Last week I posted a video on the Farm Industry News Facebook page showing two guys looking at a building model on a table. Trouble is there was no building model on the table, the entire thing was projected onto the Microsoft Hololens systems and we got to see it because they had a camera set up to show what the guys were seeing.
This high-tech demonstration was part of Trimble Dimensions, an innovation, information and trade show event held by Trimble. The event brought plenty to see and learn about, and this demonstration was just the kick-off keynote.
Think of it - glasses you wear that project 3d images you can interact with and yet you can still see the world around you. This is total geek out stuff yet this "augmented reality" has some tremendous potential for agriculture someday too.
While we sat in the audience looking at a screen showing the image (that image is on this web page) we saw that the users could interact. They could take a measurement of the project size. They could section off part of the project and go "inside."
This has great potential for farm equipment manufacturers in the future. This kind of 3d visual design was usually only the stuff affordable to the biggest manufacturers, and I've spent some quality time in those virtual reality "caves" too. With Hololens technology, realistic images of machines or products designed in the computer can be projected in realistic size for evaluation. For a lot less money.
Are the tractor service points easily accessible? What's the real visibility of that cab? For short liners, they could do their designs and then verify if a safety shield is positioned properly, or if a grease zerk has to move for easier maintenance.
But what about your farm? What if you were operating a combine and live yield maps appeared (in a safe location) in front of you and along with that you could access weather data for rainfall totals or some other agronomic facts about the field at the same time. This is early speculation, we don't know how farmers will interact with this stuff in the future.
And there will be other ways that tech could be used, farmers are inventive once you give them access to technology.
Of course, it may be easier if you don't have to wear the glasses, and that information just shows up on the windshield of the combine, but no matter what, more graphical, in-depth access to your data will be coming in the future. And farmers know what they really want to know for their farms, customized data presentations, and reports, through some kind of virtual reality system would of course have to offer a payback. Knowing what you want to know in real time will be important for leading edge tech.
Surrounded by new stuff at this level of technology is exciting, but we have to keep it real, Which means it looks cool but for actual on-farm use it'll be some time before that happens. Yet it's fun to watch.