There are a few AR apps available for smartphones and tablets provide users with a detailed visualization of PCBs that includes deeper, highly detailed information on circuit design and an image of electronics placement. A couple that come to mind: Ted Yapo’s AR Workbench and KAIST’s VirtualComponent. More recently, a company known as DebuggAR is taking another approach to AR overlays by enabling users to debug PCBs through an app on a smartphone or tablet, allowing them to analyze the layers, signals and components found on a PCB. The app is still in its Beta stage and anyone interested in testing the app can do so before it launches.
The detailed view of a PCB provides users with in-depth information on the circuit board and offers extra information for the user to analyze. (Image Credit: DebuggAR)
Users can view extensive information about their PCB, such as design details, pinouts, signal traces, and even electronic component placements. This is done by placing the smartphone camera directly above the board, and a visualization of the circuit will be generated and displayed on the screen. The information provided to the users will allow them to debug their designs, perform maintenance if required, and the user can overlay designs onto a physical PCB.
The app contains built-in ‘X-ray vision’ that will let users scroll through different layers to help identify signals and traces in the PCB. It also comes with a search function that looks for components on the board-view in-mappings for ICs, capacitors, diodes, and their correct placement. Users can also inspect different signal paths via signal mapping and gives out important information relating to the board, such as voltage drops. Users can also highlight those signal paths, allowing them to understand where they can probe, cut out problematic traces, or even sniff with a logic analyzer.
DebuggAR works with design files created from Eagle and Altium and the company says support for Gerber, ODB++, KitCad, and Cadence will be available shortly.
I signed up for the beta... So, video demos to follow soon!
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