CAD/CAM Stable tracking for industrial AR solutions with Visionlib

Editor: Steffen Donath

Visometry's Visionlib aims to provide stable and precise AR-based CAD services. The software will be able to track models even under difficult and shifting lightin situations, making it a huge leap in AR technology.

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With proper funding, Visionlib aims to expand its functions.
With proper funding, Visionlib aims to expand its functions.
(Source: Fraunhofer)

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the HTGF participate in the AR Start-up Visometry GmbH, a spin-off of the Fraunhofer IGD. With its Visionlib engine, the start-up has been offering AR tracking that has already been tried and tested in the industry since 2017. The Software Development Kit combines native CAD and 3D data in an automated workflow with image processing. With the seed financing, the start-up wants to expand the functionalities of the basic technology and expand the application possibilities of the software in the form of industry solutions.

Model Tracking as key technology – not only for classic AR applications

The Visionlib engine, developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD and commercialised by Visometry GmbH since 2017, uses model tracking methods. Scientists at Fraunhofer IGD have been researching AR technologies for more than 15 years, and the innovative tracking method is already being used by numerous customers. The special feature of the Visionlib is the reliable and stable object recognition. The difference to already commercially offered Consumer AR solutions is the direct use of native CAD datasets for markerless, model-based 3D object tracking. Thus, the software developed in Darmstadt is very different from existing AR software. In order to fade in digital content seamlessly and as part of reality, common computer vision methods only roughly reconstruct the user's environment from the situation. With the environment itself or with objects the AR inserts interact however only conditionally. Low-light environments or dynamic scenes with a lot of movement are a challenge for stable and precise object recognition and tracking in industrial environments. "This is where most industrial AR applications fail. With our technologies, on the other hand, we can bring the content precisely to the objects," explains Dr Harald Wuest, Managing Director of Visometry GmbH.

High utility value in industry 4.0

This technology opens up completely new possibilities in the future. Changes to the object become visible directly during the assembly process, and moving parts such as doors and flaps are tracked in real time. The context is captured precisely so that augmented content can react to the change during the movement and be carried along in a stable manner. "Because developers of industrial AR applications need stable tracking even in changing lighting situations, Fraunhofer technology is so interesting. Visionlib is a universal tracking solution that is robust, accurate and easy to integrate," says Matthias Unbescheiden, Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer IGD. "By licensing our Visionlib technology to Visometry GmbH, we guarantee the market direct access to our technologies.