3D Holo­graphic ap­pli­ca­tions

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - FRONT PAGE -

The Aus­tralian arm of global de­fence and se­cu­rity com­pany Saab has part­nered with Mi­crosoft to build a range of ground break­ing train­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and other com­plex 3D Holo­graphic ap­pli­ca­tions.

Worn as gog­gles by users, the Mi­crosoft HoloLens Plat­form is the first fully un­teth­ered, holo­graphic com­puter, en­abling in­ter­ac­tion with high def­i­ni­tion holo­grams.

Saab Aus­tralia Head of Train­ing and Sim­u­la­tion Inger Lawes said the com­pany had iden­ti­fied three ini­tial mar­kets: its tra­di­tional de­fence and se­cu­rity mar­ket, the en­ter­prise mar­ket – pri­mar­ily large cor­po­ra­tions want­ing be­spoke ap­pli­ca­tions to ad­dress a spe­cific need – and in­ter­nal ap­pli­ca­tions for the com­pany’s own de­vel­op­ment.

“We want to stay within our busi­ness of de­fence and se­cu­rity but we also want to ex­plore ap­plied mar­kets such as us­ing HoloLens to sup­port so­phis­ti­cated man­u­fac­tur­ing,” he said.

“Most de­sign work th­ese days is done on a com­puter and is called model-based de­sign. What we want to do is sup­port model-based assem­bly where the mod­els that are de­signed on a com­puter are rep­re­sented holo­graph­i­cally.

Lawes said, as an in­ter­nal test, the com­pany would use a Lego model of the com­pany’s Gripen fighter jet as a start­ing point to prove the value of the tech­nol­ogy to its assem­bly team in Swe­den.

“We’re go­ing to use model-based assem­bly soft­ware as the back­ground but we’re go­ing to use Lego com­po­nents,” he said.

“Ev­ery­one un­der­stands Lego so it is a fan­tas­tic ve­hi­cle to demon­strate this sort of thing and get peo­ple as en­thu­si­as­tic as we are and prove to them that you can build things in this en­vi­ron­ment and if we can build it with Lego we can do it with ev­ery­thing else.”

Lawes said the com­pany would ini­tially fo­cus on in­ter­nal ap­pli­ca­tions for HoloLens but would de­liver some­thing for its first ex­ter­nal cus­tomer in Septem­ber.

“We ex­pect very quickly to be able to look at this tech­nol­ogy to sup­port any highly com­plex assem­bly or de­sign work, it just hap­pens that we are in that busi­ness our­selves so the log­i­cal thing is to start do­ing it in­ter­nally,” he said.

Lawes said the way to think of HoloLens was as a self- con­tained high- end com­puter with stan­dard fea­tures such as Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth and USB.

Holo­graphic im­ages are pro­jected onto the gog­gles’ op­ti­cal lens and ap­pear in the field of vi­sion about a me­tre from the user’s eye.

“Most of the re­ally com­pli­cated things will rely on hav­ing some sort of server or ac­cess to a data­base and stream­ing it to the de­vice rather than load­ing it up with a pack­aged ap­pli­ca­tion,” Lawes said.

“It just opens up an al­most in­fi­nite num­ber of pos­si­bil­i­ties to draw on in­for­ma­tion and have that in­for­ma­tion ren­dered as a model and just work with it.

“I’m ex­tremely con­fi­dent that this is go­ing to be a sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness for us but it’s also a sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate some work in South Aus­tralia.”

Lawes said the lead­ing- edge tech­nol­ogy would ex­plore “un­charted wa­ters”.

“The way we will chart that di­rec­tion is peo­ple will come to us and say ‘we’ve got this idea and we’d like to use the tech­nol­ogy in this par­tic­u­lar way’ and we’ll have a dis­cus­sion about that and more than likely, out of that will pop some­thing quite spec­tac­u­lar,” he said.

“It’ll be the users by and large who come up with the ideas.”

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