While the narrator voice harkens back to old 50s ‘Technologies of the Future’ videos, the actual content IS actually from the future.  As much as I’d love to have this technology in my Toyota plant, I just can’t see making the ‘how-to’ videos for simple tasks as they suggest.  This kind of augmented efficiency improvement activity is only suited for highly complex tasks that are performed regularly by amateurs.

So I think the Maker culture would find better use of the technology when it actually becomes available to the masses.  Or it could work as a maintenance guide for short-run products that don’t have a large repair station base.  This summer I had to replace a pulley belt on a 70 inch zero-turn mower and the explanation sheet left a lot of steps out.  It took four neighbors to figure it out.

Here’s the description from VVT (Finland):

Customer specific and individualised products, small batch sizes, as well as increasing product complexity set higher demands for assembly work. Augmented Assembly is a research project at VTT, where AR technology is applied to increase assembly efficiency. In augmenting assembly work, the assembly worker is guided by virtual objects of components and assembly tools, and visual assembly instructions. The worker sees the augmented view through light weight head mounted devices (e.g. data glasses),and sensors provide feedback from the performed operations.


Thomas K. Carpenter

Thomas K. Carpenter is a full time contemporary fantasy author with over 50 independently published titles. His bestselling, multi-series universe, The Hundred Halls, has over 25 books and counting. His stories focus on fantastic families, magical academies, and epic adventures.

  • My practical experience is that until I was using a navigation system, I wasn’t learning the path and the road, but I was just following passively the navigation system’s instructions.
    It’s definitely a good tool, but probably with this AR training it could happen the same.
    Anyway it’s a good step in bringing the AR out of the commercial marketing field and put it in practical and useful applications.

  • Giulio, you have a good point, but this technology is not designed for tasks that are repeated over and over again.

    When building very small batches of highly customized products, it is actually not of any use to learn the specifics of each configuration, just as it is of no use to memorize a route to a destination that will only be visited once or twice.

    There a significant opportunity to speed up the assembly of highly customized products, like the components of a paper machine or a ship, where the batch size can be very small indeed. One challenge is the need for seamless integration of the production of instruction material into the product design process, so we are not quite there, yet.

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