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How Augmented Reality will completely morph the automotive industry?

Remember that friend of yours who is a Pokémon-Go fanatic and also dreams of incorporating the same technology while building the next Gigafactory? You are going to regret dismissing him, and his idea after reading this article. The technology which I am referring to is ‘Augmented Reality’.

It honestly is just a fancy-pants term for a relatively intuitive concept. You just superimpose digitally created 3-D imagery on everyday objects and utilities, and that too in real time. You are then able to ‘augment’ the tangible ‘reality’ by incorporating digitally produced attachments onto it; Hence, the term Augmented Reality. The short-form for it is AR, unsurprisingly.

Now the basic requirement for letting the below ideas assimilate in your head has been met with, how does AR make any relation with the dream of that friend of yours?

The ideas which are presented below are arranged to accommodate an ocean-like flow, ranging from how AR is useful in manufacturing a vehicle to how your driving skills will improve in quantum leaps, and how AR will eventually be able to save these puny lives of ours. Also, you will eventually realize that you have been living under a rock in a world which is slowly edging closer to developing a Jarvis, for every vehicle out there.

Firstly, let us realize how AR will exponentially increase the efficiency and reduce the time required to manufacture vehicles.

Imagine being an automobile-designer for a moment. You are sitting with your compatriots and brainstorming over new designs, and you get struck by a one-in-a-million idea, right out of the blue. But now you’ve got to make a clay model of it, depicting every edge of that design of yours, and in the process, you lose track of how the chassis will beautifully converge into the rear bumper. I am serious here, clay-modelling is heavily used in brainstorming and finalizing designs.

Now only if you were a designer in Ford, you would’ve been using Microsoft’s HoloLens, a holographic wireless headgear, with a built-in computer, which assists you in churning out designs and introduce changes to it. Now, you can stand around a basic skeleton of the car, which is made out of clay, with your designing team, while wearing these AR headsets. All of you will be connected to each other through the cloud, and will be able to incorporate changes onto that currently bland clay model, all that in real-time! Are the side-skirts too short? Just zoom-out with your fingers to elongate them. You’ll be able to incorporate changes with just a flick of your fingers and by waving your hands around!

But don’t get too jumpy at this prospect. Ford says that the clay-models are here to stay and the HoloLens will only be used where it can deliver concrete benefits, like in integrating those pesky engineering requirements, which will eventually ease down the work of all departments in the long run.

Now that you are done with the designing, let us move on to the assembly line. The basic chassis has been assembled by your automated friends down the corner, and the job which requires surgical precision is yours to do, which involves manual fitting of quintessential equipment. Now if you were to run into a rut, you will have no choice but to seek help from the technical leads which will halt production and leadingly waste industrial time.

The above wouldn’t have been a problem if you had RealWear’s HMT-1Z1 AR enabled headset. RealWear has developed headsets that incorporate all the hardware components to a pair of glasses attached to a helmet. The AR glasses resemble those safety helmets used in constructions sites while drawing some hints from Google Glass.

The concept behind the HMT-1Z1 is to enable the assembly line personnel with digital data from manuals and streaming tutorial clippings so that they won’t have problems in troubleshooting control systems.

For the geeks who wish to know the specs, here you go: At the heart of the HMT-1Z1’s system architecture is a 2.0 GHz, 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, included with the 14-nm Adreno 506 Graphics Processor Unit (GPU) for supporting high definition 1080p multimedia. The headset possesses four microphones which actively cancel disturbances and also have a voice recognition feature. Now assembly-line workers can easily transmit images of the issue at hand to the technical supervisors, thereby enabling them to suggest counter-measures by superimposing images and other projections of various equipment, all that in real time, and the issue at hand will be dealt with right then and there, saving invaluable industrial time.