Field Service Workers Rapidly Embracing ARVR to Democratize Knowledge
A recent article on ZDNet discusses how enterprise customers are taking notice of Augmented and Virtual Reality. Field service technicians have become unexpected diplomats for the technology, which the article claims many believe will integrate into our daily lives.
The article mainly consists of an interview with Mark Brewer, Global Industry Director for Service Management at IFS, a global enterprise software provider, who addresses the field service industry’s interest in AR / VR.
Key points given by Brewer in the article include:
- Field service is focused on predicting failure and improving asset reliability as well as reducing service costs and enhancing customer experience
- AR and live video can be used for remote customer support, making technician dispatch unnecessary, although a field service provider is required for off-site engagement is a truck roll is needed
- Service providers can offer additional valuable resources from a centralised source more efficiently and at a reduced cost due to the ability to tag additional experts given by AR
- AR and Mixed Reality can effectively democratise knowledge
- Resource conversation and cost reductions are two important variables that maximise output in field service
- ARVR tech reduces training time for field workers as well as enabling them to virtually access the situation
- AR tech in particular increases communication with the contact centre, allowing off-site professionals to guide equipped workers
- Extra info and tools are made available via useful ARVR projections, which means workers no longer have to retrieve forgotten materials
- A study by The Service Council found that 41% of incomplete service visits would benefit from AR sessions or live video
- The same study found that 72% of respondents were already evaluating or utilising AR
- Currently, one of the most popular ARVR use cases in field service is virtual guidance
- DAQRI’s AR glasses are used by companies to interact with 3D models so they can access equipment analytics and perform service functions
- The Microsoft HoloLens has also been used by Siemen’s eHighway system project to provide workers with remote access to off-site employees, a virtual checklist, and repair diagrams
- Employee training is currently another major use case of ARVR in field service, as it provides a visual walkthrough of a process
- DAQRI AR has been used in Los Angeles to accelerate fire department team members’ training on how to fix broken headsets
- NASA has used AR tech to aid instructions on how to perform maintenance operations in space for astronauts
- Industries making more use of ARVR include manufacturing, medical, automotive, HVAC, construction and general training
- Promising hardware innovations mentioned are the Microsoft HoloLen, Oculus Rift, DAQRI AR Headsets, and Google Glass Enterprise Edition
- Interesting AR software and platforms mentioned are XMReality, Webex, XOi Technologies, GoToMeeting, PTC Vuforia, and SightCall
Brewer concludes the interview by expressing excitement for the concept of combining AR tech with IoT, enabling the ‘Digital Twin’, which is where a digital representation of a physical object can be created, allowing the way in which a unit is being operated to be monitored easier.