From factory floors to farmlands and even living rooms, the Internet of Things has swarmed into every inch of our lives. Sensors and actuators connected to the cloud via Internet are creating a data deluge that is attracting mega investments from enterprises.
However, to unlock the true potential of the data deluge that IoT is creating a visually efficient medium is required. Such a medium should be easy-to-use, easily scalable and must be easy to integrate into the daily lives of users. Finding such a technology is quite a challenge. Augmented Reality is the tech world’s answer to that challenge.
IoT + Augmented Reality will help businesses get the most out the data that sensors bring to them in dashboard formats. Augmented Reality can help visualize data from hundreds and thousands of sensors simultaneously overlaying such data over any touchscreen with actionable interfaces.
For example, the temperature levels, climatic levels, maintenance tasks within an indoor farm can be easily visualized on a mobile device using IoT and Augmented Reality combination.
In an IoT and Augmented Reality combination workflow, IoT sensors will do the task of collecting and transmitting data while the AR services will visualize such data and allow users to interact with it real-time for actionable results. In other words, AR makes it easy to “see” the data that a connected device would be transmitting in binary digits. That makes it so easy for on-the-site personnel to take immediate action.
Manufacturing becomes smarter with Augmented Reality and IoT Integration
Integrating Augmented Reality into IoT applications can unlock business value for manufacturers. The transformation would result in a total transformation of how manufacturers and their ground staff look at equipment, monitor their vital stats and deduce need for immediate repair or maintenance activities.
The biggest benefit is that AR-IoT integration would empower equipment technicians to scan the internal components of an equipment without having to spend time dismantling all the outer components. Also, it spares remote workers from the need to head back to a laptop or Internet connection.
They can access real-time information about the equipment malfunctioning on an as-is condition and work out a remedial action instantly. AR will overlay information that is visually consumable and understandable by any layman. This makes it all the more welcoming for low-skilled laborers who could be entrusted with the repairs and maintenance activities.
Connected Cars & Augmented Reality – A whole new way of driving
Thanks to Augmented Reality and IoT, what was until now seen only in Hollywood flicks will now be a mainstream technology. Scenes of fighter jet pilots looking at data that pops up on heads-up displays are something we all have got used to. AR and IoT will bring such a convenience to the dashboard of connected cars.
BMW’s Vision Next 100 concept car is a perfect example of the connected cars of future will have AR-enabled in them for safer, smarter and a more immersive driving experience. As a matter of fact, BMW’s sister brand MINI Cooper is in the works to create an Augmented Vision headset in collaboration with mobile chipmaker Qualcomm.
Once the model hits production model, it would enable MINI owners to see through the body of the car to view objects. Further, the glasses would also enable drivers to view information like driving speed, navigation directions with turn-by-turn indicators, digital signages and much more.
Networks That Will Connect AR & IoT
AR and IoT would use existing network namely, mobile networks (3G onwards) and wi-fi. Advanced network technologies like LoRa might also come into the fold if specific IoT devices resort to using them. Ericsson already announced a 5G network that is capable of handling data-heavy applications like Augmented Reality and video streaming. With these networks, connectivity should not be a problem for AR & IoT. In fact, given the bandwidth and velocity of these networks, they will provide users a seamless experience superior to erstwhile networks.
Augmented Reality and IoT together can help tackle several problems that diverse industries are facing. The universal benefit that the combo would bring to businesses is translating binary data into visualized data that will simplify decision-making. The visualization of data would even empower low-skilled employees to understand how equipment under their control is working and take precautionary measures. This would be a game-changer in manufacturing scenarios like Manufacturing 4.0, connected agriculture, connected healthcare and so on.
The possibilities we have discussed here are just the beginning of a future where data will no longer look like alphanumeric characters.