Port & Shipping industry leverages smartglasses technology with Hololens

Written by Wouter Martens

Port & Shipping leverages smartglasses technology with HoloLens 2. Operators are now able to control machinery remotely, project holographic digital twins on a 1:1 scale, safely guide large cargo ships, … and so much more!

Remote control

Thanks to the HoloLens, operators are now perfectly able to control machinery, such as cranes, from a distance in a safe location. The HoloLens allows for pinsharp stereoscopic projection of a 3D camera image, with an accurate sense of depth, while the operator still sees his real-life surroundings. As it’s a fully standalone untethered headset, the HoloLens can be used anywhere the operator is. In every office or any location, as long as a good network connection is available.  

We built an application for DEME to remotely control a crane in the middle of The Scheldt, with an end-to-end latency of around 150 to 200 milliseconds. Learn more.  

Digital twins

Digital twins of physical objects can be projected into the HoloLens and can be used to run simulations or to check for possible errors before actually building the object. As the HoloLens is a standalone computer, 3D models can be rendered by itself. However, to ensure high performance holographic experiences of complex 3D models while using the HoloLens, a traditional approach which compresses the models and removes polygons can mean a loss of important details. In that case, remote rendering is the way to go 

Augmented information

The HoloLens can blend augmented information seamlessly with your environment. Thanks to AI and computer vision, it is able to project relevant information about vessels entering or leaving the port in real time.  

Safely guide large cargo ships

Container ships are often too unwieldy to enter a port by themselves. They rely on the help of tugboats that push or pull them to the right dock. In the Port of Antwerp, large cargo ships are usually accompanied by two tugboats that need to work in perfect unison without actually seeing each other. A moving camera on the tugboat sends images to the control room in real time. However, if you want to take it to the next level, these images should also be sent to the tugboats that are helping the vessel. This is where the HoloLens comes in! Of course, this means you’ll need to leverage a steady internet connection. Luckily, with HoloLens 2, you can connect to a WiFi network or you can leverage the USB-C port to connect to a 4G, 5G or LTE dongle. 

Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Interested in finding out how the Hololens can boost efficiency in your business? Book a workshop that fits your needs!