The full benefits of augmented reality has yet to be fully realized. It is still in it’s infancy, with consumer-ready headsets planning to come out in 2016 and 2017. This is the reasons why Hololens, Meta 2 and CastAR are seeking developers to create content that will experiment with different applications AR can provide to the marketplace.
One great benefit that comes to mind, is the instructional aspect of AR headsets. What I mean is, if your car gets a flat tire on the road, being able to open up an app that can provide you step-by-step instructions to do so by utilizing your camera and network access, can be a great relief. Maybe even detecting whether your brakes need changing or not, can be convenient with AR.
This is essentially what KTM (Kraftahrzueg Trunkenpolz Mattighofen) is doing to enter the mixed reality market. KTM is an Austrian company founded in 1934 by Johann Trunkenpolz. They specialize in manufacturing motorcycles and sports cars, which was initiated in 1937 with selling DKW motorcycles and Opel cars. When Johann died, the company was managed by Erich Trunkenpolz. During his time, he had 180 employees and brought in 3.5 million euros. After the death of Erich, the business was split into four different entities. KTM currently consist of a motorcycle, bicycle, radiator and tooling divisions.
In 1974, KTM won it’s first Motorcross championship. The company has also dominated events such as Atlas-Rally and Dakar Rally. Their Moto3 won the 2013 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season and “the company won a third consecutive manufacturers MotoGP title during the 2014 Moto3 season.” They also sponsor their own road racing events. KTM success and history can be read on Wikipedia, but this is to give you an idea of how credible and dedicated the company is, when it comes to creating top-notch racing vehicles.
Now they have entered the mixed reality industry, with an informative and instructional app that can scan and recognize different automotive parts. The app was created using Vuforia (game engine software acquired by Qualcomm) that can be ran on a Android OS or iOS.
ArsTechnica did an interview with Vuforia’s Vice President, Jay Wright. He explains, “You’ll notice the content appears ‘stuck’ to something. The Application has to recognize the environment or the target.” The app is essentially recognizing the automotive object, surface or image targets. Once it recognizes the part, it connects to a external network to display detailed information and related instructions regarding the part.
Their plan for this is to have an on-hand guide that overlays digital images and information on automotive parts, which allows the app user to repair or perform maintenance step-by-step. This would definitely be helpful for mechanics, giving them a much easier way to handling even the most complicated procedures, through their smartphone, tablet or AR headset. possibly by next year, you’ll find a nifty app like this, especially for changing tires or checking your oil level.