It took Airbus 40 years to build its first 10,000 aircraft, but it aims to build 20,000 more over the next 20 years.
Airbus has been exploring mixed reality for several years and started working with Microsoft on solutions four years ago. Microsoft’s mixed reality technology, such as the advanced capabilities of its HoloLens 2 headset, will be key to helping the company reach its goal.
Mixed reality allows aerospace trainees to learn in an immersive virtual environment without the need for an actual physical aircraft or parts. This 3D environment can offer features that real-life training cannot, such as the ability to view elements from any angle.
The technology can also help workers on the production line access crucial information while keeping their hands free. Digital information, such as instructions or diagrams, can be overlaid on a real piece of machinery to aid in complex or hard-to-reach tasks. These kinds of mixed-reality solutions have allowed Airbus to cut manufacturing time by a third while improving quality.
Airbus’s collaboration with Microsoft goes beyond helping it reach its internal goals. The company has built off-the-shelf solutions for its customers, which it will be selling in partnership with Microsoft on HoloLens 2.