Augmented reality (AR) technology is becoming one of the main digital tools of Industry 4.0. The development of this technology has brought its implementation in various fields, including here the maritime industry. The maritime industry is currently facing a wide range of challenges arising from numerous changes and the need for greater sustainability. Augmented Reality is showing great opportunities to help this industry, especially in maintenance, remote assistance, inspections, and training purposes. The potential shown by the applications of augmented reality has made its adoption by the maritime sector to have great development. The ability of this technology has begun to revolutionize this industry by pushing it towards the digitalization of operational processes and enabling the full engagement of the workforce.
For more, let’s take a deeper look at Augmented Reality applications in the marine industry by understanding more the values that this technology has and the opportunities that its implementation offers.
Maintenance and Inspection
As is often the case in any industry, even in the maritime industry, maintenance and inspection tasks have also of great importance in the conduct of all subsequent processes as a whole. With the help of remote assistance enabled by Augmented Reality technology, it is possible to virtually examine defects by remote experts. At the same time employees who can be found even offshore through the right instructions received in real-time make it possible to complete the repairing process of stern-tube or other types of equipment as quickly as possible. In addition to Augmented Reality, we have also smart glasses as an added value to help these employees. The integration of AR Remote Assistance in the smart glasses makes it possible for employees while being in safe positions to be able to perform their tasks without distractions and at the same time to receive instructions and warning from the remote experts.
The remote collaboration realized through AR Remote Assistance makes it possible to significantly increase the productivity of the operational processes of the maritime industry. The interaction between remote experts and employees of the sector leads to a full engagement from both parties and enables the facilitation and simplification of many issues by finding the most efficient and fastest solutions. It is quite clear that this remote assistance makes it possible to stimulate employees, making them more agile and interactive. All this provides the increase of the productivity of the maritime sector by reducing the cost and making the operations safer and more efficient.
In addition to the AR application cases mentioned above, another purpose that is gaining a lot of popularity recently is the use of it for training purposes of the employees that in most cases operate even offshore. Through AR Remote Assistance remote experts with multiple skills and experience can provide real-time training of current or new employees without experience for more complex issues. Having the opportunity for this training to be realized even by being enriched with images, pdf files or 3D models makes it possible for the trainees to be trained in a more effective way different from the traditional model. Moreover, this learning process helps workers to be better prepared for unforeseen situations that may arise in the future. The remote experts through this training bring to life the scenarios of complex situations that may occur and in this way train the employees for immediate interventions that may be required to successfully pass these issues.
These are just a few examples that show the current cases and use of this technology in this industry. But what we notice is that day by day the integration of Augmented Reality brings many developments to increase the cases of its application bringing many benefits. As the adoption of this technology increases, so does the safety, productivity, and benefits of the maritime industry operations.
In fact, cost-effective software solutions have already helped the maritime industry to adopt AR Remote Assistance on its operations and use it in a beneficial way. For example, VSight Remote is providing remote assistance solutions for enhanced training experiences with the use of Augmented Reality. Through the training room feature that VSight Remote has already released, up to 3000 people can participate in the same session led by a remote expert who is defined as the host of the admin panel. The employees of the maritime industry have now the opportunity that through this remote to get proper learning and experiences in a safe environment without taking risks. Besides this at the same time, VSight Remote shows great potential to improve repair and maintenance operations. Using this remote assistance on smart devices and even wearable devices such as smart glasses allow the users to send and receive visual images, get instructions, and receive written files right in front of their eyes without the need to struggle with guide handbooks.
To summarize all that we mentioned above, Augmented Reality appears to us more than a technology, it emerges as a major wave of changes that aim to revolutionize the maritime industry. Augmented Reality has the potential to optimize the processes that give this industry the right values. This can also be taken as a stimulus for many businesses operating in this sector to implement this technology to greatly improve efficiency, reliability, and security.