”Augmented Security” by Augmented Reality – it's no game

The film above presents the collaboration between Combitech, Securitas, and Microsoft. The collaboration aimed to effectively study how a digitalised solution – in this case with the help of Microsoft's HoloLens – could be applied to assist a security guard in their workday.

The concept of Augmented Reality has been around for a long time and in various forms. It involves using eyewear and mobile devices to overlay an augmented, three-dimensional image on top of the real, visible world. The result is frequently astonishing and impressive. But, notwithstanding the novelty, the challenge lies in identifying which benefits the technology is able to offer. Superimposing pretty images over reality is rarely enough to provide real-world benefits. This is the point Daniel Akenine (CTO, Microsoft Sweden) is trying to make when he asks: ”What can you do that you cannot do already, better, with other technologies?”

Another perspective on Augmented Reality

In this project, instead of focusing on end-user needs, we concentrated solely on the technology. A basic idea that emerged was the possibility for a security guard to detect problems which are otherwise easy to miss, and to provide support to guards during the performance of complex actions. This is what Yacir Chelbat-Persson (Innovation Director at Securitas) means by ”Augmented Security”.

This reasoning changed how we viewed the technology. The ability of the HoloLens device to scan its surroundings and detect changes therein demonstrated greater benefits than the visualisation of 3D models. Instead, it was about producing the simplest possible visualisations for the sake of clarity and not to distract the user unnecessarily.

Solution for the entire digital chain

Combitech's role in the project was to integrate the functions into HoloLens, and to offer expertise on HMI, which creates a sense of professionalism with respect to how AR support should be structured in order to function advantageously in stressful situations. And our legacy of effective decision-making support for fighter aircraft pilots proved especially valuable in this.

Combitech's extensive portfolio also includes diverse solutions on how the entire chain can be connected. For example, how premises and buildings can be scanned, and how information detailing actions or steps can be integrated into the system – information which, normally, can only be found hidden away in documents or is known only to a few experts.

Prospering through this digital transformation requires end-user benefits to be verified as early as possible, without being steered by the technology. The collaboration between Combitech, Microsoft and Securitas truly is an excellent example of this.

Finally, I would like to thank the team at Combitech Reality Labs: Björn Rudin, Tobias Larsson, Jonas Ekskog.