APM Terminals Begins Exploring Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies

An article on Container Management has reported on APM Terminals’ integration of Augmented, Virtual, and Extended Reality in the ports sector. The terminal operator has a pilot project in the works, involving Microsoft Hololens headsets.

Due to acceleration by COVID-19, APM Terminals discovered the advantages that AR, VR, and XR provide for different aspect of the company. Gavin Laybourne, Chief Information Officer at APM, has said that the adoption of these technologies is to increase data quality and offer more data that can be accessed immediately for employees. Engineers can share screens and documentation remotely.

Previously, APM engineers may have used devices such as tablets or GoPro cameras to liaise remotely. However, ARVR technologies supply more effective tools, while reducing costs and increasing employee safety. Employees have less health risk by working in virtual scenarios from home.

In a container port, Artificial Intelligence can also be used in conjunction with AR, VR, and XR. This enables real-time intervention of issues pertaining to health, safety, security, and environment. Laybourne also said that one of APM’s terminals runs 50 cameras using AI with Microsoft to spot these issues all 24 hours of the day. When the technology is integrated with AR, VR, and XR, the tools become even more powerful.

Usually, company personnel at APM will travel to specific terminals to oversee operators’ work and provide feedback, but the pandemic created a requirement for remote work. Laybourne further explained that ARVR technology allows for live supervision via headsets, believing that the technology will soon be part of daily business.

Previous concerns about the need for high connectivity have reduced, as progression of the technology makes stable connectivity the only requirement. The article concludes with another quote from Laybourne, stating that understanding how ARVR technology helps frontline workers is key to integration.

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