January 26 2018  |  Cabin Maintenance

Boeing sees new potential in augmented reality

By Rachel Debling

Video copyright © Boeing

Augmented reality has many applications in an inflight or travel setting – just consider some of the recent innovations that have made appearances in aircraft cabins and airport lounges around the world.

Now Boeing is testing this technology in a new capacity: during the installation of electrical wiring on aircraft.

This augmented reality projects real-time, hands-free, interactive 3D wiring diagrams in front of the user's field of vision, reducing the risk of error. The company believes that this will go a long way in speeding up installation and will make the process more efficient for technicians.

“Traditionally technicians had to look at and interpret a two-dimensional twenty-foot-long drawing and construct that image in their mind and attempt to wire based on this mental model,” said Brian Laughlin, IT Tech Fellow at Boeing, in a statement on the company's website. “By using augmented reality technology, technicians can easily see where the electrical wiring goes in the aircraft fuselage. They can roam around the airplane and see the wiring renderings in full depth within their surroundings and access instructions hands-free.”

Paul Davies, Boeing Research & Technology Associate Technical Fellow, also noted that Boeing's testing has shown a 90 percent improvement in first-time quality when compared to 2D info, as well as the potential to slash up to 30 percent from the amount of time it takes to complete a job.

Check out the video above for a look at what technicians will see when using this new augmented reality.

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