Leading industrial automation software company introduced virtual reality application blending Movicon and Google Glass
Progea continues to stun. This year, at SPS IPC Drives Nuremberg (25-27 November 2014) Progea introduced its latest studies on virtual reality applications regarding industrial automation systems. In fact, at their stand (Halle 7, Stand 7-494) it has been possible to run an enhanced reality application using the Google Glass device.
Progea’s idea for users of industrial automation systems consists in introducing a tool that is not just mobile, but also wearable, such as Google Glass. Using this device, the user will be able to view the main parameters of the automation system in real time, via wi-fi or mobile broadband connection.
In further detail, in their experimental sample run Progea has shown how the user will employ Google Glass with the Movicon supervision software to view several different panels pertaining to the operational area of the local plant, and to access relevant information in real time.
By using panels – now called Slides – it is possible to navigate the system with the swipe function, and to view actual data and relevant information. Viewing is achieved with a ‘head-up’ display integrated in the eyeglasses, which can partly but clearly overlap with the human field of vision. Thanks to this display, the user can check operation status of relevant components, query the system and interact with it using vocal commands or the side touchpad, so as to obtain the needed information (variables, alarms, instructions or help functions), which will be supplied by the Movicon supervision Server. The user may also enter active commands on the system (start-stop, setpoint, alarm stop, etc.) by using specific command menus manageable in failsafe mode via the touchpad.
As Progea reports, in the not too distant future, development in the use of enhanced reality will bring considerable benefits in managing complex systems, simplifying user interaction in an idea of total connectivity as per the principles of Industry 4.0. Apart from Google Glass, enhanced reality applications may also be managed with a standard tablet or smartphone. Thus, by using geolocation and the device camera for viewing the plant, it will be possible to retrieve information from the Movicon supervision Server and to view dynamic data directly superimposed on live images. Otherwise, should geolocation be unavailable, QR codes may be used to gather specific local information.
Once again, Progea’s experimental research on using enhanced reality in automation shows how the company’s research and development activities push towards innovation.