COVID-19 Drives Demand For Augmented Reality Solutions For Remote Assistance
According to the 2019 Verdantix Industrial Wearables Survey with 102 EHS decision-makers, 22% of firms planned to utilise wearables for remote content delivery or mentoring widely across all their operations over the next 12 months. A further 34% reported that industrial wearables would be used at multiple facilities while 18% of interviewees noted that they would undertake a pilot project at one facility.
One of the primary delivery methods of remote content as well as assistance is using augmented reality (AR). Junior employees can be accompanied through complex tasks by remote experts with visual annotations superimposed on workplace settings, reducing travel costs and task duplication. Maintenance issues can be resolved more rapidly through remote step-by-step guidance. Cumbersome manuals can be accessed digitally through smart glasses and complex workflows can be viewed in real time.
AR content can be delivered on a variety of devices such as smartphones, tablets and head-mounted displays (HMDs). Larger producers of HMD hardware include Epson, Microsoft Hololens, RealWear and Vuzix. The Epson Moveiro line was adopted by Encotech, an American provider of water recycling and treatment systems, to assist with real-time communication between employees. Increasingly these HMD manufacturers are also offering AR software or content for a variety of use cases as they realise that this is where the value lies. RE'FLEKT’s operating system works in tandem with Microsoft’s Hololens offering, while RealWear offer Atheer’s augmented reality management platform as part of their ‘HMT’ product line. Other AR software as well as content providers include Librestream, Plutomen and Upskill.
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an impetus to the use of AR for remote assistance. Examples of successful customer pilots and implementation is on the rise. Firms should consider the value added by AR head mounted devices and their associated software platforms to improve workplace efficiency.
To learn more about COVID-19 technologies visit the Verdantix resource centre.