Indoor Positioning: Use Cases for a Spatially Enabled Digital Factory

Applied Tech Review | Saturday, June 11, 2022

Learn how indoor positioning technology can support augmented reality experiences that allow distributed teams and stakeholders to collaborate and make sound decisions based on accurate site conditions.

FREMONT, CA: Augmented reality technology holds many promises for the manufacturing industry, including improving workplace safety, measuring changes, and reviewing detailed information about industrial processes in real-time. However, to have a seamless AR experience indoors, mobile users must have positioning technology to locate them on a map. Without this, an AR-enabled device cannot sync the digital twin and the physical environment.

Even though mobile phones and tablets have built-in GPS that provides location technology, that feature does not work indoors: GPS signals are blocked, reflected by walls, and cannot enter a room. Indoor positioning technology uses a network of devices within the venue to locate people or objects, such as beacons combined with wifi, which is one solution.

 Use Cases for a Spatially-Enabled Digital Factory

The majority of augmented reality apps offer isolated and spatially limited experiences. Augmented training applications are one example of how AI teaches employees technical skills or provides multi-step jobs to work through a problem. However, such training applications are typically limited to a single machine or workplace.

NavVis' visual positioning technology has the potential to be implemented across an entire factory shop floor, allowing information to be accessed onsite based on the exact position and workstation at hand.

Suppose a technician can't go and fix an issue onsite, but immediate assistance is required to solve an issue. In that case, remote collaboration tools can provide a common interface to understand and solve a possible problem.

Finally, location technology will assist assembly planning managers and facility heads in quickly implementing new best practices in a facility. For example, AR can assist with onsite concept validation and provide feedback on a redesign concept from the shop floor. This will save time and help disseminate new information, ultimately driving efficiency quickly.

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