Industry Group Releases Technology Guidelines for Augmented Reality

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Industry Group Releases Technology Guidelines for Augmented Reality


The Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance (AREA) and UI Labs this month released guidelines for hardware and software functional requirements to help technology companies develop AR products for industrial users.

The documents were produced with the goal of driving technology that improves the performance and efficiency for manufacturers in a number of areas, including employee training and safety, factory floor and field service operations, machine assembly, inspection and repair, manufacturing space, and product design.

Procter & Gamble, Lockheed Martin and Caterpillar initiated the development process as part of a project through the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS collaboration. Recently, representatives from 65 manufacturers, AR providers, universities, and government agencies convened for a workshop to discuss their challenges and needs to further develop the guidelines.

Augmented reality superimposes computer-generated content on a user’s view of the real world, using glasses, headsets or tablets to provide a composite view. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, AR retains the existing environment and displays new information on top of it. The global AR market is expected to exceed $95 billion by 2023, according to a recent Credence Research report. Big Market Research expects the global AR and VR gear market to grow at a compound annual rate of 37% between 2017 and 2021.

“Augmented reality has immense potential to transform manufacturing, and early adopters are seeing impressive productivity and quality improvements,” said Thomas McDermott, executive director of DMDII. “However, wide adoption of this technology requires collaboration among the industrial companies operating on the front lines and the AR providers designing solutions to ensure the technology under development meets the needs of industry.”

AREA, a membership-funded alliance helping to accelerate the adoption of enterprise AR, will be responsible for the ongoing development, maintenance and updating of the guidelines.

“For the first time, the industry — both suppliers and users in the AR space — will have access to a benchmark set of requirements that will help them develop a roadmap and source, select, evaluate and deploy augmented reality solutions,” said Mark Sage, executive director of AREA. “These functional requirements will be used to help continue the development of the AR ecosystem, and AREA is looking forward to communicating and driving future changes.”

Additional participants in the DMDII workshop included Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft Corp. and Stanley Black & Decker.