The promise and potential of augmented reality in aviation have long been understood. Today, AR technology is transitioning from experimental and training applications into line use, particularly in maintenance.

One company leading the charge to bring AR to aircraft maintenance is QuEst Global. The Singapore-headquartered engineering firm is showcasing its AR360 product at the Airshow, with live demos available on its booth (Hall 1, Booth 1570). The company is moving its applications into the aerospace market after having successfully deployed the technology in other verticals.

“We’ve done it in automotive, medical devices, oil and gas,” says Steve Gerber, senior vice president for strategic accounts. “We have applications out there in those industries, and we’re now bringing it over to aerospace.”

The system enables a maintainer working on an aircraft to call up information from the manual on a lens or visor worn across the eyes. Details such as exploded diagrams or videos showing correct installation procedures can be projected onto the lens and viewed over the top of the actual equipment. The visor is also networked, so a maintainer can show a colleague at another location what they are seeing, or a trainer can watch and instruct a trainee remotely.

The AR360 product is the result of an acquisition made earlier this year. Gerber says that while the company does not yet have customers in the aerospace sector, it has identified OEMs as its target market.

“We’ll see about airlines, because they have MRO shops as well and they’ll find a use for this too,” he says. “But the beauty of [pitching to] our existing customers is that we understand their business: we already built a lot of transformational solutions for them, so we’re offering to add things to what they do. It’s taken a very short time, and there’s been lots of interest: we have several things going on, with an airframer and a couple of engine [manufactuers].”