ABB Brings Renewable Energy Infrastructure to Life With Augmented Reality, Scottish First Minister and Energy Secretary Sample AR

ABB Power Systems UK has become the first engineering company to use cutting-edge Augmented Reality (AR) technology to showcase an example of critical energy infrastructure. Among the first people to try out the new animation were Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne.

Produced by leading digital marketing agency, Hidden Creative, the virtual High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power transfer plant, complete with its renewable energy source, was showcased at the RenewableUK 2010 Expo held in Glasgow.

AR works when an item, such as product packaging or a promotional gift, is presented to a camera connected to an output screen via a computer. The computer recognises hidden markers on the surface of the item which automatically triggers an animation to play on the screen-rendered image.

This animation can then be moved in three dimensions by manipulating the marked item in the view of the camera creating an immersive and engaging presentation.

In ABB’s case, promotional mouse mats were distributed to exhibition delegates containing different AR animations on either side for use in one of two AR kiosks which were custom built for the exhibition.

Upon visiting the kiosks, attendees who presented the mouse mats to the HD cameras, activated a detailed AR demonstration of ABBs offshore BorWin project and interconnector by engaging the virtual button which appeared on a 65 inch screen.

The intricate design and inner workings of the HDVC renewable plant were brought to life through a series of animations which remove the outer shell of the plant and demonstrate the HVDC technology at work.

The reverse side of the mouse mat featured an animated landscape, depicting how ABB’s stations work in tandem with offshore wind farms.

A second kiosk was exclusive to the exhibition and featured manoeuvrable arms, designed to slide two sections of a landscape together to trigger a series of animations, demonstrating how electricity is converted and transported through the land.

The augmentations were developed to simplify the complexity of ABB’s products and services by elegantly illustrating details such as inner components and geographical footprint.

Karen Strong, head of marketing communications at ABB UK, said: “Providing a visually rich, interactive experience is an essential development for ABB to communicate our comprehensive range of services and products.

“We had seen augmented reality at work in other industries and recognised immediately that we could put it to good use with products. The result is simple, user-friendly and stunning to look at. It really brings the complexity of the HDVC plant to life.”


Source: hiddenltd, November 17, 2010