Augmented reality is a technology that overlays the real world environment with computer generated graphics, images, sound and video in a way that helps users obtain an enhanced understanding of their duty, responsibility, opportunities or threats to safety and/or property. WikiPedia defines Augmented Reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality.
SCOPE AR is a technology outfit based in Alberta, Canada that produces and markets an augmented reality (AR) solution with a primary focus on industrial and engineer clients. The systems they promote are designed to support stakeholders in training, manufacturing and field service maintenance.
The SCOPE AR system is comprised of two products: WorkLink and RemoteAR. ScopeAr’s website claims that the Worklink product,”transform(s) traditional paper-based work instructions into Smart instructions, users are immersed into animated, intuitive, 3D computer generated imagery that overlay on top of the real world.” The manufacturer also reports that, “This immersion has proven to improve comprehension, knowledge retention, and efficacy; which results in higher quality, faster cycle times, and cost savings.”
Of its Remote AR product, SCOPE AR says ,”Remote AR is a one-of-a-kind collaboration tool that allows remote field technicians and experts to connect via live video, audio, and a powerful annotation tool set that is augmented onto the real world.” The company reports, “Annotations and 3D models are placed by users through shared one-way video and stay locked onto the real world, giving rich context and eliminates confusion. No matter how users move around, their annotations will persist ensuring their message and intent never gets lost.”
The demonstration tool available on the company’s website allows for the download of an electrical circuit breaker panel repair demonstration that demonstrates the high fidelity experience and systematic support that the Augmented reality lends a technician or engineer who is working in the real world and attempting to fix/diagnose repair a issue.
I took the opportunity to download and print the circuit breaker and image target template documents and Remote AR tool for my Android smartphone and was very impressed with how by way of the phones cameras I could see animated superimposed image of the defective circuit breaker and tools needed to remove it safely in a series of sequential action which start with shutting off the power. The tutorial broke down once or a twice to a point where clicking “next” had no immediate effect, but overall the demonstration was effective in conveying the value and utility of AR in an industrial setting.
The SCOPE AR platform does not currently have any applications that work in educational or corporate training settings, but the core technology seems to be easily applied to those purposes as well. Other vendors likely market system with broader application.