Norwegian Agricultural Heavy Machinery Manufacturer Orkel Grows with RealWear Assisted Reality Devices

The company’s initial purchase of 40 units through RealWear’s Gold partner Allegra AS, will be used for remote after-sales maintenance, remote servicing and remote commissioning of all its heavy agricultural machinery products. Orkel’s research and development team tested a variety of smart glasses before standardising on RealWear’s HMT-1® head-mounted displays. According to Orkel, RealWear’s rugged form factor, safety features, noise cancellation and long battery life were deciding factors.

How the Solution Works

The innovative solution allows Orkel to connect its customers to its service technicians without the need for unnecessary travel. As part of Orkel’s after-sales support offering, each customer in need of commissioning or a technical service receives a kit consisting of the HMT-1, a branded Orkel hardhat, and mounting clips. The customer simply puts on the device, contacts the Orkel technician using voice commands and, after connecting, the technician can immediately see exactly what the customer sees through the head-mounted camera and easy to use software – VSight. The technician then solves the issue. Once resolved, the customer may then choose to purchase the RealWear device for their own use or return it to Orkel.

The solution solved a number of pain points for Orkel. For instance, typically its service technicians were required to make an in-person customer trip, which involves travel time and environmental costs. A delay in fixing the equipment also has the potential to impact the customers’ businesses.

“Our customers really appreciate the value of the system because we are able to provide a much faster level of support when an issue arises. All too often, our service technicians would travel for what turned out to be a quick fix. Now, with RealWear, many hours of time and CO2 emissions are saved, and most importantly customers’ machines are operational again quickly, which is imperative during the harvest season,” commented Svein Erik Syrstad, Technician, Orkel.

Headquartered in Fannrem, Norway, Orkel Group is an established supplier of compactors, round balers and transport equipment. With a presence in more than 50 countries across the globe, its biggest market currently is mainland China. As the farming and agriculture sectors are heavily dependent on the harvest season, Orkel’s customer base requires maximum uptime from their Orkel machinery, especially during the busy season.

On the device, Orkel is using RealWear partner VSight Remote, a remote service and collaboration platform powered by AR that helps manufacturing companies conduct maintenance operations remotely with Augmented Reality. The Orkel machine’s telemetry system ensures that details about every aspect of the machine’s operation is sent securely to the cloud, enabling Orkel’s service technicians to read the data and guide their customers to the next step in the procedure. This information enables Orkel to target the specific error more efficiently, and then guide the operator remotely to resolution.

“We really adore this technology because as a research & development engineer, I can watch the work being done,” said Magnus Nordås Lervik, Project Engineer, Orkel. “I’m quickly learning better ways to design future machinery as I’ve seen first-hand the common issues that arise, and how they are fixed.”  Lervik continued, “Using this technology enables our research and development team to look ahead to how we might design products in the future from an operator’s perspective.”

“Orkel and its customers are achieving a number of benefits since deploying RealWear’s technology with VSight and Microsoft Teams,” added Jon Arnold, Vice President of EMEA, RealWear Inc. “When looking at the agricultural industry as a whole, machine downtime impacts productivity and efficiency, especially in shorter and shorter harvest seasons. Remote assistance with RealWear is becoming a gamechanger for the farming and agriculture industry when every second matters.”

How One Airline Is Using AR to Improve Operations

Safety 2.0

One of the first processes to benefit from CSA’s embrace of the augmented reality is the safety inspection. (While the cause of the recent crash of a Boeing 737 operated by China Eastern Airlines is still being investigated, the incident underscores the importance of using any and all safety inspection tools available.)

After every landing of any passenger aircraft anywhere in the world, a maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) engineer must perform a thorough aircraft inspection. An inspection on a Boeing 737 typically takes more than 100 steps, and an Airbus 320 takes more than 200 steps. This is a basic but crucial part of airline management, a pressing task that front-line MRO engineers must perform every day, often a number of times. CSA is no exception. As the world’s third largest airline, the airline repeats this procedure over 2,500 times a day, a task that takes CSA’s MRO engineers about 1,000 worker-hours.

In most of the world’s airports, engineers check off each inspection item on a bulky, paper-based job card, a block of 20+ sheets of paper that they have to clutch throughout the entire task. Until recently, CSA’s MRO engineers worked this way too, performing this work while juggling paper, pens, walkie-talkies, and the job card. But now, at 22 airports the CSA flies out of, most of the information, record-keeping, and communications tools are integrated into a single AR display. This display puts a whole range of resources at the engineers’ service – not only text, but images, videos, graphs, and voice, in any combination that is helpful to the engineers.

