One of the big and reoccuring issues in doing industrial work is having access to important information (diagrams, spec sheets, maps) while out in the production area. One answer is what is called “augmented reality.” In augmented reality, key information is placed within the technician’s field of vision using semi-transparent near-eye displays. In the case of the display shown, the information comes to the display from a pocket-PC. While the head-gear shown is obviously in the prototype phase, the Information Society Technologies division of the Sixth Framework Program in Germany hopes to have the combination of headset and handheld software ready for real-world applications soon.
While the 6FP-IST group is focused on industrial uses, the project may also find some future expression in the entertainment (games and videos) area. It also shows a possibility for the future of handheld computers where the display is moved to a headset and the handheld unit is used for entry and control.
Further information on the specific project is here