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Extended Reality: What do Mining Engineers have in common with Tony Stark?

Extended Reality: What do Mining Engineers have in common with Tony Stark?

extended reality

Stark is a superhero, but also, he is a genius-level engineer and tech futurist.

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Finding a quality greenfield deposit is hard. Sustaining a profitable and safe project is even more difficult. There is an urgent need for mining to be more sustainable while demand continues to grow. Simply put, we need to do more with less.

With the digitalisation agenda moving into the broader mining industry, technology is transforming the core mining processes. It has progressed to the point where higher efficiency, more effective operation, and better safety outcomes are the new reality.

Engineers are working in increasingly complex environments, where technology is being used to evaluate resources and optimise efficiency and safety. In addition, the collection of massive data from interconnected assets and equipment have reinforced the importance for mining engineers to have systems to support machine learning and data analytics.

For a mining company to be fully matured in its digital journey, “digitally-enabled hardware tools to perform or improve activities that have traditionally been carried out manually or with human-controlled machinery “ is a must.


Enter, Real time Extended Reality (XR) solutions

Extended reality (XR) is a term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearables, where the 'X' represents a variable for any current or future spatial computing technologies.  

Tony’s Holotable table is a device that creates holographic models to study events or areas with important time and location information. This in turn generates a real-time cross-comparison analysis. As you can imagine, capabilities like that would make any engineering job a bit easier and much cooler.

Taking that from a science fiction context to reality, the Holotable is a piece of incredibly cool tech that combines 3D, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and converges with Industrial IoT and CAD technologies.  It superimposes images or multimedia information on real environments, utilises the reproduction of objects in 3D, creates a digital model of the reference item assigned with specific characteristics, dynamically updates the parameters according to the environmental changes , and carries out interactive analysis from Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies.

Functional XR holographic displays are already available– for example, Microsoft’s Halo Glasses. It is an ergonomic, self-contained holographic device with enterprise-ready applications that allows real-time interaction between physical and virtual objects/scenarios to increase user accuracy and output.

By bringing XR technology into resource industries, it will change how engineers and technians interact with assets, such as computers and mobiles, and the information stored in them. Some of the applications include

  • Real time remote troubleshooting, diagnoses and maintenance through AR headset
  • Immersive training for actual scenarios in a safe & controlled environment
  • Simultaneous translation for multi-language supported assistance
  • Lowered operational cost by reduce re-work and unnecessary repetitive tasks

XR Tech is just the beginning

Be it a greenfield project or brownfield expansion, we'll help you understand how to add value and minimise risk with a tailored solution to support your digital transformation journey.