Applications and benefits of virtual, augmented and mixed reality in the industry

Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) are a set of technologies that provide the user with a series of digital and interactive elements that provide immersive experiences. It is a field that continues to grow, not only in relation to technological advances, but also in its range of applications. Although the area to which they are most related is that of entertainment and video games, examples of uses that are attributed to them in the industry today are going to be exposed below, and even some of the benefits they can offer to companies. companies that employ them. But first, a brief summary of these concepts will be made:

  • Virtual reality is an immersive simulation digital environment in which the user is immersed through his different senses (sight, hearing and touch) and interacts with the elements arranged there to carry out a task, through the use of peripherals such as VR Headset (glasses), audio systems and controls with haptic feedback (vibration).
  • Augmented reality consists of adding digital graphic components to the real world by projecting them on a screen (phones, tablets and glasses), with which you can interact and which can also provide an additional layer of information about the real elements that we observe.

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  • Mixed reality is the fusion between augmented and virtual reality, in which the integration of the real world into the digital one is carried out. The virtual environment can be displayed through holograms that use the same visualization medium as augmented reality, and with which it can be interacted through peripherals or through sensors that recognize the movement of the hands, gestures with the fingers and voice commands, etc. This is achieved through the use of spatial scanning technologies, computer vision, and image and audio processing, among others.

Applications and benefits:

Virtual reality

One of its main applications is related to the creation of simulators that provide the user with a virtual environment that recreates their workplace (production plant, large-scale vehicles and control rooms, among others), equipped with all the tools that requires to carry out its work, in order to provide a safe space where you can train and test the knowledge acquired, without putting at risk the integrity of the machinery, expensive equipment, production lines, or even the safety of personnel. . The implementation of these simulators can provide some benefits, in terms of costs, because the acquisition of new equipment is not required, used only for training, and it does not interrupt production processes either; Another aspect that benefits is related to time management, since several people can perform this task on different devices simultaneously, whether they connect online in the same virtual environment for collaborative work, or each user practice individually in your own virtual environment, without the need for an instructor to guide you through the process.

Augmented reality

Implementation of markers on physical elements in order to recognize them through a mobile application, with which the information available in the cloud is accessed to display it on the device screen, a practical case can be in a production plant, where they want to visualize in real time, temperature sensors assembled to a motor that is in motion performing a task.

For tasks in large warehouses, if it is necessary to transport merchandise from point A to point B, a geolocation system can be implemented, which shows the worker indications with arrows that will be generated on their way in real time, to indicate which route You must follow and reach your destination.

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mixed reality

In production processes, for tasks such as assembly of parts, or maintenance of machines, the worker will be able to visualize the instructions to follow to carry out his task either through videos or animations with 3D models, without losing sight of the object on which is working, this reduces the possibility of making mistakes and ensuring the performance of a safe and correct procedure.

On the other hand, one of the main applications where Microsoft implements this technology is in Microsoft Mesh, a platform to perform collaborative tasks remotely, where, from anywhere in the world, different people can connect to the same virtual space, either be pre-designed or even customized through spatial recognition, integrating external physical objects present in the work area where users are. Each individual has an avatar that captures her movements in real time, additionally, the interactions that each user performs with a virtual object can be viewed by everyone present in the session. This application, in times of pandemic, allows people to carry out their work without putting their health at risk by having to move from one place to another.

We hope that some of the given examples will contextualize those who are beginning to enter this world and who are interested in implementing them in their workplace, although they are technologies in continuous development, their progress in benefits advances at an amazing speed. For this reason, we encourage them to be used to take advantage of their virtues, because as we can see, the implementation of these technologies becomes a valuable resource to satisfy the requirements that arise in different fields of the industry, considering important factors such as time savings and money.