Ahead of the upcoming October 11 InsiderAR augmented reality conference in Munich, German automaker Volkswagen has unveiled an iOS-centric augmented reality service support app for its vehicles, reports The Next Web. Codenamed MARTA, which is short for Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance, the application is designed to be used on Volkswagen’s XL1 concept car and walks technicians through each step of a repair or service, pointing out individual parts and displaying step-by-step instructions to service specific sections.
Using the previous approach, the service technician could only call up digital repair guidelines. For the XL1, these guidelines were supplemented by the MARTA augmented reality function which "labels" the individual parts and elements with text and shows work instructions clearly.
When MARTA is called up, the system lists all of the jobs to be performed along with the necessary equipment. Each work task to be performed begins with what is known as an initialisation. The vehicle's silhouette is shown in the display of the mobile end device, and it shows the employee the orientation to be taken in relation to the vehicle. If the silhouette and the camera image of the real vehicle agree, the initialisation is finished successfully. Then the individual context-dependent work steps are shown on the tablet. This gives the employee a new system for identifying work items quicker and more accurately.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen debuted the “iBeetle” with full iPhone integration and special badging, with the automotive maker claiming it was the first car in the world to have a "genuine integrative interface made for the iPhone that was coordinated with Apple." Apple also revealed its iOS in the Car feature alongside the unveiling of iOS 7 earlier this year, allowing for compatible car systems to interact with iOS, with support for the feature coming in 2014.