MITAGS Is Venue for Augmented Reality Study
The initial evaluation of a prototype augmented reality system for the maritime industry is underway at the Baltimore campus of the Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies-Pacific Maritime Institute (MITAGS-PMI). The Google Glass system, called GlassNav©, was developed by Dr. Martha Grabowski and researcher Jean-Philippe Rancy of Le Moyne College, and is being evaluated by Dr. Grabowski and her research team, including researcher Aaron Rowen, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. GlassNav© is a type of wearable, immersive augmented reality (WIAR). The goal of the year-long study is to determine the system’s effectiveness in enhancing situation awareness in critical maritime settings.
“We are delighted to be part of this pioneering research,” stated MITAGS-PMI Executive Director Glen Paine. “Our world-class facilities, experienced staff, and the skilled mariners who come here for additional training are an ideal combination for this type of study.”
WIAR is an evolving technology that provides users with an augmented reality display showing information as layers atop the physical environment. The project will explore several issues associated with the technology including how users assimilate information from various sources and make decisions, how users transition between different interfaces, and how different levels of automation impact operator performance and situation awareness.
Masters, mates and pilots in training classes at MITAGS will participate in simulated inbound and outbound transits using the new technology. Evaluations will focus on operator track-keeping, maneuvering and collision-avoidance as well as the technology’s impact on good seamanship and bridge resource management.
“The advent of WIAR technology in marine transportation provides an opportunity for operators to ‘look out the window’ in an operational scenario while aided by information that is displayed and processed simultaneously,” Paine noted. “The goal is to improve situation awareness and make better decisions.”
MITAGS-PMI is a nonprofit vocational training center for individuals seeking to enter the maritime profession and for professional mariners seeking to advance their careers. With campuses in Baltimore and Seattle, it is the leader in maritime training, pilot training, ship simulation and operational research, providing customized courses for both individual companies and members of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots.
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