Accenture needed a way to highlight the role that technology, specifically Virtual Reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT), will play in the future of Mining. Together with Rio Tinto, Accenture wanted to show what being a “smart worker” meant and how daily activities in the mining industry would change through virtual hands-on learning. They needed a way to show this technology today and create an overall experience where the applications of this technology resonated with the viewers.
The concept of a “smart worker” has floated around in Science Fiction, but recent advances in technology are bringing it closer to reality. Like Iron Man, workers will be able to see real-time contextual information as they train or perform their tasks. While aspects of this technology exist, the seamless experience that one would experience as a smart worker does not.
How does Accenture build awareness for not just the smart worker solution of tomorrow, but also raise awareness on two key component technologies, Virtual Reality and the Internet of Things? For most, VR is synonymous with Pokemon Go (a game) and Google Glass (a curiosity) and IoT is mainly known for smart homes. Accenture needs to show how these technologies will function in the workplace.
EON Reality was selected by Accenture and Rio Tinto to develop several Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality applications for their Experiential Knowledge Worker Solution. This experiential installation at Rio Tinto’s Singaporean offices was designed to showcase Virtual and Augmented Reality and how it interfaces with IoT to improve workers hands-on learning in their daily activities. These VR and AR applications were displayed using the EON Icube Mobile, EON Ibench Mobile, Oculus Rift, and on mobile devices e.g. tablets. Visitors were able to see how information on hazards in their immediate vicinity, instructions on how to do complex procedures, and crucial data from their equipment would be presented to the knowledge worker, right in front of their eyes.
Experience Multiple Scenarios
Through the EON Icube Mobile and the EON Software Platform, visitors could experience multiple situations and scenarios without leaving the experiential area. Scenarios available include: conducting a visual inspection on a Haulpak vehicle in a Mobile Maintenance Repair Workshop, be a Shift Manager in an underground mine during a disaster recovery scenario, and perform a 3D scan of a physical pump for visualization in Virtual Reality.
Realistic Use Cases
EON Reality’s experience in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality knowledge transfer was crucial to bringing realism to the use cases in the experiential center. While the technology the experiences are replicating are new, the underlying know how is not. EON Reality was able to bring its extensive 17+ years of industry 3D/VR/AR experience to bear on how the technology has been used by similar fields in the past and how clients are looking to leverage this same technology in the future.
The EON VR and AR installations for Mining opened on September 8th, 2015 at Accenture-Rio Tinto IoT Centre of Excellence in Singapore.