Virtual horizons in shipbuilding: The transformative power of mixed reality

In the world of shipbuilding, the use of mixed reality (MR) – an advanced technology that represents a synergy of the real and virtual worlds – opens up new, fascinating horizons. This technology is comprehensively revolutionizing construction and design processes, maintenance and training in shipbuilding. MR allows digital accuracy and interactive experiences to be seamlessly integrated into the real world. The combination of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is creating a new dimension of human-machine interaction that is fundamentally transforming shipbuilding. In this article, we explore how mixed reality is changing shipbuilding, looking at both the huge benefits and the challenges involved.

What is mixed reality?

Mixed reality is an advanced form of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). It combines elements of both technologies to create an environment in which physical and digital objects coexist and interact in real time. Users of MR systems experience an immersive world in which they can interact with the real environment while having access to virtual information and objects. This unique combination offers unprecedented opportunities to present complex information and processes in an intuitive and interactive form.

Applications in shipbuilding

Design and prototyping

In the field of design and prototyping, MR enables engineers and designers to visualize ship models in a true-to-scale, interactive 3D format. These visualizations can not only be edited, but also adapted to new requirements in real time. This leads to a considerable increase in efficiency in the design process and enables a more precise design.

Maintenance and repair

In the area of maintenance and repair, MR offers technicians the opportunity to receive instructions and important information directly in their field of vision while they are working on a ship. This not only improves the accuracy of the work, but also the speed with which maintenance and repair work can be carried out.

Training and simulation

MR technology offers realistic scenarios for the crew during training and simulations. From navigation exercises to emergency responses, various situations can be simulated without exposing the real ship or crew to risks. This significantly increases the safety and competence of the crew.

Advantages of mixed reality in shipbuilding

  • Increased efficiency: MR speeds up the design process and improves maintenance efficiency by providing precise instructions and information.
  • Cost savings: The use of MR in training and prototyping can save considerable costs.
  • Error reduction: More precise designs and maintenance instructions reduce the error rate.
  • Improved training: Realistic training scenarios increase the safety and competence of the crew and ensure more effective training.

Challenges and risks

Despite the numerous advantages that MR offers in shipbuilding, there are also challenges and risks that need to be taken into account:

  1. High initial investment: The introduction of MR technology requires initial investment in specialized hardware and software, which can be a financial hurdle for smaller yards.
  2. Technical challenges: The integration of MR into existing systems and processes can be complex. It requires careful planning and implementation in order to integrate the technology seamlessly into the operating process.
  3. Training and acceptance: The introduction of new technologies requires training for employees to be able to use the full functionality and benefits of MR. In addition, acceptance of this new technology must be promoted among employees in order to minimize resistance to change.


Mixed reality has the potential to fundamentally change shipbuilding and usher in a new era in the maritime industry. The benefits in terms of efficiency, cost savings, safety and design accuracy are significant. Despite the challenges associated with implementing this technology, MR is an investment in the future that has the potential to shape and modernize the maritime industry in the long term. Mixed reality not only opens up new avenues in the way ships are built and maintained, but also revolutionizes crew education and training, ultimately leading to safer and more efficient seafaring.