Evaluating the Microsoft HoloLens through an augmented reality assembly application

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Evans, Gabriel
Miller, Jack
Pena, Mariangely
Winer, Eliot
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Mechanical Engineering
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University is where innovation thrives and the impossible is made possible. This is where your passion for problem-solving and hands-on learning can make a real difference in our world. Whether you’re helping improve the environment, creating safer automobiles, or advancing medical technologies, and athletic performance, the Department of Mechanical Engineering gives you the tools and talent to blaze your own trail to an amazing career.
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) contains two focuses. The focus on Electrical Engineering teaches students in the fields of control systems, electromagnetics and non-destructive evaluation, microelectronics, electric power & energy systems, and the like. The Computer Engineering focus teaches in the fields of software systems, embedded systems, networking, information security, computer architecture, etc.

The Department of Electrical Engineering was formed in 1909 from the division of the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering. In 1985 its name changed to Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. In 1995 it became the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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  • Department of Electrical Engineering (1909-1985)
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering (1985-1995)

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Industry and academia have repeatedly demonstrated the transformative potential of Augmented Reality (AR) guided assembly instructions. In the past, however, computational and hardware limitations often dictated that these systems were deployed on tablets or other cumbersome devices. Often, tablets impede worker progress by diverting a user's hands and attention, forcing them to alternate between the instructions and the assembly process. Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) overcome those diversions by allowing users to view the instructions in a hands-free manner while simultaneously performing an assembly operation. Thanks to rapid technological advances, wireless commodity AR HMDs are becoming commercially available. Specifically, the pioneering Microsoft HoloLens, provides an opportunity to explore a hands-free HMD’s ability to deliver AR assembly instructions and what a user interface looks like for such an application. Such an exploration is necessary because it is not certain how previous research on user interfaces will transfer to the HoloLens or other new commodity HMDs. In addition, while new HMD technology is promising, its ability to deliver a robust AR assembly experience is still unknown. To assess the HoloLens’ potential for delivering AR assembly instructions, the cross-platform Unity 3D game engine was used to build a proof of concept application. Features focused upon when building the prototype were: user interfaces, dynamic 3D assembly instructions, and spatially registered content placement. The research showed that while the HoloLens is a promising system, there are still areas that require improvement, such as tracking accuracy, before the device is ready for deployment in a factory assembly setting.


This proceeding is published as Evans, Gabriel, Jack Miller, Mariangely Iglesias Pena, Anastacia MacAllister, and Eliot Winer. "Evaluating the Microsoft HoloLens through an augmented reality assembly application." In SPIE Defense+Security, Proceedings SPIE, Volume 10197, Article 101970V, Degraded Environments: Sensing, Processing, and Display 2017. Anaheim, California; April 11-12, 2017. DOI: 10.1117/12.2262626. Posted with permission.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2017