While the AR glasses are expected to shave 6 percent off those 1,000 daily hours, we have found in our research on the integration of this technology at CSA that the advantages of the AR glasses go far beyond the labor dividend. They aren’t just a new way to get information – they’re a whole new way of working.

CSA’s AR glasses allow engineers to edit and reorganize their job list, change the information they see, and how they want it shown. Their displays can be adjusted by aircraft, season, and even individual preference. They offer the engineers step-by-step multimedia support and immersive experiences during the execution of the tasks, including AI object recognition and collaboration with a remote expert.

“Combined with some [artificial intelligence], the AR glasses can really make our job a lot easier,” one MRO engineer said. “I can now point my fingers to a place, for example, a lubricating oil cap, and it automatically recognizes the object or the key parts and tells me that it’s open but should be closed. It also can show me, in a picture or a short video, how the object looked in normal condition or in its last service.” When the task is done, engineers can even sign off using either voice or even gesture, if it’s too noisy on the tarmac to use a voice command.

Rather than lug manuals big as unabridged dictionaries around or spend valuable time walking to an office to consult one, engineers can instantly access the information they need via the glasses. “I no longer have to go and look for the maintenance manual, which could take an hour walking back and forth. The manual is now coming to me, in front of my eyes!” one engineer told us. The AR glasses even make it possible for experts to advise mechanics on the tarmac in real time and supply them with pictures, videos, voice advice, and graphs.

The glasses also encourage more standardized performance. “It knows where I am in the process and points me to where I need to go next. Everybody is following the same process in the same order,” explained another engineer.

Welcome to the Augmented Operations

Wide-awake engineers, better compliance, a visual diary of the life of every component, and ultimately, safer flights are all benefits of this single pilot project in the 850-aircraft airline. The AR glasses optimize performance not only by bringing more knowledge closer to the machinery but by keeping MRO eyes on the prize. Like most earlier forms of digitalization, the CSA’s experience suggests that augmented operations are less likely to supplant people than to augment their capabilities — a win for companies, employees, and travelers.

Today, the CSA’s first augmented operational system is still a work in progress, not so much in its ability to transfer data to or from the individual — although that presents challenges – as in adapting the technology to meet the capacities of human cognition. The AR smart glasses need to comply to the industry’s safety standards, as well as meeting important objectives for privacy, comfort, display, connectivity, ergonomics, battery lifetime, noise reduction, multi-media interactivity, immersive experience combined with transparency, required infrastructure (5G, edge computing), and a knowledge graph that can provide deeper AI-enabled support.

Only the beginning

And that’s just one application in one industry — imagine the many other ways the technology might be used. Already, thousands of companies around the world are experimenting with various aspects of AR technologies. And we believe this number will rise dramatically once we understand more about the best ways to manage the user interface on all those smart glasses, and the awareness of this new and highly adaptable technology grows. It’s not unlike the moment when something called a website appeared on our desktops or a decade later, when it became clear that apps were “the killer app” of the smart phone.

When the enterprise use of AR technologies has its own Netscape moment, we believe we will see many industries see the dawn of a massive new opportunity. Airlines, for instance, will be able to understand their cost structure in much more detail than they do now, down to the part. Ultimately, this cognitive shift could change the balance of power within the airline business, away from sales and the front office toward the back office and the maintenance hangar (particularly as the carbon footprint becomes more integrated into the price).

And this is only the beginning. As the CSA project has demonstrated, virtualization has no limits. Any person or object in airline operations, from mechanics to the airplanes or the entire airport — can be virtualized, given enough data and enough modeling. By creating a virtual representation of a physical object, plus an ongoing stream of new information about its status, digital twins of physical objects and even people can give airlines unprecedented ability to see how something is performing right now and simulate or predict how it might perform in the future.

CSA’s success suggests that AR is finally becoming part of our working reality. But there are still many unanswered questions. In our work for CSA, for instance, we have been posing many questions about how to bring the best out of people. When do people need reminders? What are the signs that their attention is starting to flag? What’s the most efficient way for mechanics to communicate through their glasses to an expert, who can walk them through a complex repair? At the moment, the questions keep multiplying but, fortunately, so do the answers.


