Singapore’s maritime industry sees through AR glasses in 5G boost

Smart glasses powered by augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies are being used to aid site inspection and remote monitoring in a new pilot project at Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) in Singapore. Running on M1’s 5G network, the project is part of a government grant to drive the commercialization and adoption of 5G applications.

Smart glasses can perform real-time analytics and generate data that the wearer can use to support their tasks. The device also allows the wearer to communicate with a control room or receiver. Each pair is equipped with a camera lens, microphone, speaker mic and projector mic that can project a digital overlay of text and images into the wearer’s field of vision. The glasses connect online via cellular or Wi-Fi.

The pilot is part of Keppel O&M’s efforts to harness digital and virtual technologies to improve the efficiency of remote operations for its workforce, according to a joint statement issued Wednesday by the maritime player and M1. Both companies are subsidiaries of Keppel Corporation.

For example, smart glasses will be worn by inspection personnel to view on-site work instructions as part of asset maintenance work. Controlled via voice commands, the device replaces the need for manual check sheets and drawings and can also facilitate remote coaching. It can reduce labor hours needed for on-site quality inspection by up to 50 percent, Keppel said.

Other use cases tested in the pilot project include remote monitoring with digital twin virtualization, during which field engineers can capture and stream live sensor data through the AR-enabled glasses to the main office and receive advice remotely in real time. Data can also be overlaid on site, in the engineer’s line of sight, to display information such as real-time equipment performance and status during operations.

It provides a common platform on which the field engineer and office support staff can troubleshoot and correct issues. This use case aims to improve field efficiency by 40%.

The smart glasses will also be leveraged to facilitate remote virtual tours of a vessel, enabling Keppel engineers, customers and classification societies – part of a larger ecosystem involved in the construction and operation of maritime structures – to realize the feasibility of pre-construction. evaluations simultaneously. The objective here is to enable potential engineering design issues to be identified earlier and, therefore, to mitigate risk prior to construction.

Engineering can also use the smart glasses during the construction phase to validate that the project meets the correct specifications. The device can further support collaboration between different shipyards and locations where various ship components are built.

Keppel O&M CEO Chris Ong said the company carried out inspections remotely with the smart glasses at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic amid on-site investigations and limited physical inspections. This has now been expanded to further improve efficiency and improve yard operations as well as provide digital applications for its customers’ assets, Ong said.

M1 CEO Manjot Singh Mann said the smart glasses, running on a 5G network, could support high-bandwidth immersive AR/VR environments with detailed representations and real-time information to relay to users. and control centers.

The deployment of smart glasses at Keppel O&M could be expanded and replicated to improve operational efficiency and workplace safety in other industries, Mann said.

The pilot is funded under the Singapore 5G Innovation Program, managed by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), to pilot Singapore’s 5G ecosystem.

Some SG$30 million ($21.55 million) has been set aside for the program, which includes two other projects that will see 5G mobile edge and mixed reality (MR) technologies deployed in the IT sector. health as well as the delivery of a 5G compatible exterior. Cinema-quality AR experience, according to IMDA.

As part of the health technology initiative, IMDA and National University Health System, Singapore Telecommunications and ApoQlar will develop 5G-enabled holomedicine, or MR capabilities that harness holographic displays and images to improve healthcare services . The app will take advantage of remote rendering technologies and MR devices such as Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, IMDA said.

“The collaborative project will enable the holomedicine platform to take advantage of a high-speed network, which is essential for the real-time transmission of large volumes of data from HoloLens 2 devices,” said the government agency. “Capabilities such as real-time rendering of high-resolution 3D images and holographic projections, scanning reconstructions, surgical navigation and remote assistance procedure will be possible in operating rooms. Outside of operating rooms, capabilities such as enhanced visualization of patient veins during blood draw procedures, advanced point-of-care ultrasound imaging capabilities, and patient education and counseling will be enabled.”