The adoption of augmented reality has come a long way in recent years, especially as the global economy has looked to improve operational efficiency and safety training measures through the implementation of new technologies. In an aviation industry where training is paramount, AR is set to make a profound impact.
Today augmented reality technology is already being developed at a rapid rate, with its influence extending way beyond aviation applications.
(Image: Business Wire)
Here we can see that both augmented reality and virtual reality markets are set to experience incremental growth of over $125 billion dollars as the decade continues at a CAGR of over 35%.
This significant growth will have a profound impact on a range of industries and is likely to heavily influence the world of aviation.
How AR Can Aid Aviation
The next wave of innovation in the aviation industry will be heavily influenced by AR technology. Using artificial intelligence, real-time information can be used in the form of text, images and audio enhancements integrated with actual objects.
From computers to personal mobile devices, technology has significantly impacted the way we communicate and engage with each other. AR has now reached a point where a modern organisation can use it as an efficient tool for improving business processes, workflows and employee workplace training. These technological innovations impact a wide range of industries, and in this regard aviation is no exception.
For any plane to be able to fly safely, a large, skilled ground crew is critical. These are the people who maintain the aircraft and ensure that it’s in an optimal condition to fly.
While virtual reality is already used for the in-flight simulation training for pilots, AR can be utilised for ground crew training. For example, aircraft engineers can use augmented reality glasses to simulate and test installation processes while maintenance crews can use interactive inspection instructions with digital arrows and labels to ensure that their work is carried out with no signs of error.
In a case study carried out by the University of Bologna, a prototype AR system was created to provide an animated and marker-free representation of the aircraft parts that needed to be checked. Results indicated that the augmented reality setup aided the crew in performing specific tasks by emulating what was displayed by following step-by-step guides incorporated in the system.
Using AR eyewear, aviation ground crew can perform tasks in their training setups without the risk of error that could seriously impact lives. Mesmerise VR has actively worked to develop hyper-realistic training scenarios for training purposes in high-risk and dangerous worker roles to create a better level of safety when applying hands-on learning experiences to real-world situations like in the case of ground crew.
Comprehensive Cockpit Control
The influence of AR can be felt sky-high, too. Aero Glass has developed a headset that pilots can wear to view cockpit control information like altimeter readings, fuel pressure, heading and oil temperature all within a display that sits in the glass lenses of the headset.
Aero Glass first entered the headlines in 2016 when Airbus BizLab selected their technology as one to help become transformed into a business proposition. The head-worn display concept has also received significant funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
Augmented Aircraft Maintenance
The application of augmented reality in aircraft maintenance can result in significant benefits in terms of safety. Commercial flight engineers can potentially leverage AR to inspect and maintain their aircraft, while the technology itself offers real-time insights with a combination of other innovative solutions through 3D scanning, sensors and other new developments.
With such a comprehensive insight into the components and inner workings of aircraft, maintenance tasks can become incredibly successful, which adds an extra layer of safety to the industry.
When it comes to 3D scanning, augmented reality technology offers a clear visual of the aircraft, which can allow engineers to easily identify dents, scratches and other issues with the machinery itself. The technology is already available in military fields and now commercial aviation is starting to sit up and take note of its growing importance.
With the exponential growth of the AR industry underway, its potential for the world of aviation is strikingly clear. In an environment with such little room for error, augmented reality can play an invaluable role in delivering accuracy and efficiency across the world of aviation in its entirety.
Technology will accelerate the levels of safety in industries where a lack of understanding or clarity can bring with it disastrous consequences. With this in mind, the successful growth and implementation of AR within aviation is essential for adding an extra layer of competence and reassurance in an essential form of travel.
Image Credit: Unsplash
Nvidia’s First DLSS Compatible VR Games Include No Man’s Sky
NVIDIA’s DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) technology allows PC gamers who are running GeForce RTX GPU’s to improve the graphics performance of their rigs using AI. Since launch, over 50 videogames have steadily added support but for a technology that would obviously benefit from it, virtual reality (VR) hasn’t been included; until now that is. Today, NVIDIA has confirmed three VR titles are now DLSS compatible.
The most prominent of those videogames is most certainly Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky. Whether you’re playing in VR or non-VR modes NVIDIA DLSS “doubles your VR performance at the Ultra graphics preset” the company claims. Plus, if you happen to be on an Oculus Quest 2, with DLSS on it’ll maintain 90 FPS with a GeForce RTX 3080. Standard desktop gaming should see a performance boost of up to 70% at 4K.
Also on the compatible list is Into the Radius, a survival shooter which launched last year. Set in a post-apocalyptic zone inside Russia with a misty, grim-looking environment, DLSS will add an improvement to the anti-aliasing, so shimmering and stair-stepping on objects and foliage should be reduced for a more immersive experience. Lastly, car mechanic sim Wrench has gotten the AI-powered treatment. Players could see a performance boost of up to 80% on top of the ability to enable ray-traced effects in both VR and desktop modes. Making those engines look super detailed and visually gorgeous.