Operating Room Usage of Vuzix Smart Glasses Continues to Expand Via Solution Providers Pixee Medical and Rods&Cones

Yesterday, Pixee Medical announced that its Knee+ AR computer-assisted orthopedic solution will be commercially launched in the United States, providing a perfect fit for Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs). Launched in Europe and Australia early in 2021, Pixee’s solution will be formally launched in the US at the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting on March 22-26 in Chicago, where the company will meet with surgeons and finalize the organization of its distribution channel.

Additionally, Pixee Medical added that it will soon be adding new features to its Knee+ platform, with soft tissue balancing, kinematic alignment and data connectivity. It will also be expanding its portfolio with a mixed reality product for total shoulder arthroplasty and with an easy-to-use cup orientation and leg length controlling AR tool for total hip arthroplasty. Knee+ is also now compatible with surgical hoods.

Rods&Cones has been a growing consumer of Vuzix M400 smart glasses, which let staff in the operating room, ICU or other medical facility, including surgeons, instrumentalist nurses and other healthcare professionals, provide 4K broadcast quality imagery to others while interacting with patients and staff from a safe distance. To date, Rods&Cones is active in more than 600 hospitals across more than 30 countries and the company anticipates that 2022 will be the year when companies and medical providers start changing their models to prioritize remote technology at the heart of their operations.

Rods&Cones recently announced that its remote access service is compatible with the Pixee Knee+ augmented reality solution for total knee arthroplasty. The compatibility of the two solutions is expected to allow surgeons to use augmented reality during total knee arthroplasty surgeries, while also connecting remotely with other medical experts around the world.

“Firms like Pixee Medical and Rods&Cones are innovators within the healthcare sector and their solutions are facilitating communications and learning, reducing costs, and improving outcomes in operating rooms around the world with the help of Vuzix smart glasses,” said Paul Travers, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vuzix. We look forward to working with these and other providers to help transform the healthcare industry in 2022 and beyond.



Fortune 50 Online Retailer Places Follow-on Order for Vuzix Smart Glasses to Support Expanding Warehouse Usage

This order follows the successful completion of a proof-of-concept (POC) earlier last year in one warehouse and the initial deployment of Vuzix smart glasses in 40 warehouses several months ago. This follow-on order will support the further deployment of glasses to these 40 warehouses as well as initial deployment to additional locations.

“We are pleased to see a customer of this caliber, not only a retailer leader but also an innovative user of new technologies, continue to deploy and actively use Vuzix smart glasses, a proven productivity tool,” said Paul Travers, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vuzix.

“This Fortune 50 customer represents just one of many exciting opportunities within this vertical, and we look forward to working with them, as well as others, to expand both the depth and breadth of Vuzix Smart Glasses usage this year and beyond.”

Mercedes-Benz, Turkey Selects RealWear for Large Scale Deployment Across All 56 Service Centres with Microsoft Teams

London, UK – 22 February 2022 – RealWear, the world’s leading provider of assisted reality solutions for frontline industrial workers, today announced that Mercedes-Benz Otomotiv, based in Turkey, has selected and deployed RealWear’s rugged wearable devices across all of its 56 authorised service centres.

Prior to its countrywide enterprise wearable deployment, the process included hundreds of in-person trips, emails, shared photos and videos and over-the-phone collaboration with subject matter experts. With more than 240,000 customer vehicles on the road and the company’s commitment to high-quality service, the RealWear deployment immediately resulted in wide-ranging positive impact from cost savings, carbon footprint reduction to efficiency and worker empowerment.

For Mercedes-Benz, speed is everything, including a timely response and resolution to its customers. Any issues that could not be resolved required technical support staff to schedule and physically visit the dealership, costing the firm around an expected $100k and 500 tons of carbon emissions per year.

Since initially deploying the technology, Mercedes-Benz Otomotiv anticipates a 25% jump in ROI for on-part training scenarios and up to an expected 80% performance increase in customer service centre technical problem resolution where expertise from HQ is required. Certain other processes, such as problematic warranty cases and insurance claims have also become far more efficient using RealWear’s devices.

“Technologies such as RealWear and Microsoft Teams further increase the service quality and speed of Mercedes-Benz, thus positively affecting our customer satisfaction.” said Celal Tuna, Technical Support Supervisor at Mercedes-Benz Otomotiv.

You can read the full press release including the story of Mercedes Benz’s search for an enterprise wearable for its technicians which began in May 2020 on the RealWear website.

