Augmented reality (AR) provides interactive access to vessel environments, like a ship’s engine room. With limited vessel access during COVID-19, Yara Marine Technologies implemented AR technology for virtual vessel access.
– We have been experimenting with AR glasses for some time. When the pandemic stopped our service engineers from boarding vessels, we had the alternative ready. With AR technology we have the visual field of the ship’s crew members on our monitors. While talking to the crew we can make markings, draw, and add text to the various engine parts they are looking at. This is useful when giving instructions and a very efficient way of training. It allows us to offer the best expertise available to every one of our clients across the globe, at any time, thereby increasing the quality and responsiveness of our services, said Aleksander Askeland, CSO at Yara Marine Technologies.
AR creates a wide range of new business opportunities and has the potential to revolutionise many work processes. Yara Marine Technologies is now seizing the potential by using AR glasses to provide remote service and training to customers.
AR glasses are evolving fast with many different providers and functionalities to choose from. While this broadens the scope for how the technology may be employed, testing and development are required in order to identify potential challenges and to continuously optimise usage.
– We recently completed a successful test run with our engineers in Shanghai using AR glasses to provide crew training in Japan. They tested a range of different functionalities with great results, such as the ability to draw instructions in the visual field of the crew being trained. There were some challenges with internet connectivity in the deepest parts of the vessel, especially in the engine room, which acted as a Faraday cage. However, these issues are now resolved as we continuously innovate and improve the system, said Jesper Hellström, Head of Research and Development at Yara Marine Technologies.
Using AR to reduce costs and establish greener business practices
The use of AR glasses comes with several benefits since it removes the reliance on extensive travelling. It also reduces costs, in terms of both time and expenses, and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
– AR glasses are digital tools that will enable us to provide service and training in a more effective and agile way. Just the other day we did a yard inspection with workers walking around for us with AR glasses while receiving different instructions. For our customers, AR technology results in increased value of services received. In addition, less need for travelling will cut costs for all parties involved, and decrease the emissions associated with our work. That means a lot to a green tech company like ours, concluded Askeland.