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Lockheed Martin Using Augmented Reality for Engineering Projects

Augmented Reality or AR is beginning to transcend the way businesses operate. A new way to improve operational effectiveness and productivity, AR tech is no longer limited to the video game and entertainment industry.

In fact, according to Shelley Peterson, Lockheed Martin Augmented and Mixed Reality Principal Investigator, the company utilises the AR technology during training and on-field work. She went on to say that engineering teams working on space crafts use the AR tech to crunch the considerable amount of data regularly. The otherwise time-consuming process of data interpretation has become much simpler and faster, thanks to augmented reality, claims Peterson.

AR helps engineers determine the correct position alignment four fasteners on Lockheed Martin’s space crafts. The technology has not only boosted efficiency and productivity but also made the construction more accurate. – Shelley Peterson

Speaking about the cost-effectiveness of AR tech, the Principal Investigator said that it leads to around $38 (approx 31 GBP) savings on touch labour four each fastener. Considering the 2 million fasteners Lockheed Martin buys each year, the savings are nothing less than substantial.

AR support continues even after the building process is complete. The technology makes quality cheques more convenient. Peterson says that the advanced technology makes it easier four quality testers to verify the completed construction rather than using the traditional methods to determine whether any inconsistencies are present.

It is interesting to see the real-world application of AR technology in engineering. It remains to be seen whether it permeates into the other corporate fields as well.

Simplicity and convenience enticing companies to use AR

Part of why AR technology is growing in popularity each day is its adaptability. Furthermore, integration of the tech does not require additional hardware, gadgets or equipment. Although, AR Goggles available in the market does improve the experience, in most cases, all you need is a mobile device or a phone.

Most smaller organisations still shy away from the technology, unlike Lockheed Martin. This is due to the belief that augmented reality is a relatively new technology that is more trouble than it is worth. Additionally, the lack of proper AR applications in the market could be another reason why smaller businesses are avoiding it. Even though this apprehension will likely persist four some time, organisations may start to outsource their AR needs to firms specialising in the said field four non-critical processes.

As per an IDC report, virtual reality and augmented reality industry are expected to undergo a boom in the future, with projected earnings of $160 billion in 2023. By comparison, the earnings expected by the end of 2019 is just $16.8 billion. Even though VR will likely be responsible four a larger portion of that predicted earning, that technology does not have much potential when it comes to businesses. Four the moment, it seems as if augmented reality has a brighter future in terms of corporate integration. Lockheed Martin is the most recent company to join the list of organisations taking advantage of AR. Other organisations already making great strides with the technology are Snapchat and Apple among others.

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