Hopefully, this is just the start for NVIDIA DLSS support for VR videogames, with more to come in the following months. There are certainly a number of high-end, performance-hungry VR titles VRFocus can think of which would benefit from these sort of improvements.
As for the other non-VR games on the list AMID EVIL, Aron’s Adventure, Everspace 2, Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition, Redout: Space Assault, and Scavengers can now use the feature.
You do, of course, still need the right GPU’s to enable NVIDIA DLSS in the first place. They include the RTX 3060, RTX 3060 Ti; RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and the all-powerful RTX 3090. Getting one, on the other hand, is another matter, with stock continually sold out at most retailers.
Should further VR videogames add DLSS support, VRFocus will let you know.
Nvidia Adds First DLSS VR Titles Including No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is one of the first VR games to get Nvidia DLSS support to improve framerate and fidelity on PC headsets.
DLSS stands for Deep Learning Super Sampling and was created by Nvidia to help boost the performance and visual fidelity of PC games while reducing the demands they place on a machine. It uses AI rendering to achieve high-resolution images comparable to native rendering without doing as much of the leg work. Extra overhead can then be used to improve other areas, like framerate. We haven’t seen the technique used in any VR games so far, but there’s been high demand in the PC VR community.
Check out the example No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games posted below, which isn’t running in VR. It shows the game running side-by-side on a 2060 Super card at high settings. With DLSS on, the game is able to nearly double its framerate, jumping from high-30s to mid-70s. However, a post from Nvidia itself claims that the game runs at 90FPS on Ultra settings with a 3090 card when the setting is enabled.
Other games adding support today are STALKER-like VR FPS, Into The Radius and in-depth mechanic sim, Wrench.
Some users reported performance issues with No Man’s Sky’s VR support when it launched on PC a few years back, so it will be interesting to see if this technique has a big impact on the game. It’s not the only big update the game’s VR support has seen of late – over on PSVR the PS4 version of the game can take advantage of running on PS5 to deliver improved fidelity.
Facebook’s Previous Head of Oculus & Reality Labs Partnerships Leaves Company
Hugo Barra, one-time head of Oculus and VP of Facebook Reality Labs partnerships, has announced that he’s left Facebook.
Barra announced the news in a Facebook post, saying that May 17th was his last day at the company. Barra says he is going on to so “something completely different” as he takes his next step in the healthcare technology space. Exactly where that will land him isn’t clear for now.
“I hope to be able to apply what I’ve learned from working in the consumer tech industry to help solve meaningful problems in the healthcare world. Looking forward to sharing more soon,” Barra says.
Barra came to Facebook in 2017 from his role as Global VP at the China-based tech giant Xiaomi, replacing Oculus’ first CEO Brendan Iribe. Iribe allegedly left the company due to Facebook’s decision to shift focus away from the PC VR Rift platform and towards standalone VR. Rift has since been shelved after the release of Rift S, the PC VR successor built in partnership with Lenovo.
During his tenure at Facebook, Barra oversaw the launch of the standalone 3DOF headset Oculus Go in 2018 as head of Oculus. Assuming his latest ultimate role in 2019, he also worked on the company’s Ray-Ban styles AR glasses.
Arena Shooter ‘Solaris Offworld Combat’ Comes to PSVR Today
First Contact Entertainment is finally bringing its most recent team VR shooter, Solaris Offworld Combat (2020), to PSVR today.
First launched on Oculus Quest and Rift late last year, the 4v4 arena shooter has struggled to replicate the same level of fanfare as the studio’s mil-sim team shooter, Firewall: Zero Hour (2018). Solaris focuses on fast-paced action, quick respawns, and abstracts away most all of the shooting realism which has seemed to have hooked diehard Firewall fans over the last few years.
Built around its ‘Control Point’ game mode, which is essentially a constantly shifting game of ‘King of the Hill’, Solaris pits players against each other to either reach the score limit, or have the most points before the five-minute round is over. We went hands-on before it launched last year on Quest and Rift, and you can read our full impressions here.
It’s a well-made game that is possibly too simplistic in some respects. The PSVR version however supports both DualShock 4 and PSVR Aim, which seem better suited to the single-handed nature of the game’s gunplay. It’s uncertain to what extent the game will support cross-play with the Quest/Rift versions though, and it seems we’ll have to wait until later today to find out.
In an effort to drum up support, the studio is offering 50% off for PlayStation Plus subscribers for the first two weeks after launch, putting Solaris at just $12.50. If you’re curious to see Solaris is action on Quest, check out our five-minute gameplay video below:
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