Singapore trials XR glasses to ensure vessels are shipshape
A Singapore shipyard is piloting 5G-powered AR/VR smart glasses for remote site inspections and monitoring, as part of a government grant to drive the commercialisation and adoption of 5G applications.
The project is being funded by the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) 5G innovation programme and sees offshore and marine infrastructure giant Keppel O&M partner with fellow Keppel Corporation firm, the digital network operator M1.
The pilot will run on M1’s 5G network, which was rolled out in Singapore two years ago.
According to a statement released by Keppel, when equipped with a camera lens, microphone, micro speaker, and cellular or WIFI reception, the AR and VR enabled smart glasses can perform real time analyses and provide data to the wearer.
The device also enables the wearer to communicate with a receiver or control room and, when equipped with a micro project, can project a digital overlay of text and images within the wearer’s field of vision.
The OM player has identified several use cases for the glasses, which will be worn by site inspection personnel for asset maintenance work.
Controlled via voice commands, Keppel claims that the device replaces the need for manual check sheets and drawings and can facilitate remote coaching.
The firm estimates that this application has the potential to cut on-site quality inspection hours “by up to 50%”.
Other test cases include remote monitoring with digital twin virtualisation, which allows field engineers to capture and stream live sensor data via the AR glasses back to the main office for real time guidance.
This set up, claims Keppel, provides a common platform for engineers and off-site support to trouble shoot and rectify issues, which it estimates will improve field engineers’ efficiency by 40%.
Virtual walk throughs of vessels are also an option, enabling Keppel engineers, customers and ship regulators to conduct pre-construction feasibility assessments simultaneously.
Keppel O&M’s CEO Chris Ong added that his firm first tried out the glasses during the Covid-19 pandemic to conduct an inspection of a new vessel with a classification regulator. The intention now, he added, was to use the specs – along with a host of other digital technologies – to achieve its vision for a ‘Yard of the Future.’
Manjot Singh Mann, CEO of M1, noted that the use of smart glasses could help solve critical challenges in Singapore’s maritime industry and pointed out that the pilot project could be scaled and replicated to increase operational efficiency and safety across a range of industries.
Other 5G testbeds that have received IMDA funding include the use of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 to render 3D images and holographic projections in holomedicine. Applications such as procedure and surgical navigation at the National University Health System (NUHS).
The news follows Samsung’s partnership announcement earlier this week with AR headwear firm NuEyes to deliver a pair of smart glasses aimed at the healthcare sector to support training and patient care applications.
Subscribe to our Editor's weekly newsletter