Sixdof Space is driving new advances in what we call Dynamic Status Augmented Reality (DSAR) technology (patent pending). Once you’ve donned a pair of VR/AR goggles with DSAR, our technology delivers precisely-positioned, real-time status information, right where you need to see it, without requiring:
· Cloud services
· 3D site model
· A network connection
How does it work?
Let’s say you’ve got 20 sensors on an industrial machine. Or 200 sensors in a small production line, or perhaps 2,000 sensors in a laboratory. It may be simple enough to collect all that data in real-time over your network into a database, but how can you make it useable, on the fly, for a technician walking through the room to make adjustments or repairs?
The simplest approach is to throw in a handful of LED indicator lights to grab their attention, but for meaningful messages beyond a good/bad/error indication, it quickly becomes impossible to convey specific feedback like a temperature, error code, or update on missing consumables.
So, reluctantly, you add a display to show that data in more detail. But is there really space for it? Does the technician have to walk right up to that tiny screen to see anything in detail? It’s not that much more helpful.
Surely the IOT infrastructure can help here. Our technician grabs a laptop to pull up a full screen of data for any sensor — as long as they know its ID, IP, or location. If the technician knows where the device is, and the sensor’s location was measured and logged correctly, maybe they will actually get the data from the device in front of them.
Not so fast. What if it’s a complicated device that needs to alert us about a problem with a particular component? A blinking LED to drive attention to the particular problem area? Impractical in most cases. An on-screen guide, maybe a video, showing where the “widget extraction lever” is? Very rare, as it’s hard to design and manage.
Well, there is a better way - Augmented Reality! Whether it’s a hand-held tablet or a head-mounted system, AR allows ‘virtual’ messages to be placed visually at specific locations connected to real-world objects. Picture opening the hood of a car and having alerts pop up directly over three parts that need to be fixed or replaced.
It seems such a great solution, but in many of today’s initial implementations, it’s awkward. They work through some cloud-based IOT database, and they feature video overlays that appear unsteady and sometimes disappear. And if someone swapped over a couple of systems last week without updating the reference database? We aren’t even getting data for the correct machine!
Let’s take a step back… how do we do this right?
1. We need to know what we are seeing— to have a group of sensors inform us directly and specifically about specific issues without multiple intermediaries, the same way that we can look at status LEDs without having to ask what the machine’s IP address is.
2. We need a way of receiving richer information than can be delivered by status LEDs, and we need it fast, not affected by Wi-Fi blind spots or cloud delays.
3. We need an accurate visual connection of information to the correct physical location in the device, easily seen even in difficult lighting conditions.
A simple way to think of DSAR is to think back to those promos we saw for Google Glass (or the movie Minority Report) years ago. You walk into a party, and above each person’s head is a little sign with their name, spouse’s name, where they work, last time you saw them, and their hobbies, political affiliation, etc. You’re all ready for small talk because you’ve got the information you need in real-time, and in context. Now apply that to a technician in a server farm with 5,000 server racks. He can walk the floor, and any server with a pending or current issue grabs his attention by displaying the data he needs to remedy it, floating directly over one of the 20 servers in the rack.
If you need a method of getting live, positionally-accurate status data, independent of cloud or network access, or from moveable or moving objects, contact Sixdof Space to find out how DSAR can help!
To see DSAR in action, check out our video at: https://vimeo.com/679649268