Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), amalgamated as Mixed Reality, offer new possibilities for data visualisation, interaction, communication and training for business and industry.
Twenty-five industrial companies and several universities are now developing concrete applications in a joint project in Lower Austria with the support of the ecoplus-Mechatronics Cluster.
Mixed Reality Based Collaboration
In the age of Industry 4.0, production processes are increasingly monitored and controlled digitally. In this context, Mixed-Reality technology is often applied. In the ecoplus-cooperation project "Mixed Reality Based Collaboration 4 Industry", industrial companies are introducing concrete application cases and further developing these together with universities and research institutions.
The Mixed-Reality examples originate from four subject areas: support of production on the machine, remote support for plant and equipment service around the world, instruction and training in modern apprenticeship programmes as well as the presentation of products in virtual showrooms.
"In the project, we want to develop a common-software framework that can be used for diverse applications. For each example, a prototypical implementation for internal use and evaluation should emerge at the end of the project", said Thomas Moser, Head of the research group Digital Technologies at St. Pölten UAS.
Research focus at St. Pölten UAS: user-friendliness and interaction
These prototype implementations will not only be technically implemented and evaluated in the project but also assessed for their acceptance and potential effects on the working environment.
Furthermore, the project researchers are examining existing Mixed-Reality hardware for its industrial suitability. As part of the project an in order to garner initial experience, the hardware will also be made available to companies. In addition, methods of interaction already used in various industrial applications or in the entertainment industry will be analysed and evaluated for their practical viability.
Also under examination is whether modern technology is suitable in practice under real-world conditions and in real-industrial environments, for example, with regard to noise levels, safety requirements and lighting conditions.
Project "Mixed Reality Based Collaboration 4 Industry":
The project is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) as part of the Collective Research programme. The companies contribute money for the application cases. Partners in the project are: ecoplus (coordination), FOTEC Forschungs- und Technologietransfer GmbH (Research and Technology Transfer GmbH), IMC Krems UAS, Upper Austria UAS Campus Steyr and Vienna University of Technology.