MARIN2 – Mobile Mixed Reality Applications for Professional Use – was a research project focused on mixed reality applications in construction and shipbuilding industries. The project was run from October 2014 until March 2017 by University of Turku with industrial partners.
In MARIN2 several demonstrative applications were made to study the potential of current augmented realty (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology in industrial tasks. Target environments included both outdoor and indoor locations, and applications were designed for infrastructure, building construction and shipbuilding cases.
Virtual reality demonstrators were implemented for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift VR glasses, both of which offer a very immersive and true-to-life impression of being inside a virtual environment. Augmented reality cases were mostly demonstrated with ordinary tablet computers, enabling economical solutions to many tasks. The Microsoft HoloLens was also tried and found a promising platform.
Employees from the partner enterprises tested demonstrator applications, and their experiences were then collected with interviews and questionnaires. The respondents thought that augmented and virtual reality applications would have potential for many kinds of use in marketing, design and construction. The willingness to take virtual and augmented reality solutions to routine use was found high.
The project studied connections between databases and applications. It is an essential need to have up-to-date data available to mobile applications. The BIMConnect software component was made for connecting BIM data (Building Information Modelling) between a BIMServer and mobile applications.
Automatic simplification of 3D models was also studied. It is often necessary to reduce the amount of data in a model to make it run smoothly on consumer-grade mobile devices, but the task is far from easy to be done automatically. Algorithms for reducing the number of vertices while keeping the model topology correct were developed during the project.
Publications about the research done in MARIN2 can be found here http://ar.utu.fi/publications
MARIN2 project has published open source software components under the MIT license. They can be found here http://ar.utu.fi/open-source/
Database of available software development kits for AR. Available at http://ar.utu.fi/mrdb