Videon VersaStreamer in Augmented Reality Solutions
This is a partner post, originally posted by MediaMachine here.
What happens when you combine video streaming with augmented reality (AR) technology using smartglasses, cameras, and IoT sensors? Augumenta, a Finnish software company, makes exciting new industrial applications that help people on the factory floor and out in the field perform better as remote experts. They chose Videon VersaStreamer to do the high-quality video encoding of data coming from fixed cameras and build it in their product called SmartEyes. Tero Aaltonen, CEO and one of the founders of Augumenta, brings us to the world of industrial augmented reality.
How did it all start?
Aaltonen: Back in 2012, there was this thing called Google Glass. Our founders, having a background in augmented reality research, the mobile industry, and computer vision, thought that this was an excellent opportunity to do something new and different, basically doing something that hasn’t been done. It was a bit unclear whether these devices are for enterprises or consumers in the very early days, but quite soon, we figured out the glasses are an industrial tool. The customers are big enterprises who want to adopt new tools and technologies to perform better in their daily operations.
How does video streaming play a role in your applications?
Aaltonen: We combine two types of video streams. We have the video stream coming from the smartglass, and we have the video streams coming from fixed cameras.
Every glass has a small camera, microphone, and speaker, along with a small CP (Command Processor), battery, and Wi-Fi radio. It’s a fully self-contained video streaming device. If I start our AR application, I could be live streaming right away. Right now, I am joining this skype call with my laptop, but I could also be wearing my glass so on your screen, you would see what the camera sees, which is what I see in front of myself. And that is a great way for the remote expert to give instructions on how to solve problems because they can see what you are seeing.
Besides the glass, we also equip our solutions with high-quality cameras to get video streams from locations around the factory or an outdoor location. Now you would see me with a glass working around in the factory, but you would also have one participant: your fixed camera producing super crisp, high resolution, high frame rate video. Here is where we use Videon VersaStreamer.
Videon VersaStreamer is built into the SmartEyes kit. The fixed cameras are connected to VersaStreamer’s HDMI or SDI input allowing VersaStreamer to encode the camera signal and produce a low latency high-quality video stream to the network. As a whole, the system has lots of electronics inside and some secret things that handle the authentication, encryption, and streaming to the cloud platform that we are running. As SmartEyes are often deployed in sensitive locations, data security and integrity are essential to our customers, and we have added extra layers of protection to ensure that unauthorized access to customer video streams is not possible.
Why Videon VersaStreamer for live streaming?
Aaltonen: We had pretty strict criteria for the encoder. First of all, we needed very high performance and equally high quality. Many of the cheaper encoders were limited when it comes to the video quality and the bitrate. They couldn’t offer us the quality and reliability that our customers demand. We needed to have a solution that could encode both H.264 and H.265 and accept different video inputs, HDMI and SDI, for greater camera flexibility. With the 4K version of VersaStreamer, called VersaStreamer 4K, we can offer our customers higher resolution to troubleshoot in difficult to see areas of the factory. And we also needed a company that provides excellent support. Our team sent technical questions to Videon to test responsiveness and the quality of support they provide. In the end, Videon was an obvious choice for us.
Combining technologies for efficient remote collaboration
Augumenta is an excellent example of a company using existing technologies to create a new service. Their SmartEyes product combines IoT sensors with video feeds from smartglasses, smartphones, and streaming cameras, to create an environment where customers, experts, and personnel in different locations can collaborate remotely and efficiently. Augumenta’s combined use of video streaming technology, augmented reality, and smartglasses results in an efficient way to keep operations running when travel or personal contact is limited.
SmartEyes is made by Augumenta, www.augumenta.com
SmartEyes video: https://vimeo.com/438889131
VersaStreamer is made by Videon, www.videon-central.com
Videon products are distributed in Europe by Mediamachine, www.mediamachine.nl