A trans-European team of researchers and developers is transforming industrial learning and training with the use of innovative Augmented Reality and Wearable Technology (AR/WT).
The new WEKIT.one AR system, involving the Hololens and other wearable devices, was recently put into action for the first time when it was tested with 142 experts and trainees at three separate organisations; in Tromsø, halfway to the North Pole in the Arctic circle, and in Turin and Genoa, Italy.
Throughout the trials, specially developed applications for both the experts and novices were used and feedback was collected to assess the suitability and acceptance of the system in three distinct scenarios:
Medics and engineers at the Arctic town of Tromsø performed equipment checks on the aircraft used as emergency responders in the region. More than 50 students donned the Hololens and used the WEKIT training application to carry out the checks. The system walked them through the air ambulance with the aid of holograms and audio instructions and gave them real-time feedback on their progress.
WEKIT project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and
innovation programme under grant agreement No 687669.
- At ALTEC (a service provider for the Italian Space Agency) WEKIT tested a procedure for setting up stowage racks for use by astronauts on the International Space Station. Trainees were tracked as they installed the equipment, monitoring their efficiency on every step as well as their heart-rate variability.
- With the help of radiologists in Genoa and EBIT, a medical software company, a number of medical students were trained to assess the blood flow in the carotid artery on an unfamiliar ultrasound machine. This tricky procedure involves following instructions (laid out in 3D) whilst maintaining control of both an ultrasound probe and a patient (in our case: an actor). A holographic tutor delivers the recorded think-aloud explanation of the expert, while instructional holograms, floating videos and to-be snapshots guide step by step through the procedure. Tested by medical and engineering students, this trial provided in-depth feedback on the subtleties of using AR for complicated, interactive procedures.
The trainees and experts involved in the trial evaluated specific features of the prototype and the training approach, technology acceptance, system usability, user satisfaction of training with AR glasses and human-computer interface, and simulation sickness.
Video featuring the WEKIT trials: https://youtu.be/RkGXdpSB_AM
Wearable Experience for Knowledge Intensive Training (WEKIT) is a 2.7 million EURO research and innovation project funded by Horizon 2020, to develop and test a novel way of training using smart wearable technology within three years.