Success Story

Success Story

VISCOPIC – Deutsche Bahn

When VISCOPIC applied for the DB Mindbox Accelerator Programme in Autumn 2016, none of those involved had expected the project that later emerged from it. The Munich startup applied for the mindbox accelerator of Deutsche Bahn with the idea to develop a communication tool to counteract the challenge of knowledge transfer in the current demographic change. The founders of VISCOPIC succeeded to convince the jury.

VISCOPIC was founded not long before the admission to the programme.  The three founders, Marco Maier, Felix Meißgeier und Thomas Knauer-Arnold met at ‘UnternehmerTUM’ in 2014, when they developed first ideas about the implementation of Augmented Reality within the industrial context. They realized the potential of AR in the industry  4.0 already in early stages. In spring 2016 VISCOPIC GmbH was founded. The young company was full of energy in its search for exciting projects. No wonder, mindbox accelerator offered the startup to be its place to go.  

DB mindbox was founded to connect Deutsche Bahn with the Startup environment. The accelerator is a support programme that fosters technology startups with the aim to enhance the offer for customers of Deutsche Bahn.  It promotes innovative technologies, supports interexchange, and serves as a platform to create new opportunities and to strengthen the new innovation culture.

To leverage the potential of digitization, the support programme provides selected startups with financial support, mentoring and working spaces. In return, every company is asked to elaborate a prototype and to prove its marketability.

Up until the last seconds, VISCOPIC fine-tuned its use-case – the results of three months of development were presented in front of 200 guests at the Demo Day, in September 2016.
The major challenge was to implement all requirements in a minimum of time. For all presented products, Deutsche Bahn examined specific use-cases. The applications of VISCOPIC proved to be of great benefit and positive effect for the customers of Deutsche Bahn.

This is how the collaboration between VISCOPIC and Deutsche Bahn started. “The fourth funding round once again proved how much passion the young founders put into co-creating the future of mobility and into further developing the offer of DB.”, says Onno Szillis, head of DB mindbox.

The cooperation project „3D-Durchblick“, which was initiated during the mindbox accelerator, developed quickly in the further collaboration and hence extended constantly.  

What started as an idea for a new communication tool, soon became an information database of Augmented Reality content, that revolutionized the knowledge transfer at Deutsche Bahn. The primary goal of 3D-Durchblick is to increase security of action of maintainers, especially during the inspection and fault-clearing of facilities and machines, such as point machines.

The accomplishment of complex processes, necessary for their function, are taught to technicians based on AR applications. Components that are difficult to see can be displayed virtually on the AR smart glass and hence, the functioning and maintenance can be profoundly understood. The detection of broken parts or necessary repairs and the monitoring of results can be taught and trained easily.  With the implementation of modern technology, the projection of facilities, such as point machines, can be brought into the classroom. Subsequently, various processes can there already be exemplified in depth, which ensures an ideal utilization of facilities.

Today, VISCOPIC supports Deutsche Bahn with three different applications for Tablets and Microsoft HoloLens.

App ” Switch Inspection “: In this application, the maintenance technician wears the AR data glasses HoloLens while moving on the real switch to check and maintain it. At the switch, the important inspection points are highlighted by virtual markings. The technician can already see from a distance where he has to check the switch. If he moves towards such a point, measurements and data that are relevant for the inspection are displayed. These remain in the inspector’s field of vision while he examines and maintains the switch.

App ” Point Machine”: In this application the hologram of a switch is projected into the room. The hologram can be used to display installed parts, name components and simulate processes. An additional function for tablets includes a quiz, which interrogates learning content.

App „RBC-cabinet”: The application makes it possible to learn processes at a Radio Block Center cabinet (RBC cabinet) responsible for the safety of a moving train. As with the “Point Machine” app, components and operations can also be displayed here.

In this project, theory and practice are strongly interlinked, learning becomes easier and training quality is being enhanced at Deutsche Bahn.

DB Netz AG sees huge benefit in these training contents, since interactions und coherencies can be better illustrated and security of action can be enhanced.

What started as an idea during the DB mindbox accelerator, changes the qualification of thousands of technicians all over Germany today at Deutsche Bahn.  The advantages that the project provides to the way of working of switch mechanics did not stay unnoticed from the outside. Therefore, the project “3D -Durchblick” was awarded with the German eLearning Award 2019 in Augmented Reality. The transformation from the idea definition for communication tools right up to an interactive training app makes VISCOPIC an expert in digital education that continuously transforms the field of training and education for the better.

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