4 min. read
From 5th to 6th of July, the second edition of DIGILITY conference and expo took place in Cologne, Germany. In this year, we also welcomed all VR and AR fans with our own booth and focused on the topics of augmented reality, mixed reality and wearable computing, especially in the industrial context.
While the corridors of the exhibition hall boomed with provider of the VR sector, we were one of the few exhibitors presenting solutions in the industrial AR field. On our booth, visitors were able to test a HoloLens demonstration based on the Simplifier. They could inspect a virtual electric motor and divide it into its individual parts by simple manual actions. Furthermore the recall of live data by OPC Unified Architecture or the illustration of checklists were also possible via the Microsoft HoloLens.
Another highlight on our booth was a virtual steering gear. How it works? It’s quite simple: take a tablet into your hand, scan the code with our Simplifier and the steering gear appears in 3D on your screen. Now you can examine it from all aspects. This function is intended to provide employees a process-integrated solution to speed up the repair process and simplify the correction of errors. Within 25 steps, the user is playfully guided through a digital instruction. There will be no more bothering about annoying instructions in hard copy. Thus for example, he can see exactly how individual components are replaced and which spare parts he needs for them.
In order to give visitors a better idea of our solutions in the AR sector, we demonstrated a third example on our booth. By using the tablet, visitors could see a real machine via the screen and read additional information. With the live data via an OPC UA connector, error messages can be displayed virtually directly on the machine.
On the second day of DIGILITY 2017, our Chief Innovation Officer, Christopher Bouveret, presented the solutions of iTiZZiMO AG with his presentation “A Startup’s Journey”. Starting with the story of five years evolution at iTiZZiMO, he gave insights about common mistakes that were made and learnings that helped becoming better. Besides he talked about agile business development and the way to a market proven product – our low-code platform Simplifier – by changing direction based on customer and market insights.
Lecture missed? Here you can find the presentation in full length.
Finally, we would like to share our insight of two days DIGILITY 2017. How is it going on in the area of AR and VR? Christopher Bouveret has summarized the most important facts for us:
What can professional users and consumers expect in the VR and AR sector in the coming years?
It’s a fact that the market does not stop! The speed of hardware development is impressive and there are several different approaches of manufacturers to improve the AR and VR experiences. For example head-mounted displays (HMD) or data glasses. Moreover approaches that project digital information directly into the optic nerve through bio-enhancement. Google has already applied for a patent.
Apple also works with high pressure on smart glasses. Not least because of the fact that Apple has acquired Metaio, an augmented reality startup in Munich and the recent publication of the ARKit One, a foundation was laid for positioning augmented reality in the mass market. Also applications like Pokemon Go have significantly increased the popularity of augmented reality.
The quality and performance of AR and VR applications can also be considerably increased by the rising quality and processing power of mobile devices. Since the software has already been developed very good in many places, the hardware solutions are now beginning to speed up the whole process. However, there are still problems with smart glasses on the market, in terms of ergonomics, performance or quality of the offered models. Nevertheless significant progress can be identified.
How can these technologies support the development of new business models?
The AR and VR applications are diverse and open up entirely new possibilities for human-machine interaction. Above all, digital assistance systems play an important role. They can definitely open up completely new business fields. However, the main factor is the scalability of AR and VR applications in terms of content. There is still a need for catching up, especially in data processing, integration and usability of digital information, particularly in the enterprise environment.
The field of training and apprenticeship should be also mentioned. Again, AR and VR solutions can make an essential contribution to generate a more efficiently knowledge transfer. The advantage is that we do not need a real training environment even more.
Which techniques can generate innovative user experiences?
VR and AR offer a great extension for the user experience! One example is the mixed reality. Also called hybrid reality, it aims to combine the best aspects of both VR and AR. It also refers to the entire spectrum of situations that span the continuum between virtual reality and actual reality. In this case, mixed reality can include AR, augmented virtuality, and other mixed configurations.
In addition, sense perception such as tasting, feeling or smelling are also very important. The expansion by motion sensors and haptic objects will bring the experience even closer to reality. These scenarios will also play an important role in the next years.
How can new possibilities of cooperation across sectors look like?
Clearly, the trend in the future will increasingly go to virtual meetings via VR and AR. With VR, it is possible to view everyone in the meeting from a 360-degree perspective. Wearing a VR headset, participants can look to their right or left and see others in the virtual room as if they were right next to them. Using AR on top, teams can share and manipulate projects in real time. This kind of Mixed Reality in a meeting allows meeting participants to essentially be in the same place at the same time. One example is the US-based software startup AltspaceVR. The company provides a room in VR that is compatible with Oculus Rift.
AR will also improve the collaboration in the field of trainings and maintenance. For example, in the field of industrial maintenance, AR is a very practical assistance for staff in their highly demanding technical work. The environment can thus be enriched by the addition of virtual information.
Do you want to learn more about the Simplifier and possible applications in your company?
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