Continuing in the series of technology changing lives of seafarers, today we are going to discuss many realities. In Hindu Mythology it is said that this world and this life is not a reality but a myth This is exactly what we are going to talk about here about different varieties of realities. Don’t worry it’s not a mythological blog but a technological blog.
The realities we will be talking about are listed below:
1) Virtual reality also called VR
2) Augmented Reality also called AR
3) Mixed Reality also called MR and 4th
4) Extended Reality called XR
Let’s try to understand these terms
1) Virtual reality(VR)-You might have noticed kids wearing a head gear sort of equipment and playing games. What the kid actually sees through the head gear is basically an environment like he /she is transported to another place or surrounding The whole world around him/her seems to be changed immediately as soon as the head gear is worn He is detached from actual reality. It is like you are teleported to another time and place. One minute you are in an air-conditioned room in an institute and another minute you are on a ship fighting fire and you can hear the captain shouting the walkie talkie. example is given in the below figure.
2) Augmented reality(AR)-This is the hi tech glass the army people wear in English movies during combat operations where they can see through the glass and they will also have various information shown on the glass like some distance course, how many enemies etc. In this case the reality is increased. In shipping example, for e.g. you are in Engine room and seeing an equipment wearing a AR glass you can see the equipment’s parameters like temperature, condition, level of operation etc. on the glass itself only by looking at the equipment. That means the technology gives you more information than your brain can process about the surroundings you are in.
3) Mixed reality (MR) is actually the mix of AR and VR i.e. you can the real surrounding also but again can change the surrounding for E.g. you are standing inside a room and you want to select a colour for the walls to be painted.so rather than painting a small portion with 4 to 5 shortlisted colours, you can paint all the walls with 100s of colours before painting the walls actually.
4) Extended reality(XR) is actually a general terminology used to describe any of the 3 above realities, the term basically is used in general discussions where it does not matter which kind of virtual reality we are talking about
Why are we talking about the virtual world here? Does it have relevance in Maritime industry? The answer is very much. Some of you might have already experienced, however very soon most of us will be exposed to the world of Extended reality in some form or other
The Korean Register of Shipping (classification society) has adopted VR technology for specialist training for its surveyors and will soon use it for shipping companies. simulator program takes the surveyor to a virtual ship to test their investigative skills and competence and to improve their uniform inspection across all its surveyors, this is an amazing technology innovation!
In an article, Korean Register representative informed that, this was only the beginning of what is possible from VR technology and they were in the final stages of introducing VR training simulation for fire drills which can be further used for simulation training for fire-fighting and rescue operations.
Kongsberg another giant in ship automation, who is also involved in the development of the Autonomous vessel, has recently delivered a virtual reality system of an VLCC with complete deck and engine room machinery to an institute in Philippines. Using the handheld device, trainees can jump between different areas of the ship or virtually walk to them. They can select different tools for interacting with equipment on the ship, such as opening doors or inspecting machinery.
Videotel a giant in the Maritime training arena has also developed a complete 360-degree Engine room and converted into a game, the trainee need to complete tasks like maintenance of an equipments and for every tasks points are given and awards issued to trainee to make the training more enjoyable.
Advantages of VR training
1) Training becomes visual: the learning process becomes more appealing than in the traditional way. Real-life experiences taken in to the digital world.
2) Learning is safer: Workers can gain familiarization with complex situations and risky environments and they can practice in real life scenarios until they are near perfect.
3) Learning becomes more affordable: The value to a business using VR technology is immense. Since VR headsets are becoming cheaper, they can be easily bought for training purposes and implemented remotely
4) Remote training: Trainees don’t need to travel to attend training programs and can take up courses at the point of need.
To summarize with the Pandemic playing havoc everywhere, there is an urgent need of a solution to better train our seafarers away from unnecessary exposure. Many countries have approved virtual class rooms with video conferencing softwares for classroom courses however we need a solution for practical training like survival courses and firefighting, where we might have solution in Virtual reality
Let’s look out for the next virtual training we will be doing!!
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