NexTech AR Solutions has announced that Romios Gold Resources will be using its augmented reality (AR) technology to demonstrate exploration projects. The latter has contracted for NexTech’s 3D/AR omni-channel services to help drive its marketing and client-education activities in 2020.
As reported by Proactive Investors, according to NexTech CEO Evan Gappelberg, its AR technology will enhance Romios to “bridge the gap by showing what actual core samples look like in 3D/AR for investors and potential investors creating a critical use case to Romios and the mining industry.”
Gappelberg added: “We are always looking for new industries to leverage our AR solutions. The mining sector is certainly a new industry for us and we are the first companies to create 3D/AR core samples, which we believe could become a new industry standard for the entire mining industry.”
Tom Drivas, president of Romios, said: “We believe there is great value in allowing potential investors and industry experts to view core samples from our exploration projects in high-fidelity 3D. Going forward we will look to find other innovative ways to leverage this technology into our various marketing strategies, and pioneer together, new industry standards.”
Last December, PTC and Magic Leap extended their partnership that will allow enterprise and industrial customers to merge the AR capabilities of its Vuforia Engine solution with the powerful Magic Leap 1 wearable headset. PTC now offers Vuforia Engine to Magic Leap 1 customers, who have access to the new AR innovations of Vuforia Engine that also includes its differentiated AI-based Model Target technology.
Former Boeing researcher Thomas P Caudell may have coined the phrase in 1990, but the concept of augmented reality (AR) was first mentioned by L Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, in 1901. In his book The Master Key, Baum conceives of a pair of spectacles that overlay data onto real life, and goes on to joke, with eerie prescience, about the device “being a century ahead of the times”.
As Baum predicted, disruptive AR and virtual reality (VR) technologies are now rapidly maturing at both the consumer and commercial level as tech start-ups and global giants such as Microsoft and Google compete for market share in an industry that is projected to be worth $150bn by the close of this year.
The global mining industry has been an early adopter of AR and VR innovations as it struggles to overcome multiple economic and operational challenges that are as varied as they are daunting.
These include low commodity prices, pressure to produce ever increasing tonnages, a widening skills gap combined with an ageing workforce, the need to protect workers in risky, remote locations, and an increasing reliance on complex, automated equipment that requires safe, efficient maintenance. AR, VR and remote technologies have the potential to address many of these issues by offering mining operators improved levels of productivity, safety and machinery uptime, improvements in KPIs such as load factor and swing times, and better staff collaboration and knowledge transfer.
Using systems developed by the EU-funded project EMIMSAR, miners are able to view augmented reality versions of often complex equipment on handheld computers and helmet-mounted displays. Sensors on the machinery record and analyses temperatures, rates of acceleration and sample noise from sprockets to enable staff to assess wear on heavy-duty components such as gears and chains.
That data is fed into a knowledge-based maintenance system, where it is combined with background data on components, and machine and component information to create real-time visualizations of the machinery that can be viewed by the miners as they work on the machine.
The EMIMSAR AR system has been deployed by Germany’s largest coal mining firm RAG in all of the company’s mines for maintenance planning for long wall equipment, belt conveyors and loaders.