Using Machine Learning to leverage the power of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) in its current definition is the overlay of digital information on a real-world view. In practical terms, it is the process of recognising specific physical objects in a device’s camera and superimposing digital content such as video, audio or 3D models.

Visual recognition is one aspect of AR which encompasses image, object, scene and facial recognition. Computer vision technology is used to identify shapes and patterns through a complicated set of mathematical models. These models and processes are all facets of Machine Learning (ML) that drive Artificial Intelligence (AI).

ML is the science of “teaching” the system to look for commonalities and patterns and assessing the probability that a match is found. Effectively, with a set of mathematical models in place, the system is fed a collection of information that represents a positive match. For instance, if we want to teach the system to identify a cat, we provide thousands of images of cats and let the system process and find common visual patterns across all the images.

This is known as deep learning where the outcome is a system that can recognise and track almost any pattern. With this capability, we can inject a virtual projection into the area that is being recognised and tracked to deliver, what is called, an augmented reality experience.

The power of AI and ML is being able to make decisions based on the real-world scenario. Let’s consider its application in a security surveillance system. A machine that has been trained to detect weapons, such as knives and guns, can be used to observe CCTV security vision. In real-time, it can look for patterns in the scene that resemble its definition of a weapon. If identified, a notification alarm could be raised for someone to act.

Pattern recognition is not limited to visual only. Auditory, gesture and other data patterns can also be “taught” using ML. Continuing with our security surveillance example, a trained machine could be used to listen to sounds in the environment and detect patterns of shouting or offensive language being used.

The challenges

One of the hurdles in training a machine to identify patterns is sourcing enough material that is deemed a “positive match”. In these cases, systems are designed with feedback loops to allow machines to “learn by experience”. If for some reason the machine fails to detect what it is supposed to, it can be taught what was missing in the initial dataset and be trained to act on it the next time it occurs. All this is supported by an aspect of ML called “convolutional neural networks”. Different nodes that perform specific mathematical functions on the dataset are interconnected to achieve the specified outcome.

The opportunities

In a time when vast amounts of information is available at our fingertips, being able to recognise the world around us and decipher what is relevant will become critical. Whether at work, at home or in a social setting, successful real-world augmentation will rely on AI and ML observing and recognising our environment and adapting information to match our situation.

As hardware technology improves and wearable, handsfree devices become a reality, ML and AR will become an integral, yet ambient part of our lives.

Simon Galanakis is a passionate advocate of effective AR experiences and is currently Appearition’s Platform Architect and Senior Solution Designer.

International Mining & Machinery Exhibition 2018

Appearition’s Ravi and Aswin attended the International Mining & Machinery Exhibition (IMME), a 4-day International exhibition organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Kolkata at Ecopark, Rajarghat. The is the 14th edition organized by CII. The exhibition had 400+ exhibitors from all over the world, especially, Australia, China, Canada, Czech Republic, UK, the USA among others. Mining in India contributes to about 2% of India’s GDP and about 10% – 11% of the industrial sector GDP [1]. A variety of stalls were set up ranging from machinery, spares and software companies.

Key topics of discussion:

Internet of Things which is becoming a part of our daily life has also set its foothold in the mining sector with many innovative solutions and systems providing a testimonial for the same. IoT is being used in a drilling system that uses IoT to share and analyse the condition of bearings and other parts.

Immersive Technology like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are helping workers in this high-risk field with their simulation and virtual training capabilities. In machinery training instead of the need to train on real machines where mistakes might cost the business millions, a simulator would be much more cost efficient. Also, in the field of safety training, a VR based solution gives workers a chance to train in the virtual world as opposed to the real world, where the risk of injury is higher. A VR solution due to its inherent nature has more involvement from the users and is better suited.

The Mining industry is all set to embrace more frontier technology. This would continue to grow in the next couple of years with more corporates and verticals adopting the latest in terms of technology and solution.

Mining network:

The conference was the place to be to network with people creating the latest gadgets, developing the software and working with disruptive technology in the mining sector. It gave us a chance to experience the latest technology and understand the future of work in that sector.

 

[1] As of 2010

Gartner Symposium Australia – 2018

Appearition’s Rod Smith attended the 2018 Gartner Symposium in Gold Coast. With over 2000 attendees across the 2-day event, Rod shares his experience from the trip and on the emerging technologies that Gartner spoke about:

The Continuous Next

This year’s Symposium revolved around the theme ‘Continuous Next.’ Gartner sees the future in terms of continuous change at an increasing pace. A key vision for the future was the “Digital Twin” concept where organisation processes could be twinned for training and operational purposes. This could be of significant impact in augmented reality terms, particularly in asset digital twins. One of the more contentious statements was the expectation that companies should move from a project focus to a product focus. Culture also featured strongly, and the change management strategy required for implementing any new technology.

Keynote Address:

One of the highlights of the symposium was a presentation by Garry Kasparov (pictured below), the former world chess champion, and author. He provided a fascinating tale of his competition with the IBM Deep Blue chess program, which he claimed became a turning point in the artificial intelligence (AI) roadmap for chess. Kasparov centred his talk about AI and what it means to us, humans.

Disruptive technologies

The symposium had a big focus on disruptive technologies such as blockchain, digital twins, Augmented Reality (AR). Particularly, AR is at the point of starting on “the slope of enlightenment” section of the Gartner hype cycle. Digital twins was widely spoken about and heavily emphasised. This creates significant opportunities for AR companies which can model equipment assets and model processes. The payback for companies will be better utilisation of resources, efficiency and cost savings.

Gartner’s ITXPO

The ITXPO was held at the convention centre and accompanied the symposium. The XPO witnessed the likes of several large groups of vendors. Several tech enthusiasts celebrated the spirit of Halloween as the event drew close:

 

For all those in the business of technology, Gartner Symposium 2018 was the place to be!

IAMAI – Augmented and Virtual Reality committee

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) recently formed an industrial expert committee to develop and promote immersive technologies – Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) ecosystem in India.

‘The committee was formed to identify opportunities and challenges to help India’s AR/VR ecosystem, in partnership with government, industry and startups,’ says Kalyan Biswas, Associate Vice President, IAMAI.

This initiative will help to promote the fast-growing technology to drive economic growth, jobs and skill development in the country.

The committee is chaired by Namrita Mahindro, Senior General Manager, – Digital Transformation, Mahindra Group and co-chaired by Satyajeet Singh, Head –Strategic Product Partnership, India & South Asia, Facebook.

Committee’s agenda:

While speaking to Appearition about the committee’s plans, Biswas said they aim to:

–    nurture India’s AR/VR technology and talent ecosystem, particularly, skill development

–    engage with business, industry and government to evangelise acceptance of the technology

–    help drive training workshops, to familiarise potential users with technology and build use cases in key sectors

‘Currently, we have formed two sub-groups of 4-5 members each. The sub-groups would help in planning and guide IAMAI in executing the plan as agreed by the committee, building Ecosystem and help in the interaction with Government,’ explains Biswas.

The Indian AR-VR market is set to grow at a compound annual rate of 76% in the next five years. [1] With immersive technologies redefining the future of the workplace, such a committee with an agenda to drive the adoption is a welcome move.

Source: [1] https://bit.ly/2OZdrTj