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What is augmented reality? What are the benefits for industrial production?

Augmented reality: what is it about?

Augmented reality (AR) is a constantly evolving technology that allows you to enrich sensory perception through information that cannot be perceived by the senses. It can also be defined as a system that incorporates three functions: combination of real and virtual world, real-time interaction and accurate 3D registration of virtual and real objects.

Being skillfully intertwined with the physical world, the AR experience is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment. Compared to virtual reality, augmented reality makes it possible to maintain an evident contact with physical reality, while taking advantage of additional or manipulated information from reality itself.

How does it work?

There are two modes of augmented reality: with or without markers, that is, with or without an image that triggers the appearance of a content. The AR with marker allows digital devices to recognize the image by superimposing multimedia content on it in real time, through the constant framing of the marker.

The one without a marker, on the other hand, guarantees full freedom of movement, since the user does not have to continuously identify the image. It is sufficient to frame a horizontal shelf for the first time, so as to dictate the position of the virtual content.

Sectors of use

Augmented reality can be applied in many areas. From archeology to architecture, from gaming to education, from medicine to entertainment, from commerce to tourism.

The development potential of AR is particularly promising in the industrial production sector. AR technologies generate statistics, calculations and other information aimed at increasing workers’ understanding of the surrounding environment.

The advantages for industrial production

First of all, augmented reality is the ideal ally for the Industry 4.0 paradigm. In fact, AR allows operators to connect to the corporate information ecosystem, promoting both efficiency and the democratization of skills.

This reflection reveals the centrality of AR in employee training, but also in supporting maintenance and assistance technicians. AR instructions and guides replace long and complex manuals, simplifying and “compacting” useful information and allowing connections with remote expert personnel.

All this allows to optimize the performance of resources and personnel and, consequently, to reduce costs, guaranteeing quality products and punctual delivery.

AR for predictive maintenance

The next step, to meet the objectives of Industry 4.0, is the simplification of predictive maintenance programs. The rapid identification of defective parts or potential problems by the AR allows operators to save a large amount of time in the research phase and reduce unplanned downtime.

In the face of increasingly complex production operations, full digital integration is even more necessary. Encouraging the development and use of AR represents a first and important step towards a world of interconnected, simplified, secure resources and data within everyone’s reach.

Source: Controllo e Misura

Read also: What are cobots? Why do they perfectly interpret the needs of SMEs?

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