On May 21st, Friday, the OpenAR project (Full name: “OpenAR – Framework for augmented reality advanced maritime operations”) had its project kickoff held virtually. Work Package leader Steven Mallam represented TARG and USN in the project which aims to develop knowledge that will enable the Norwegian industry to safely integrate user-friendly AR technologies in advanced maritime operations. The Research Council of Norway’s project is owned by The Oslo School of Architecture and Design and will run until 2023.

OpenAR brings together AR technology developer Microsoft; operators Equinor and Technip FMC; ship and ship system designers Vard and Blue CTRL, regulatory bodies Norwegian Coastal Administration and Norwegian Maritime Authority, and academic AR and operation specialists Oslo School of Architecture and Design, University of South-Eastern Norway and the University of Bergen.

Augmented reality (AR) can reduce risk and improve efficiency in advanced maritime operation workplaces by superimposing relevant numerical and graphical information on a mariner’s field of view using head-mounted displays. However, due to the lack of frameworks for adapting AR technology to the maritime context and specific industrial requirements and regulations, the full potential of AR has not yet been realised. OpenAR will contribute to address the following critical challenges: (1) digitalization of the maritime industry, (2) improving safety at sea, (3) generating cost-effective, new opportunities in the ocean industries, (4) supporting the safe and efficient design of autonomous and semi-autonomous systems and their future workplaces.