AR (Augmented Reality) markers are similar to barcodes in many respects - they are a black-and-white image that contains a unique ID.
However, unlike barcodes and QR-codes, they have several advantages...
- They can be read at much longer distances
- They can be used to determine the distance and orientation to the marker
- They can be very fast and efficient to read, so multiple markers can be detected simultaniously
Do I need to use markers on each piece of equipment?
Where you place your markers is entirely up to you.
However, we suggest placing markers on systems more than individual assets, unless you've got maintenance tasks on individual instruments that would benefit from AR.
For instance, if you regularly need to calibrate a position transmitter, it would be worth it to install a marker near the transmitter. But if you've got a large boiler and you rarely need to get close to your individual elements, you can simply put a single marker on the boiler itself and get access to the information on the individual sensors from there.
Do I need to use markers for AR?
Although companies are making great strides in so-called markerless tracking, this technology still requires that the object you're looking at be visually unique, at least within your plant. However in most commercial, building and industrial environments we encounter, there is a large amount of sameness. Parts are duplicated, very similar, or very simple - all of which unfortunately make markerless tracking extremely unreliable.
Add that to the fact that most plants have little-to-no GPS reception, we simply don't have the ability to be sure of what asset you're looking at without having a marker fitted.