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Google Glass gives a new angle on plant monitoring

22 December, 2014

At the recent SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Germany, the Italian software developer Progea was demonstrating a prototype version of a virtual reality application that uses Google Glass to view the parameters of an automation system in real time, via WiFi or a mobile broadband connection.

The demonstration showed how Google Glass can be used with Progea’s Movicon supervision software to view displays of the operational area of a plant, and to access relevant information in real time.

Using swipe functions, the wearer can navigate through the system and view data and other information on the Glass’ head-up display. They can also check the operational status of components, query the system, and interact with it using spoken commands or the side-bar touchpad.

Variables, alarms, instructions or help functions are supplied by the Movicon server, and users can also enter commands – for starting, stopping, alarms, setpoints and so on – using menus driven via the Glass touchpad.

Markus Stadelhofer, general manager of Progea in Germany, demonstrates the company’s Google Glass application at the SPS show

Progea believes that enhanced reality applications will bring big benefits, especially for complex systems, and could be managed via tablets or smartphones, as well as by Google Glass. They could integrate images from the device’s camera with geolocation data and view dynamic data superimposed on live images of a plant. QR codes could also be used to gather information.

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