“ The fusion of the virtual and physical reality amazes, engages and delights. Mixed Reality empowers your brand with larger than life interactive experiences in your stores, or beamed straight into your customer’s homes.”
To understand Mixed Reality (MR) we first need to talk about its parent technologies Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Exactly how it sounds, Virtual Reality is a computer-generated reality. To see into this VR world you wear a headset that covers your eyes blocking out the real world. Headphones deliver sound, and handheld controllers let you pick up objects and interact with the space around you. All your senses are immersed in the virtual world, and it’s extremely convincing. There’s head tracking, which means that if you turn your head to look around your perception changes and you look around the virtual world. This virtual world can be anything. A fantasy video game environment, or something a little more serious like a factory, construction site, or control panel.
To understand why VR is used in the factories and job sites of DHL, Rio Tinto, and GE, take a look at this training simulation we built for a resources client. Training new engineers is an ongoing cost that eats up resources and pulls senior engineers away from their tasks. We worked with the client to design a VR simulation to automate as much of the costly training process as possible. The simulated procedure is identical to what engineers will experience on-site. We modeled all the tools, control panels, and interfaces after what they use on-site, and created a hyper-realistic oil refinery. The training simulation is a multiplayer environment in which instructors can take large groups of field engineers out at once, without congesting the workspace. They can demonstrate high-risk, mission-critical procedures before giving trainees a chance to practice in risk-free environments. Trainees can repeat the procedures hundreds of times, working through the complete list of the tasks they encounter on the job.
Augmented Reality is adding computer-generated imagery on top of the real world. This can be a heads-up display (HUD), in an aircraft, or a smartphone app like Pokemon Go that overlays Pokemon into the local park. There’s also an emerging market of purpose-built AR headsets and experiences for them.
Mixed Reality falls somewhere in between AR and VR. It’s when computer-generated objects overlay the real world. About now you’re thinking, “Hey that’s the same as AR,” And you’re not far off. The main difference between them is that in MR you can interact with virtual objects. You can grab them and manipulate them as you can in VR. It’s an advanced form of AR.
Mixed Reality is used heavily in planning, training, and optioneering across all AEC industries. Imagine, you’re looking at a jet engine tasked with routine maintenance. Normally, you’d consult a large book that guides you through the procedure. That was before your workplace implemented Mixed Reality. Now have a holographic guide that demonstrates each step visually in 3D. You can zoom in and out, look at diagrams, pause and rewind instructions, and your hands are free the whole time.
There’s a reason that both Boeing and Airbus use Mixed Reality on the Microsoft HoloLens both for planning and on the factory floor. On Boeing’s blog, Bruce Dickinson Vice President and General Manager of the 767/747 Program, said that by implementing 3D wiring guides, Mixed Reality tech has led to a 40% improvement in productivity. He is convinced that it was a culture of innovation and leaders who are willing to say ‘yes’ that enabled this idea to come to life.
We are Australia’s leading Mixed Reality agency. Our focus is on developing productivity-boosting MR experiences for a range of industries to transform how you plan, design, train, and work. We build MR applications that will ripple through your organisation positively impacting your culture, productivity, and even your bottom line.
How can MR be used in my business?
Mixed Reality is the first step toward digitising all processes and instructions. Imagine all your guide books, policy manuals, and safety procedures in a digital, interactive, and easy-to-understand format. We’re not just talking about PDFs on an intranet site or an E-Learning course. We’re talking about a new way of interacting with information that is as natural as consulting a colleague.
MR headset technology is still in its infancy with Microsoft leading the way with the release of the Hololens. This is the first self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you. We are currently building a range of MR/AR applications specifically to use with Hololens. The technology has the potential to overlay detailed visualisations and information to an environment and be tethered in place as you explore the space.
Remote Expert Assistance
Live stream what a technician is seeing to an expert in another location to receive assistance. Experts can overlay models and diagrams drawn onto the technician’s vision.
MR can be used to create and view 3D models of products prior to manufacturing. The ability to view and walk around a 3D model of a product before it is made can help to identify errors, optimize the design, and speed up the manufacturing process. MR allows for better visualization of a space or product and can be used to plan.
Mixed Reality is the perfect way to provide employees with an immersive and interactive experience that will engage them in the learning process and ensure that they retain the information. It’s also a great way to promote collaboration, as it allows team members to work together on projects in a virtual environment.
To see where the future of work in action Get in touch with us to discuss how AR and MR can be utilized by your business. If you have an idea we’ll help to put it into (augmented) reality