Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Captains of Tomorrow: Powering the ships of the future with augmented reality

APR. 8, 2014
11:48 PM

The Captains of Tomorrow: Powering the ships of the future with augmented reality
Rolls Royce's vision for captains of ships
Augmented reality (AR) isn't just for glasses anymore. To prove this, Rolls Royce went all out in devising an impressive AR bridge concept for large cargo ships and similar, smaller ships like tug boats, which they revealed in a press release with partner VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Imagine yourself as the captain of a cargo ship in the year 2026. You walk into your bridge, the floor-to-ceiling windows that double as your HUD lighting up to greet you. In an instant, all of the information on your ship and ships nearby are on display, alongside warnings for possible concealed obstacles. You have complete control over your vessel. Even after day turns to night, thermal cameras aid your crew in keeping the ship steering along the safe path. This is the vision for ships with AR and Rolls Royce/VTT advanced future tech.

VTT seemed confident in the capabilities of their 'smartship' to perform remote operation, quoted in a release as saying, “In terms of the technology required, operating a container vessel by remote control is already a real possibility... However, before fully unmanned vessels can be launched on seas, widespread public approval is also required.” The future of unmanned shipping may be a long ways off, but that doesn't mean computers can't take some of the work off of our hands -- and I'm sure the captains of tomorrow will appreciate it even more.


  1. That's really impressive.
    My other ship is a Rolls Royce....

  2. I hope I live that long to see it...

    1. It may be coming out sooner than you think! With the advancements in tech and science lately, there's a good chance this could be developed in five or so years (that is, if Rolls Royce and VTT work on it diligently).