The Way of the Future

Posted by Nick Schiltz on June 6

We've talked a bit about Virtual & Augmented Reality on the blog, but mostly from an entertainment perspective. Technologies like these on the near horizon are opening up limitless possibilities for potential. What can you imagine using AR & VR for? I'd like my glasses to have a Heads Up Display (HUD) that shows me everybody's first name so I never again forget it as soon as I meet them. Like I said; endless possibilities! Here's another novel one:

Toms River Municipal Utilities Authority (TRMUA) may just be the first utility in the world to use mixed reality headsets to guide fieldworkers in locating underground utilities. This technological leap brings utilities and other companies with underground assets closer to realizing an age-old wish: to see through dirt. The mixed reality solution is helping field technicians at TRMUA close service tickets more quickly and avoid costly repairs.

“This is not science fiction anymore,” says Len Bundra, the IT/GIS director for the TRMUA agency, and the person who saw the potential in a mixed reality application.

The use of mixed reality or augmented reality (AR) devices in work environments continues to grow.

"The city I work for has been eyeing this technology for about a year, monitoring its growth and effectiveness. It is something our IT department has been preparing coordinates for from our current Geographic Information System" (GIS) database as we survey utilities," a Utilities Engineer familiar with the technology speculated. "This is indeed the future of utility locating for construction and repairs!"

Goggles, smart glasses, headsets, and helmets that project information, instructions, or images on the wearer’s field of vision are being used by manufacturing and retail companies that build equipment, repair machinery, or want to show customers what kitchens or homes will look like when completed. And the list of the technologies’ applications keeps getting longer.

In December 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that companies were performing quality checks 20 percent faster and speeding up production by 25 percent with versions of the smart glasses. It also noted that Forrester Research, Inc., predicted that the number of US workers using smart glasses will grow from the current 400,000 to nearly 14.5 million in 2025. The research company also expects spending on smart glasses among large companies to increase from $6 million to $3.6 billion in the same period.

Source: Road to VR


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