Hyperconnectivity is a defining characteristic of the fourth industrial revolution. Connectivity is a critical enabler of many innovative technologies driving the factory of the future, such as IoT, augmented reality, and edge computing. After all, operations like predictive maintenance and digital twinning depend on the near real-time exchange of data. 5G communication is an excellent means for this, due to much higher bandwidth, higher capacity, and lower latency requirements than previous communication means.
With the growing availability of 5G internet, industry is starting to explore the benefits as well. A well known emerging technology in industry is augmented reality (AR). AR visually adds digital information or content to the device user’s real time environment. In industrial applications, this can be used for displaying machine operating instructions, for example for remote assistance, trainings, or employee onboarding. In order to do so, a smart device and a stable data communication mean are required.
To explore the advantages and disadvantages of using 5G in augmented reality applications, the 5GXR project consortium was formed. The AMP subsidised project is conducted by Total Reality and the FIP-AM@UT. Total Reality is an Enschede-based company, that aims to make industrial and operational business processes more effective with the use of Extended Reality (XR) solutions, e.g. by visualising realtime information on the factory floor.
The 5GXR project is initiated to assess the usability of 5G as a communication backbone for a real-time XR use case in a manufacturing scenario. The use case will concern step-by-step work instructions in XR via a tablet, as a technology demonstrator for the combination of 5G and XR. The results will be validated, to create an application which could be showcased to other manufacturing companies.