Will foresters soon be wearing 3D augmented reality glasses to understand what species of tree is growing in the nearby forest or to locate their harvesting equipment? Will they someday use these high-tech glasses to reduce the forest products industry’s environmental footprint, as well as safety risks?
These are the questions FPInnovations’ Precision Forestry researchers are asking right now as they evaluate the potential of using augmented reality in forestry operations. Augmented reality uses computer-based systems to overlay a virtual 2D or 3D model, in real time, on our natural perception of reality.
Right now FPInnovations is testing a lens that blends high-definition holograms – or 3D digital content – into the immediate, real-world environment. This technology could soon allow forestry equipment operators to better carry out their work. For example, it could display data about the forest or trees nearby, or potentially be used to remotely control equipment, adding another level of safety for the operator.
Augmented reality is expected to become part of our everyday lives in a few short years, gradually replacing even our smartphones. For more information on 3D forestry, visit FPInnovations’ Precision Forestry website.