What can augmented reality do for manufacturing?
One of the things that surprised me most about last year’s IMTS was the sheer number of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) devices present in the exhibitor booths. The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift were frequent sights, but even more surprising was the appearance of Microsoft’s Hololens.
“Surely,” I thought, “this is just a marketing gimmick. Manufacturers aren’t seriously considering using AR on the factory floor already, are they?”
And even if AR is ready for manufacturing, are manufacturers ready for AR?
What can this technology hope to contribute beyond commercial and advertising applications?
As it turns out, the answer is “A lot.”