Virtual reality and augmented reality - jointly known as mixed reality - are often touted as part of the family of emerging technologies that make up the fourth industrial revolution. As such, however, mixed reality has long been the poor relation. Though it offers anything from consumer travel experiences to aircraft maintenance, it rarely breaks away from its image as a toy.

But it's an image that's changing rapidly. "Smart glasses", which typically overlay a small video screen on spectacles, are becoming a regular tool for maintenance and repair crews working on complex mechanisms...

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