Google Glass to be used for Boeing airplanes


Google Glass, the virtual reality device which did not find much popularity with the general public, has started endearing itself to the enterprise class and the latest big name to find a use for it is Boeing.

Boeing is using the device to construct aircraft wire harnesses. Modern aircraft has few mechanical switches and contain a large number of messy and complicated webs of wires which have to be assembled and connected manually, which is a cumbersome and mistake-prone process. Therefore workers have to refer continuously to a PDF assembly guide displayed on a Laptop screen. Use of Google Glass will do away with the need for carrying a laptop. The process saves assembly time of the harnesses by more than 25% and also reduces the rate of mistakes by a factor of 50%.

Boeing tryst with AR glasses began in 1995 when it was experimented using head mounted displays and a very original software. However, the large batteries and network bottlenecks did not allow the process to become a hit and implemented. The scenario is much different today. There has been a phenomenal increase in computing capacity, and lower costs have encouraged Boeing once again to try the use of virtual reality eyewear.

It started with a technical demonstration experiment. Jason DeStories, who was an R&D technician at Boeing, used the available Google Glass units to start an experimental process of wire harness assembly. The software project was christened Project Juggernaut. Smart glasses Software Developer, APX Labs, was tasked by Boeing to perfect software called Skylight which enabled technicians at Boeing scan a QR code. It pulls the wireless harness software and then scans another code to load the assembly instructions.

The software supports voice commands and also enables the user to stream real-time visuals of what they see to superiors in case of any problem.

The device is being used by a small group of technicians as a part of a pilot program but will soon become an integral component on the assembly floor. However there are some issues which need to be sorted out, and the biggest is the security of the information.

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