Roomware, agricultural, construction and hazardous sites

Posted on February 2, 2010

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Roomware, AR and the environment

At MediaRijk we discussed the option of using Roomware for educational means in outside locations like “natuurmonumenten” teaching kids about stuff and trees using Augmented reality.

The thing is: currently the technology is too slow and expensive to give you the kind of immersive experience to make it work. Maybe 5 years from now it will work: enter a site, point your whatever at a tree and get instant information about what it is and how it is integrated in it’s environment.

Enter the interactive construction sites and other hazardous areas

When you look at construction sites, they can turn into very complex environments with a lot of stuff happening. When you can place sensors measuring the state of hazardous places, warning you when you enter, giving you status updates on what happened regarding wind, rain and other influences that might change the game. For instance: warning you that some containers have not been stacked properly and could fall any minute.

By walking around you can “sense” the environment and by measuring your presence, the environment can take care of you and protect you from accidents that could have been avoided.

To bring it closer to my house:

The daughter of a friend of my family and a mother of three children, was hit by a forklift a bit more than a year ago on a site as described above. The accident was plain stupid and could have happened to anyone any time. It threw her in a coma. The doctors at some point were discussing with the family to possibly pull the plug as the damage done to her brain was so severe that she might never come out of her coma.

She has recovered. She will probably be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. But she communicates and is able to move.

The clue and purpose of this story is not to sell you the idea that accidents can and MUST be prevented. Because you can not. Regardless of the amount of security measurements, people will continue to make mistakes and be harmed. What you CAN do is reduce the amount of causes you can prevent by adding just a little extra layer of sensors to your environment.

Enter agricultural areas

With any living material, whether it is flora or fauna, you are dealing with environmental factors like heat, cold, moist, the danger of starving, the danger of drowning, the danger of theft and disease.

Measuring this is directly possible in some cases and not- or indirectly in others. For instances, you can not measure “rotting” but you can measure the increase in temperature due to the rotting process.

Agricultural companies have grown huge in the past decades. With this growth, new problems arise of measurement and control. One little mistake can cost you ten thousands of euros due to your goods being damaged or destroyed.

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Posted in: Roomware