See RealWear’s AREA member profile

Food processing manufacturer, HG Molenaar triples efficiency with Iristick smart glasses

Operating all across the globe, Molenaar is known for its high-quality food processing equipment, serving the biggest clients in the food and beverage industry. As a renowned market leader in heavy machinery manufacturing, they strive to offer the best customer service after equipment delivery and installation. Molenaar touched upon the possibilities of enterprise augmented reality already before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Yet, the imposed travel restrictions made the organization adopt the technology with full force.

Lead service engineer Marius Menezies is based in the busy hub of Johannesburg, South Africa, and directs a team of local technicians. The heavy machines are assembled, tested and manufactured, before being shipped to their clients worldwide. Marius provides direct support when technical issues arise during and after the installation process on the client’s site. As these machines need to be configured carefully, it’s common practice for Molenaar’s technicians to visit their client’s site. In addition, in case of machine breakdowns or repairs, skilled technicians travel on-site to their clients to have this fixed as soon as possible; since not working or obsolete machines cost the company thousands of dollars by the minute.

Fixing food processing machinery issues from a distance

With multiple customers located all over the world, it’s impossible for HG Molenaar’s engineers and technicians to constantly be on the road, and on top of that, the Covid-19 pandemic’s travel restrictions forced HG Molenaar to structurally think in a different direction. By using smart glasses technology, remote assistance sessions would allow issues to be fixed from a distance, without the need to travel. Here, the local technicians wear the glasses, and thanks to the built-in cameras and microphone, Marius and his team can then give feedback from a distance in real-time, fixing issues in twice as little time compared to the traditional way. Besides this, they also use the glasses for training purposes, resulting in faster onboarding of new employees.

The ideal hands-free solution for fixing heavy food processing machinery

The ‘plug-and-play’ interface ensures the glasses are extremely easy to use. Together with our remote assistance software partner Wizzeye, technicians simply log in and start recording their remote assistance session. Connecting each other over wi-fi, the remote technician gives detailed instructions to the local crew. In fact, the central camera and powerful zoom lens ensure remote collaboration over video gets a new, more powerful dimension. The remote technician sees exactly what the local technician sees on-site and can even make annotations and send them over via the small display screen in the glasses. He can additionally zoom into the smallest details and use the laser pointer to pinpoint exactly which actions need to be taken. “What I really like about the glasses is that you can simply use your own private smartphone. It’s so easy to use. After logging in and connecting with the other party, you simply tuck your phone away in a dedicated pouch and hook this onto your belt. This way, you have both of your hands available to do your job. So convenient”, Marius states.

HG Molenaar’s expert technicians provide instant feedback from a distance via video collaboration

Better operational efficiency and fewer machine breakdowns

The ease of use of the glasses advances both Marius and his team as well as the local technicians. Both encounter more productivity in terms of better operational efficiency and fewer machine breakdowns. By using smart glasses, the remote expert can use the time he would normally spend on traveling on other duties. Especially in Marius’ case, this is a big advantage as he sometimes gets calls in the middle of the night from the night shift. In this case, the glasses offer the perfect solution to resolve an issue the fastest way possible.

Besides productivity gains, using smart glasses also allows the company to offer better training and new employee onboarding. With branches spread around all across the country, it oftentimes occurs that the Johannesburg location needs assistance from the main headquarters in Cape Town and vice versa. Here, one technician wears the glasses while the other provides instant feedback and like this, they train each other from a distance. Here again, the smart glasses offer a viable solution to connect technicians from a distance and to quickly share tribal knowledge.

Smart glasses: A long term cost-saving solution

For Molenaar, using smart glasses has been a win-win for both their own technicians and their clients. Not only do their own employees save a huge amount of time on traveling, but also travel expenses are pushed back to a minimum“The price of a pair of smart glasses compared over the long term with plane tickets and other travel costs is remarkable”, Marius adds. “It’s a much better cost-savings alternative.”


ABI Research Competitive Assessment – Enterprise Augmented Reality Platforms

In a new competitive assessment of enterprise augmented reality platforms, ABI Research identifies which current AR vendors can deliver the most business value – now and in the future – using the following criteria:

  • Customers, partnerships, and footprint
  • Use case applicability
  • Internet of Things synergy
  • Machine vision capabilities
  • Transformative technology capabilities
  • Data visualization capabilities

From the PTC website you can download the full report and discover why PTC Vuforia “remains at the top” of ABI’s ranking with the “most innovation” among AR platforms.

