For the augmented reality (AR) industry, 2016 may well be recorded as the “Year of Pokemon Go.”
The summer release of Pokemon Go seemed to transfix the world for a time beginning in July — before the Olympics in Rio dominated headlines — and cast a global spotlight on the power and reach of AR.
The spotlight reached Index AR Solutions as various members of the media contacted us for our perspective on AR. Most recently, Index AR Solutions is featured prominently in a recent article, titled “Productivity gains from AR applications,” on SearchCIO.com, which provides technology management strategies designed exclusively for the enterprise CIO.
SearchCIO.com is part of the network of sites from TechTarget, a comprehensive source of information for IT professionals who are purchasing, deploying, managing and developing technology at leading organizations.
In the nearly 1,100-word article, writer Stan Gibson describes how the Pokemon Go phenomenon has been a “wake-up call” for many organizations, although some were already harnessing augmented reality (AR) technology to gain significant benefits from its applications.
The article quotes Index Executive Vice President and COO Dexter Lilley as he says that Pokemon Go makes AR seem easy, but it’s not. AR requires a high level of technical skill and knowledge to execute successfully.
In the article, Lilley describes how Index grew out of AR research that started in 2011 at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a subsidiary of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII). At the time, Lilley was director of corporate strategy and business development at HII and he became involved in the AR work in 2012.
Lilley and Index CEO Dan Arczynski launched the company in 2015 to “commercialize the technology with the blessing of NNS,” according to the article.
Lilley says that one of the things that sets Index apart from other businesses and organizations in the AR sector is that they are industry and process experts who learned how to do AR. He goes on to provide examples of how Index’s AR applications have proven successful — even wildly successful in cases — in the enterprise environment.
Gibson writes, “One shipbuilding application helps workers identify and remove temporary steel — the steel that helps hold ship parts together during construction but is not needed when construction is complete. In the past, correctly identifying and removing temporary steel was time-consuming. Workers had to repeatedly refer to unwieldy printed diagrams and mistakes could be costly. On an Apple iPad, the Index AR application allows workers to view a portion of the ship with temporary steel colored in green, while permanent steel appears in purple on the screen. `With the AR app, the process took only 90 minutes, not a week,’” Lilley said.
This application was developed with the ingenuity of our AR team, our proprietary AR software and Vuforia vision science software for mobile. Lilley further describes how this type of inspection application tends to require that workers operate in a “hands free” environment. To accomplish this, the iPad is set on a stand.
Lilley also discussed headsets that confer hands-free capability. While Lilley says they are not yet suitable for his applications, he has found that headsets can be too heavy, they run too hot and are costly and too delicate for extended use.
One caveat, however. Lilley is quoted in the article as saying that his perspective on headsets “could change in the next six to 18 months.”
To see the full SearchCIO in TechTarget article, go here: http://searchcio.techtarget.com/feature/Enterprise-augmented-reality-AR-applications-are-just-around-the-bend