HoloLens – smart glasses, which allow the user to experience augmented reality, will soon be available in Poland. Microsoft has just announced, that their newest product will be available for 29 new markets in Europe, including Poland. The interesting part, is that an IT company from Bialystok, called Solution4Labs, is already working on utilizing HoloLens on an industrial scale, introducing augmented reality to laboratory research. Solution4Labs is a subsidiary company within the TenderHut Capital Group.
Augmented reality is a technology intended not only for entertainment purposes, despite the fact, that most of its current applications are dedicated for this type of activities. We can experience AR solutions in Snapchat, NianticLabs – Pokemon Go, or Ikea. Utilizing this technology on an industrial scale is being performed by Google with their Google Glass Enterprise Edition. At the same time, a Polish company named Solution4Labs is working on applicating the AR technology in research laboratories.
Improving laboratory works: LIMS + HoloLens
Augmented reality is one of the most important trends right now. Simply speaking, it is a system, which combines real world with virtual reality. Laboratories may utilize this technology thanks to programmers from Bialystok. Laboratory research requires high attention to detail and following strictly specified procedures, as well as complying to quality standards and documentation requirements. In the work of a laboratory specialist, we can observe repeatability of several actions, which due to their specific character and the available technological resources, are time-consuming – explains Waldemar Birk (Ph.D), CEO of Solution4Labs. – The conclusion is therefore obvious, that improving these procedures would most certainly enhance the quality and decrease time required for particular processes. Last but not least, it would have a great impact on reducing the probability of error occurrence during research – says Birk.
Solution4Labs, within their research and development works, are trying to integrate the Microsoft HoloLens goggles with a LIMS class system (a system for managing laboratory information). HoloLens are smart glasses equipped with sensors, displays and a special processor for processing views in augmented reality. The device is completely autonomous – it does not require any connection with a computer or phone. Solution4Labs remains active – we implement new technologies in laboratories, in order to improve work for laboratory staff. Thanks to LIMS class systems, the amount of paper documents produced by laboratories has decreased rapidly. Large amounts of data are constantly being structured, analyzed and monitored. After achieving integration with HoloLens, the system will modernize the working procedures off laboratory staff. One glance at the sample vial will give comprehensive information about its content, which minimalizes the risk of errors during research – says Waldemar Birk.
How does it work in real life?
Using HoloLens is very intuitive – both in everyday life, as well as in laboratories, using the software from Solution4Labs. When a laboratory worker will put on the googles, he logs into the system. He then can choose, whether to operate the system with hand movement or by speaking. It is very useful when analyzing a large amount of sample vials. The system automatically scans the barcode of each sample, views information about it, including storage conditions and further analyses to be made – says Waldemar Birk, CEO of Solution4Labs. The laboratory worker can also, using HoloLens, generate reports from different stages of laboratory research. According to Birk, HoloLens goggles are the future. For now, the weight of the device is a major setback. It can be uncomfortable to wear the HoloLens for 8 hours. Fortunately, miniaturization of such devices is progressing rapidly. Meanwhile, we will be ready with our know-how. When the technology will be more popularized, its industrial usage will be obvious – adds Waldemar Birk.
It is without a doubt, that AR technology is the future and a dominant trend in the coming years. Society needs to keep up with technological progress. Therefore people are using technical innovations willingly, as they also become our everyday work tools. AR technology can be useful in many branches, improving complicated processes and saving our precious time.