Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are increasingly important in Shell operations and training programmes. We develop tailored products according to the needs of our business, market offerings and collaboration opportunities with vendors. AR and VR support myriad opportunities for us to plan projects in a timely manner, develop solutions to complex construction problems and increase the safety of our people.

Engineer reviewing gauge with an augmented reality device on head mounted helmet

How can AR be used in industrial operations?

Our AR Remote Assist enables workers in the field to get assistance from experienced technicians ("experts") from across the world. For instance, if an operational procedure required additional guidance, a worker can get real-time assistance via a video call, allowing the remote expert colleague to essentially see through their eyes and offer over-the-shoulder coaching. It is even possible for the remote expert to remotely “draw” on the worker’s head mounted screen and share relevant documentation. By working remotely, one expert can support dozens of facilities around the world. This offers a quicker resolution to problems and reduces both travel, and its environmental impact.

We use intrinsically safe augmented reality devices mounted on helmets, a voice-controlled device with a micro-display that shows an image to a user as if they were viewing a seven-inch screen. Information is displayed below the user’s line of sight and does not interfere with normal vision and the screen can be moved away when not in use.

Engineer using virtual reality device for training purposes

How is VR improving training?

Shell has been using VR for training and simulation-based learning for years. VR is a fully immersive experience in which everything a user sees is a computer generated 3D environment where spatial data produces a rendering of a building or product design making it “real”. It’s a technology that allows us to experience virtual worlds and to move and touch as if we were in that space. For example, we use VR training modules to take engineers on virtual geological field trips. The goal is to modernize current training using text and books by complementing it with VR training material.

These tools complement on-the-job training and allow us to train for extreme events such as major leaks or explosions. In these cases, users can explore actions that should be taken before, during and after an event VR also offers transparent views of equipment. For example, in our Aviation Business we use VR based training computer simulations where it is possible to inspect pumps and compressors, including their inner workings.

The technology also enables real-time, collaborative discussion amongst our teams, for example with a specialist talking through a virtual demonstration of a repair technique. It's also a potential solution for improved remote conferencing and the presentation of highly complicated 3D concepts.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW WE ARE USING AR & VR

Deep water safety training goes virtual

We’re using VR to safely train people on Front Line Barrier Management in dealing with fires, spills, etc. In the field, engineers can access the service history of specific equipment or written guidance for performing triage & repairs.

Keeping up with construction

How are construction firms, both large and small, feeding data from a range of systems into a single-site model and a single, dynamically evolving project-management plan?

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