For AR software, the guidelines call for:
- A user interface that "can be learned by non-software literate personnel," meaning not just a computer science engineer, software engineer or technical writer.
- Support for several 3D model software input formats, including Creo, AutoDesk, Siemens PLM, Catia, SAP Visual Enterprise and STEP Files.
- An output application that can be used by phones, tablets and both binocular and monocular head-mounted displays.
- Content storage to support 128-bit encryption in transit and at rest, as well as two-factor authentication.
- Wearable head-mounted displays that allow a manufacturing worker to pinch fingertips on right and left hands and then pull hands together to zoom in and pull hands apart to zoom out.
- Displays that allow workers to rotate fingertips to rotate 3D content.
There are also a series of recommendations for software support extended to workers at small and medium enterprises and for the ability to link internet of things data through the use of QR codes, Near Field Communications and Bluetooth.
UI Labs and AREA said the new documents are designed to help improve performance and efficiency for manufacturers in the areas of employee training and safety, factory and field operations, machine assembly, inspection and repair, and manufacturing floor space and product design.
Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar and Procter & Gamble initiated the guidelines process through a UI Labs collaboration group called the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute(DMDII). The other 62 organizations assisting in the process included AR providers, universities and government agencies.
AR has the potential to transform manufacturing, but wider adoption requires collaboration among industrial companies and AR providers, said Thomas McDermott, executive director of DMDII, in a statement.
AREA said the guidelines should be viewed as "living documents" subject to further development. AREA is creating a "Functional Requirements Committee" to ensure the requirements become integral in the further development of an enterprise AR ecosystem.
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