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Now it’s time to take a look at a South Korean business bringing about changes in the global economy with some new ideas.
Today, we’ll introduce you to an augmented reality or AR platform developer named DeepFine. Let’s hear from senior researcher of the company Lee Jeong-min.
DeepFine has taken up new challenges to change people’s lives in a positive way since its establishment in 2019. With this vision mind, the company has developed a non-face-to-face business solution called ARON, which can enhance work efficiency at industrial sites using smart glasses. Taking a step forward, the company is making efforts to make extended reality or XR experiences more immersive.
AR technology is about overlaying digital images on the physical world. In the initial stage, AR was simply considered something new and fun. In line with the increasingly sophisticated technology and the combination of wireless networks with artificial intelligence or AI, AR is now permeating into people’s lives.
The same is true of smart glasses. Facebook, now renamed Meta, unveiled its smart glasses in partnership with a sunglass maker in September. The smart glasses have cameras, speakers, microphones, a battery and the memory. Still, they are only 5 grams heavier than regular sunglasses. With smart glasses, you can take photos without your smartphone, listen to music without your earphone and answer phone calls. AR-enabled smart glasses generate digital arrows to show you the way and translate a text written in a foreign language in real time as you read it. Indeed, smart glasses are the next-generation wearable equipment that can be used for diverse purposes. Global firms like Apple, Samsung Electronics and Xiaomi plan on releasing smart glasses as early as next year.
Augmented reality, which still sounds rather vague, has already been applied to industrial sites through DeepFine’s signature product ARON.
ARON is an AI-based, AR-enabled solution tailored to industrial sites. It can increase work efficiency by making the workplace hands-free and more remote-friendly. It enables users to collaborate remotely with industrial sites dispersed in local areas or even overseas.
ARON shows you a digital checklist so you can check on major facilities only through voice commands without having to carrying a tablet or paper. If you found something unusual in the process, you can record it through photos and voice messages. The results are produced automatically so you don’t have to write a report. By incorporating vision AI technology based on deep learning algorithms, it provides AI services that industrial sites need. If you want to see the current conditions of the facilities and find some information, the results pop up right before your eyes in the form of virtual content, thanks to AR technology.
ARON is an AR platform that combines features of smart glasses and voice AI. The AR-assisted solution can place facility layout or manuals for work in your field of view. When a worker simply goes close to machinery at a factory installed with various sensors, he can check the system conditions right away. If any abnormality is detected, a field worker is notified of it immediately.
In industrial sites, where a brief moment of inattention may cause an accident, voice AI-powered ARON allows workers to use its various features only through voice commands, with both hands free. Also, its noise cancelling ensures accurate voice recognition even in a noisy environment. In a word, ARON helps enhance work efficiency and prevent safety accidents in industrial sites.
The use of smart glasses, along with AI-based smart CCTV or mobile video equipment, can minimize monitoring blind spots. ARON can notify officials in charge of any emergency, so they can monitor the sites effectively without increasing the number of field inspectors. Facility design or manuals appear in the field of view, so inexperienced workers can learn how to work through augmented reality.
The use of smart glasses has the effect of reducing the time and cost involved in business trips by 60 percent. Also, officials in charge of product quality and safety management can improve productivity by 30 percent, because one official can manage many more sites. Users say that they could save the time and cost for facility maintenance by about 50 percent. It is little wonder that companies are actively introducing AR solutions to make industrial sites safer.
The metaverse and digital twins may sound like something in the far distant future. But smart glasses are already rapidly changing the working environment at industrial sites.
What differentiates ARON from others is that edge computing is applied to the solution. In edge computing, computing resources are placed closer to the user or the device, unlike a large-scale, centralized cloud server that collects and processes data remotely. Small-scale, decentralized edge computing is considered more efficient and economical. Using this method, ARON can be activated in an environment where the Internet connections are unstable and also improved the quality of video calls. Thanks to these benefits, ARON has already been introduced in many industrial sites.
Hyundai Engineering and Construction uses smart glasses in its construction sites. It is difficult for human inspectors to visit the sites each time. The company built smart glass-based monitoring system to conduct daily safety checks. In Gyeonggi Province, ARON is used for facility inspections. A number of food companies such as Pulmuone, Lotte Confectionery and Sunjin Food use smart glasses to monitor product quality and hygiene conditions at their partner firms or factories scattered around local regions and overseas.
DeepFine provides relevant technology to government agencies. For instance, it participates in the safety evaluation project of the Gyeonggi provincial government. In addition, the company signed a contract with a famous Japanese electric company to supply its software. It is also preparing for mixed reality services related to the metaverse, which has become the top buzzword in the tech world. The company is working on platforms not only for industrial sites but for sales, marketing and even general consumers as well.
In the course of creating DeepFine and developing ARON, we faced difficulties from time to time. But we were also very happy and excited at the thought of realizing the dream of creating something like a “Scouter” in the “Dragon Ball” animation or “Jarvis,” the AI assistant in the film “Iron Man.” I believe that our new endeavors like this will eventually change people’s lives, though only in a small way. We’ll work hard to contribute to making the world a safer and smarter place. Please look forward to our activities. Thank you.
We hope DeepFine’s solution will help save many precious lives in industrial sites and create a more convenient world.