Visual Workplace - VRT's Common User Interface

The provision of a Common User Interface to a large number of related sub-systems is a growing requirement in many industries. VRT has been active in this area for many years. Successful projects include underground coal mines in the mid 90s, Intelligent Transport Systems (road tunnels) in the late 90s, etc. Current projects include: commercial campus, academia, Remote Operating Centres for mining, process plant control room, rail network monitoring, etc.

Early systems started with between 2 and 5 sub-systems, but more recent requests include in excess of 25 sub-systems. The variety of data types has also expanded to include more esoteric types, e.g. point clouds from laser scanners, ERP systems, tracking systems, virtual and augmented reality, etc.

Traditionally attempts to develop a CUI have been approached on the basis of choosing the dominant sub-system head end as the platform and trying to add everything else onto that.

For example:

  • Mining, manufacturing, process industries: SCADA System used as CUI.
  • Intelligent Transport Systems: Incident Management System or SCADA System as CUI.
  • Commercial Buildings: BMS as CUI.

In most cases, this is insufficient and falls far short of the intended/expected benefits. Some data integration products have surfaced in certain industries and attempts have been made to extend them into the CUI duty, e.g. Tridium/Niagara in the commercial building market. But these are typically biased to just a subset of the data types that need to be supported in the CUI, e.g. limited to point, message, video and relational database.

To date, everyone who has attempted to deliver a comprehensive CUI into hospitals has struggled. Hospitals represent one of the most demanding situations.

The breadth and complexity of current CUIs require a new approach. VRT's innovative Visual Workplace solution has been purpose developed for this situation.

Visual Workplace is currently being implemented in mining, manufacturing, transport and commercial applications. For more information on this technology you can download our CUI Specification.

VRT is Partnering with JPC for Ongoing Development of the CUI for Commercial Facilities

JPC are partnering with VRT to introduce and field test innovation in environmental monitoring systems. One example of this is the development of a Common User Interface (CUI) for all of the Extra Low Voltage Systems (ELVS) now commonly found in modern commercial facilities. The first release of VRT's CUI currently being installed at JPC is based on 3D models, games based technology and real-time data connectors. It currently supports energy and water monitoring systems. The next version will also support Building Management Systems (BMS), Lighting (and emergency lighting), Fire and Security Systems, incl. CCTV. Watch this space...