Airbus chooses Microsoft mixed reality technologies

Airbus chooses Microsoft mixed reality technologies
HoloLens 2 is just one of the solutions helping the firm build better aircrafts and train employees

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Aerospace company Airbus is using Microsoft mixed reality technology such as HoloLens 2 to build better aircraft and train employees more effectively. 

According to a recent Microsoft article by Jennifer Sokolowsky, Airbus plans to build 20,000 new aircraft using holographic technology from Microsoft. 

“Our challenge in the coming years is to manufacture more aircraft faster and for that we need to enable our workers to be much better equipped and to be much more effective in what they do,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice president of engineering at Airbus. “We need to raise the bar. To face this challenge, we intend to make an intense use of mixed reality and that’s why we’ve partnered with Microsoft.”

Airbus can use technologies such as HoloLens 2 to give staff hands-on experience during their training. Aerospace trainees can learn in an immersive virtual environment without the physical aircraft or parts. This 3D environment can go beyond real-life training, making elements visible from any angle or overlaying instructions on the physical machinery to aid maintenance. These kinds of mixed-reality solutions have allowed Airbus to cut manufacturing time by a third while improving quality.

“Mixed reality can help us to increase quality, safety and security,” said Dumont. “The level of human error is significantly reduced and in aerospace, increased quality is increased safety.”

Airbus is also working with Microsoft on mixed reality solutions for its customers. 

“HoloLens 2 was born from the inspiration that it be designed for the customer, by the customer,” says Alex Kipman, technical fellow in Microsoft’s Cloud and artificial intelligence group. “Airbus has long been a strategic partner in building the future of mixed reality solutions for an industrial environment and we have learned a lot from them. We are thrilled to continue our partnership as we embark on this next era of computing, the era of mixed reality and AI.”

The first new solution offered under this partnership is a mixed reality training programme first released with Japan Airlines (JAL). It helps maintenance operators and cabin crews learn in a 3D holographic environment and access instructions hands-free.

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