Boeing using Microsoft HoloLens for a great cause
Boeing are best known for building the planes that you and I fly on, but they’re actually a company that leverages technology in a number of ways. Boeing us an ecoDemonstrator simulation program, combined with big data from their network of aircraft to find efficiencies in fuel and flying times. Spectrolab, a subsidiary of Beoing also contributed to the solar panels used on the international space station and on the Juno mars mission. These solar cells have around 40% efficiency compared to residential solar cells at around 20% efficiency.
One of the more recent examples of how Boeing are leveraging technology, Boeing using Microsoft HoloLens to tackle wildfires. Another division of Boeing is Instu which makes the ScanEagle, a small, long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone if you like). In an effort to apply technology to the fight against fires, Boeing engineers are taking live fire information and overlaying it over 3D representations of the geography under threat.
HoloLens, gives the fire chief the ability to understand the fire in a new and unique way. The strategy to fight the fire can then be informed by the best information and understanding of the live situation at any given time. Directing the UAV’s is as simple as dragging an aircraft onto the map and the aircraft flies over that area, capturing Ariel imagery to detect hotspots. The whole workspace allows oversight of manned and unmanned aircraft, the fire teams on the ground and importantly the same augmented reality can be experienced by multiple people, simply by adding HoloLens’.
Sure each of the HoloLens currently cost $3,000 but when this commercial application has the ability to dramatically reduce risk to humans and even save lives, that’s a small price to pay. Importantly the AR still allows the operators to see other real world information like monitors or paperwork, even take calls, unlike virtual reality that would essentially have the user offline from the real world while immersed.
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