and see the moisture level of the soil, the temperature of the crops. AR can also be used to monitor the performance of your water pump or your harvester to see if it is operating normally or running out of gas or if the temperature is too high
Manufacturing with Augmented Reality and IoT Integration: Integrating Augmented Reality into IoT applications can unlock business value for manufacturers. The transformation would result in a total transformation of how manufacturers and their ground staff look at equipment, monitor their vital stats and deduce need for immediate repair or maintenance activities. The biggest benefit is that AR-IoT integration would empower equipment technicians to scan the internal components of an equipment without having to spend time dismantling all the outer components. Also, it spares remote workers from the need to head back to a laptop or Internet connection.
They can access real-time information about the equipment malfunctioning on an as-is condition and work out a remedial action instantly. AR will overlay information that is visually consumable and understandable by any layman. This makes it all the more welcoming for low-skilled laborers who could be entrusted with the repairs and maintenance activities.
Scope of AR/VR in Medical Imaging
Considering the current advancement and maturity of VR/AR technologies, there are various ways in which these technologies can be applied to medical imaging operations:
- AR/VR can be used for tumor imaging during chemotherapy administration. Such AR/VR imaging applications can provide insights on changes in tumor size as well as other details such as end-to-end structure, shape, and margin. It can also help compare changes in the tumor over the period of time during chemotherapy.
- With current technologies in use, imaging provides two-dimensional information such as tumor location, laterality (in the case of breast cancer), distance and size. With AR/VR applications, this information can be enhanced to deliver details with orientation, a 3D location of speculations and proximity to adjacent structures.
- With the use of AR/VR imaging, a detailed mapping can be done for pre-operative mark-up of tumor boundaries. This will help to understand the structure of a complex tumor. It will also help during lumpectomies for tumor resection and surgeons can make sure that no residual tumor is left.
Connected Cars & Augmented Reality – A whole new way of driving
Thanks to Augmented Reality and IoT, what was until now seen only in Hollywood flicks will now be a mainstream technology. Scenes of fighter jet pilots looking at data that pops up on heads-up displays are something we all have got used to. AR and IoT will bring such a convenience to the dashboard of connected cars. BMW’s Vision Next 100 concept cars are a perfect example of the connected cars of future will have AR-enabled in them for safer, smarter and a more immersive driving experience. As a matter of fact, BMW’s sister brand MINI Cooper is in the works to create an Augmented Vision headset in collaboration with mobile chipmaker Qualcomm.
Once the model hits the production model, it would enable MINI owners to see through the body of the car to view objects. Further, the glasses would also enable drivers to view information like driving speed, navigation directions with turn-by-turn indicators, digital signages and much more.
Networks That Will Connect AR & IoT
AR and IoT would use existing network namely, mobile networks (3G onwards) and wi-fi. Advanced network technologies like LoRa might also come into the fold if specific IoT devices resort to using them. Ericsson already announced a 5G network that is capable of handling data-heavy applications like Augmented Reality and video streaming. With these networks, connectivity should not be a problem for AR & IoT. In fact, given the bandwidth and velocity of these networks, they will provide users a seamless experience superior to erstwhile networks.
Augmented Reality and IoT together can help tackle several problems that diverse industries are facing. The universal benefit that the combo would bring to businesses is translating binary data into visualized data that will simplify decision-making. The visualization of data would even empower low-skilled employees to understand how equipment under their control is working and take precautionary measures. This would be a game-changer in manufacturing scenarios like Manufacturing 4.0, connected agriculture, connected healthcare and so on.
The possibilities we have discussed here are just the beginning of a future where data will no longer look like alphanumeric characters.