AR glasses give virtual vessel access


Augmented reality (AR) glasses have been giving Yara Marine Technologies virtual vessel access throughout the pandemic. The AR glasses provide interactive access to vessel environments, like a ship’s engine room.

Aleksander Askeland, chief scientific officer (CSO) at Yara Marine Technologies, said: “We have been experimenting with AR glasses for some time. When the pandemic stopped our service engineers from boarding vessels, we had the alternative ready. With AR technology we have the visual field of the ship’s crew members on our monitors. While talking to the crew we can make markings, draw, and add text to the various engine parts they are looking at. This is useful when giving instructions and a very efficient way of training.”

AR has given Yara numerous new business opportunities and the firm is now using AR glasses to provide remote service and training to customers. The AR industry, glasses included, is evolving fast with many different providers and functionalities to choose from, according to Yara.

Jesper Hellström, head of Research and Development at Yara Marine Technologies: “We recently completed a successful test run with our engineers in Shanghai using AR glasses to provide crew training in Japan. They tested a range of different functionalities with great results, such as the ability to draw instructions in the visual field of the crew being trained. There were some challenges with internet connectivity in the deepest parts of the vessel, especially in the engine room, which acted as a Faraday cage. However, these issues are now resolved as we continuously innovate and improve the system.”

The use of AR glasses removes the reliance on travelling and it also reduces costs, in terms of both time and expenses, whilst leaving a smaller carbon footprint.

Askeland added: “AR glasses are digital tools that will enable us to provide service and training in a more effective and agile way. Just the other day, we did a yard inspection with workers walking around for us with AR glasses while receiving different instructions. For our customers, AR technology results in increased value of services received. In addition, less need for travelling will cut costs for all parties involved, and decrease the emissions associated with our work.”