A pillar of the world’s economy, the global merchant fleet of 118,928 ships represents an intriguing market for developing augmented reality (AR) navigation technologies, says an article for laser focus website.
The Growing Role Of AR In Maritime Navigation
The global merchant fleet, comprising nearly 119,000 ships, is emerging as a potential market for augmented reality (AR) navigation technologies. AR technology, deemed essential in the complex realm of Surface Warfare Operations by the U.S. Navy, is finding applications in enhancing situational awareness and safety for shipmasters.
AR’s Function In Processing And Presenting Information
AR’s primary function is to process and present information in a more accessible manner, offering users additional visual details derived from data collected and processed by computers. By superimposing virtual elements in the user’s field of view, AR enhances the understanding of the ship’s surroundings, presenting crucial details that may not be visible through conventional means.
Benefits Of AR For Shipmasters
AR brings significant benefits to shipmasters, particularly the officer of the watch (OOW). It improves safety by providing information on shipping lanes, especially in shallow waters or adverse visibility conditions.
Additionally, AR enhances situational awareness by consolidating comprehensive information on the ship and other vessels of interest, reducing cognitive and physical stress.
Advanced AR Navigation Systems
Leading AR navigation systems, such as Furuno’s Envision and Groke’s As-Pro, employ monoscopic technology. These systems utilize wide-field CCTV cameras to monitor the sea surface, delivering images to a dashboard on the bridge.
While these systems represent a significant advancement, further improvements are sought to reduce cognitive load and enhance user experience.
Head-Mounted Display AR For Ship Navigation
AR’s potential is explored further with head-mounted display (HMD) technology, providing shipmasters with a centralized interface for accessing sensor information and orders.
The HMD eliminates the need for continuous head-up and head-down movements, reducing physical fatigue and improving maneuverability during critical operations.
Standardizing AR Display In Maritime
Researchers propose a standard for AR display in maritime settings, outlining five objects to mediate information effectively without clutter. These include app displays, widget displays, annotations, ocean overlays, and augmented reality maps. Standardization aims to provide a seamless and comprehensive display of information critical for safe navigation.
Challenges And Future Developments
Despite the potential of AR in maritime navigation, challenges such as waterproofing, stability, visibility in bright environments, and misalignment of graphics persist. Ongoing research and development projects, such as OpenBridge and Open AR, are exploring the integration of AR in maritime environments, with a focus on addressing existing limitations and advancing technology tailored for maritime use.
Navigating the Future With AR
As AR continues to evolve in maritime navigation, shipmasters stand to benefit from enhanced safety, improved situational awareness, and streamlined information access. The ongoing efforts to overcome challenges and develop specialized AR technology for maritime environments signal a promising future for the integration of augmented reality in the global merchant fleet.*
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Source: laser focus world