Next generation connectivity will boost the use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the industrial sector, according to a new analysis.
Manufacturers are increasingly adopting AR in applications such as smart manufacturing and remote operation of industrial machinery. But to serve workers that use devices in a wider range of locations or on the move, it will benefit from being used with wireless network connectivity, ABI Research said.
Superfast fifth generation, or 5G, mobile internet connectivity is expected to bring much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections, BBC News explained.
The 5G network will be well suited for connected AR/VR experiences.
“Wearing smart glasses, rather than using AR on handheld screens, empowers the worker to use both hands and look directly at the work that needs doing. AR will enable shop-floor workers to see a digital twin overlaid on a physical object with assembly or repair instructions according to customised needs,” said Marina Lu, senior analyst at ABI Research.
“Remote applications that connect field engineers to a remote expert require high-accuracy interaction and low end-to-end latency for time-sensitive applications, and thus continuous connectivity is vital. When users in field service and maintenance are in remote locations where Wi-Fi is nonexistent, devices can leverage 4G and eventually 5G networks to keep these workers connected and safe.”
The research firm forecasts that almost 10% of industrial smart glasses and standalone VR devices will have a 5G connection by 2026.
“Ubiquitous connectivity is necessary for users to interact with the surrounding environment and receive on-demand information anytime and anywhere,” added Eric Abbruzzese, principal analyst at ABI Research. “New business models that can leverage connectivity capabilities and bring value to end users wherever they are operating need to be developed.”