How Manufacturers are embracing AR to Overcome Challenges

Skilled labor gap

With a generation filled with skills entering retirement, the manufacturing industry is witnessing a looming labor shortage. As a result, manufacturers are struggling to find motivated, knowledgeable employees for the job.

Machine intelligence

The manufacturing industry is increasingly using the Internet of Things. A majority of firms either have already implemented the technology or are on the verge of implementing the Internet of Things machines. These smart machines assist companies in collecting useful information that can aid them in improving productivity and implementing predictive maintenance.

Maximizing automation

COVID-19 has shown us all that this is a critical time to explore the implementation of automation technologies (and all things Industry 4.0, including collaborative robotics, autonomous material movement, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence).

System age and usability

Today’s workers need an updated system. Internal users require updated systems that can assist them in better job performance. Updated systems offer flexibility, greater insight, and speed – permitting workers to perform their tasks more efficiently and effectively.

Growing with increasing demand

  • Increasing capacity – having so much demand that you need to increase capacity can force choices, like moving to a new facility or expanding your existing facility.
  • Demand-driven manufacturing – many manufacturers are just keeping up with work based on orders from existing customers, leaving little time or money to invest in other critical initiatives.

Trade war effects

Current trade wars affect all industry sectors. Manufacturing is not an exception since finished products and raw materials are sourced and sold across the globe. In the coming year, the industry is considering tactical changes to ease the impact of trade wars that are always heating up.

Supply chain visibility

There must be real-time, granular visibility within the entire supply chain. Manufacturers must be aware of every detail. They must know when products delay reaching the market. Being updated on such situations will give them an upper hand to adjust or rectify the problem.


Businesses are rethinking their global manufacturing strategies. Companies are motivated to participate in reshoring efforts due to rising foreign wages, rising tariffs, and reconsiderations of the total cost of ownership.

Responding to Covid-19

The effects of COVID-19 have impacted manufacturing, top to bottom. It’s hard, even with a business plan, to adequately address the unpredictable and rapid variables of the outbreak: quarantining, restricting travel options, closing schools, disrupting supply chains, etc.


Teamviewer and NSF Partner on EyeSucceed

The companies have partnered to pursue a joint goal: the accelerated growth of wearable software EyeSucceed, an augmented reality (AR) application based on TeamViewer’s enterprise AR platform Frontline.

EyeSucceed has the ability to digitalize processes and address critical challenges in the food industry. The commercial agreement leverages TeamViewer’s technological capabilities and NSF’s industry expertise and global customer base.

NSF has successfully integrated EyeSucceed into the daily operations of customers in the food and beverage industry to empower workers with AR-based workflows. For example, a global fast food restaurant chain has equipped its employees in more than 100 restaurants with the solution to ensure a global quality standard in training and onboarding of new employees.

Furthermore, the software is enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) features for improving food safety — for example, to automatically detect if hygiene gloves are worn and changed during the food production process.

“TeamViewer’s AR specialists have been dedicated and collaborative partners of ours since 2015, when EyeSucceed was first created,” said John Rowley, vice president of the global food division at NSF International. “Together with TeamViewer, we will help food businesses around the world to reduce risk, improve compliance and strengthen their brands. This collaboration will define the standard for AR applications in the global food supply chain.”

Jan Junker, executive vice president solution delivery at TeamViewer, said, “The use of voice- and eye-controlled AR applications giving step-by-step instructions to workers on smart glasses is game-changing for the food industry. Companies can digitalize their workplaces while keeping their workers’ hands 100% free to perform their tasks faster and better and to stick to all hygiene regulations at the same time. Customers who optimize their processes with our Frontline solution confirm double-digit increases in efficiency and close-to-zero error rates. We are looking forward to teaming up with NSF International to bring these benefits to more customers in the food industry and beyond.”

Read AREA member NSF EyeSucceed’s member profile



Magic Leap grants healthcare startups access to its new AR headset ahead of mid-2022 release

Another company, Brainlab, wants to make its Mixed Reality Viewer software available on Magic Leap 2.

That Magic Leap is making its latest wearable available to digital healthcare startups first isn’t surprising; CEO Peggy Johnson said as much would happen last April. “Augmented reality may transform healthcare more than any other industry, at least in the near term,” she said at the time, noting also that the company would focus on enterprise customers at launch.

Read Magic Leap AREA member profile