In a project funded by the Danish Maritime Fund, the IT company Virsabi has just concluded the work on exploring potential using Mixed Reality technologies in maritime operations. MAN Energy Solutions and Maersk Supply Service alongside with MDC partnered in the project which produced 2 prototypes aiming at demonstrating concrete use cases for the technology.
The final report is now available here along with a video, found here, from the final conference explaining the results. A number of challenges with the technology was identifies, for example connectivity onboard (both onboard the ship and to shore), problems with tracking as well as outdoor use, where the current equipment makes it hard to see the presented holograms.
The potential is however huge. especially if the MR system is integrated with other operational systems, e.g. for displaying live data, completing forms and checklists and store in the corporate system etc. A number of specific scenarios was recommended to explore for further work:
Overhauling or maintenance of critical/complicated components
Troubleshooting a breakdown - connect to remote expert with use of digital markers
Onboard documentation of procedures such a inspection rounds, familiarization and crew-handover
Involvement of crews early in a MR project is critical for the success. The involved crew where very enthusiastic and gave extremely valuable inputs, ensuring a successful project - and in the future this will be the key to unlocking the potential of the technology in a maritime context.