Virtual reality and augmented reality – often referred to together as mixed reality (MR) – have attracted significant attention among companies in recent years, as well as prompting questions about the technologies’ applicability in business.
A number of potential applications for MR are being implemented as part of a project entitled Mixed Reality Based Collaboration for Industry (MRBCi). In order to ensure that the project is aligned with challenges faced by companies in their day-to-day operations, businesses were surveyed about the specific problems they encounter in connection with these technologies, and the results analysed. The MRBCi project is centred on implementation of applications in four subject areas: production support, remote support, education and training, and product presentation.
The following problems related to MR technologies were identified:
Problem 1 – entry barriers: at present, a number of showcase applications are available, but examples of the truly effective use of MR in the field are extremely thin on the ground.
Problem 2 – enabling: MR projects typically make it past the prototype stage only very rarely, as significant resources are required for project set-up and initial development of these prototypes.
Problem 3 –effective implementation: integration of technical solutions in companies’ business processes and day-to-day operations is currently only found in very few cases.
Interdisciplinary collaboration between the research partners has paved the way for the optimum integration of wide-ranging skills and expertise from the various research focuses. The MRBC4i project aims to help Austrian industry take a significant step forward in achieving the following objectives:
1) Reducing entry barriers (technical, organisational and psychological)
2) Reducing the resources required and in turn the costs for enterprises (enabling)
3) Analysing the impacts on business processes and models, stakeholder acceptance and readiness (maturity).
IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems is heading up the accompanying research activities in the MRBC4i project, in collaboration with Technical University Vienna and St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. The aim of the work package is to address the following question regarding analysis of the impacts on business processes and models, stakeholder acceptance and readiness (maturity): how can mixed reality assistance systems be evaluated using a multi-dimensional criteria set that is suitable for industry?
The project has been submitted to the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) under the Collective Research funding programme. The Lower Austrian business agency, ecoplus. Niederösterreichs Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH, has overall responsibility for management of the MRBCI project, which involves the plastics and mechatronics clusters in Lower Austria.
If you have any questions, please mail Prof. Gerhard Kormann-Hainzl at Gerhard.Kormann@fh-krems.ac.at.
Corporate project partners
• Bene GmbH
• Bilfinger Chemserv GmbH
• Codeflügel GmbH
• Geodata Ziviltechnikergesellschaft mbH
• Jabil Circuit Austria GmbH
• KBA-Mödling GmbH
• Knorr-Bremse GmbH
• Kotányi GmbH
• Kremsmüller Industrieanlagenbau KG
• Lenze Operations Austria GmbH
• MAN Truck & Bus Österreich GesmbH
• Mayr-Melnhof Karton Aktiengesellschaft
• MBIT Digital Solutions
• ÖBB-Business Competence Center GmbH
• Piesslinger GmbH
• Prometa GmbH
• Lower Austrian Red Cross
• Test-Fuchs GmbH
• Umdasch Group Ventures GmbH
• Voith Paper Rolls GmbH & Co KG
• Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH
R&D project partners
• St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences
• FOTEC Forschungs- und Technologietransfer GmbH
• University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
• IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems
• TU Wien