Navigation made easy:Industrial Wayfinding Using Augmented Reality
Industrial Wayfinding Using Augmented Reality
The use of augmented reality(AR) as a method to enhance wayfinding has been an extremely popular application of this technology. Electronically supported wayfinding apps have progressed from nomadic devices from companies like Garmin, to car navigation systems, to our mobile phones. These apps have dramatically enhanced our ability to navigate unknown territory. These applications now include traffic and construction updates providing us with the most efficient route to our destination.
Different Wayfinding Applications
An overlooked aspect of these applications has been the ability to navigate while on foot. No longer confined to roadways, we are able to use these applications whether we’re in a care or navigating a public bike path. This greatly expands the apps abilities beyond general consumer use and has potential for the industrial and warehousing environments.
However, these applications were not particularly designed for industrial environments. Heads down mobile devices does not promote situational awareness in environments where a focus on safety is of utmost importance. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, slips, trips and falls cause 15% of all accidental deaths and the National Safety Council (2013) reports costs associated with falling from the same level is the second highest cause of disabling workplace injuries.
Augmented Reality Wayfinding in Practice
AR wayfinding can enhance how people navigate public spaces, industrial settings and warehouses. All of the same information you find on your phone or car navigation system can be put in a heads up display. For example an industrial employee could utilize AR wayfinding to navigate through their facility. When designed with the employees environment in mind, AR wayfinding can enhance an employees performance.
Unfortunately, you will come across people completely engrossed in using a navigation app completely unaware of their surroundings. Near misses are inevitable, but in an industrial environment, near misses can be fatal. Conveniently, these industrial concepts omit many of the realities of the workplace such as traffic, physical hazards and potentially unsafe weather conditions. These videos display pristine warehouses, a lack of forklift movement and little to no other personnel. The concepts are visually streamlined, but if you dig deeper you realize they may not be designed to optimize the safety and performance of the worker. Rather, they simply showcase functionality.
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Design Interactive specializes in empowering people with innovative technology. We develop AR/ VR training solutions and create biosignatures of human emotion, cognition and physical state that empower consumers. To learn more about how we can improve your business processes, contact us here.