HoloLens maintenance demonstration
Network Rail is the owner of the fastest growing and safest rail network in Europe. It also operates as an infrastructure manager of most of the rail network in the UK. One of the company’s goals that have been successfully implemented is outstanding safety performance. This is number one priority every day.
HoloLens glasses: the optimal answer to real-life industrial needs
Mixed reality applications form part of an array of Industry 4.0 tools. They are used to speed up processes and provide instant access to technical information and instructions. They can be used by not highly qualified workers to help them perform the work quickly, safely and in accordance with appropriate procedures.
The HoloLens training app we created expressed all values that are important for the client and constitute the company’s mission. Our solution uses innovative tools to improve the quality and effectiveness of the workers’ activities. It allows users to save time and thus generates real financial savings.
One instance of the application can be run on multiple devices, thanks to which many less experienced employees can have unlimited access to the information they need. The HoloLens training app teaches them how to safely carry out maintenance work on various devices. It also offers them access to technical information about the selected device, its structure and a procedure manual that meets all the safety standards and enables execution of a number of works, also by a less experienced employee.
The use of innovative devices, such as HoloLens, consorts with the company’s innovative solutions in the field of rail transport.
Give railway maintenance workers an easy ride with HoloLens
The client wanted to overcome the need for having different manuals for many complex devices when doing maintenance jobs, which may happen in the case of unskilled workers. An additional condition was the assumption that the use of this HoloLens training app should not interfere with the simultaneous execution of the necessary work.
The client needed an application that would provide the employees with access to professional knowledge, no matter where they are located. With this application, railway workers should know how to conduct maintenance of selected rail components. Thanks to the HoloLens training they can see their correct visual representations and get information about the individual components and maintenance procedures. The entire application was to be made for the Microsoft HoloLens device, completed with gestures, eye movement tracking and voice navigation.
Being on track with cutting-edge technology
The most important issue was to choose the appropriate technology that would meet the client’s expectations. As it turned out, the perfect solution was a new Microsoft HoloLens device that allowed access to selected pieces of information using simple gestures or voice navigation. In the second place, we received the necessary materials that allowed us to create accurate models of devices, along with their components and instructions for dealing with their maintenance.
Due to the fact that we were dealing with a new device, we were not able to set the best solutions for the client. We worked in weekly sprints, providing the client with a working HoloLens training app that contained the most important functionalities. Based on the comments received, we implemented further elements the client wanted to see in the next step.
Navigation in the HoloLens training app is done using gestures or voice commands. The user has a range of options to choose from, which are combined with an interactive three-dimensional hologram.
Tracking down the essence of mixed reality
The application was specially created for full compatibility with Microsoft HoloLens, the leading mixed reality solution. The app was developed with Unity 3D engine, and all the features were created in 3ds Max.