ICONICS Launch Holographic Machine Interface with Microsoft’s HoloLens

30th November 2016

Augmented Reality is Here!

ICONICS had a fantastic few days at SPS IPC Drives, Germany last week, announcing the world’s first 3D Holographic Machine Interface (HMI) using Microsoft’s HoloLens self-contained holographic computing device. There are already some static use cases of HoloLens, but ICONICS are presenting the first 3D real-time augmented reality application for the SCADA world. Here we have an example of Bram Burggraaff, our EMEA Sales Director, controlling a COMAU Robot through Augmented Control.

ICONICS Stand - SPS.jpeg


What is HoloLens, by Microsoft?



The HoloLens is essentially a holographic computer built into a headset that lets you see, hear, and interact with holograms within an environment such as a living room, factory or office space. Microsoft have built the headset without the need to be wirelessly connected to a PC, and have used high-definition lenses and spatial sound technology to create an immersive, interactive holographic experience.



What exactly have ICONICS built, with Microsoft's technology?

Understanding the difference between AR and VR is important here. Augmented Reality (AR), or mixed reality to some, combines virtual information with the real environment; it delivers virtual elements as an overlay to the real world. Virtual Reality (VR) on the other hand seeks to offer a digital recreation of a real life setting. It’s most common in the gaming world where a user plunges into a completely different reality, another world if you like. ICONICS have transferred their wealth of experience with 3D, HTML5 and WPF into the gaming engine ‘Unity’ and built an AR application with HoloLens. For us, the HoloLens is just another visualisation client, and the core technology underneath remains the same.



A Hypothetical Maintenance Use Case

A typical Industry 4.0 AR scenario is maintenance. If the technician looks at the ceiling for example, he gets the relevant information about the pipes and pipes laid, such as the medium and the pressure and flow. Even hidden installations and aggregates hidden behind linings and false ceilings are visible together with their current status messages using AR. This way, errors are detected and corrected more quickly.

And if the problem is not found directly, there is the possibility to prepare and look for the causes in the deeper levels of information. If ventilation is not working properly, but the error is not in the fan but in the power supply, this can be seen quickly in the AR environment. The spectacle wearer can call up the corresponding circuit diagrams and signal states. Documentation such as maintenance instructions can also be opened in a context-sensitive manner. The goal of AR scenarios is to find solutions for the ever-growing complexity within the factories, buildings, and complex asset environments. Since the experts and engineers cannot always be on the spot, the HoloLens offers a simple way to help: AR workers equipped with the AR glasses can get in touch with the service representative by means of AR communication and provide instructions and instructions for the Repair with holograms. Since the HoloLens can project several holograms onto different walls, there are many possibilities for the use of supporting software.

Get in contact to request a demonstration today!


Written by
Sam Walton

Sam Walton