How your industry can benefit from AR remote instructions

To stay competitive a company needs to innovate. Either by optimizing internal processes, integrating new technologies from outside sources or both. Virtual and augmented reality are new tools that help industries optimize their processes without directly replacing them.

In other words, they provide new building blocks instead of tearing down what already works. Take AR remote instructions for instance, this a very practical application of augmented reality in an industrial environment.

Although the technology is cutting edge, it doesn’t (necessarily) replace manual labor and human expertise, but it enhances the way operations are executed in a more subtle manner. This allows companies to build upon a solid foundation and ‘augment’ business operations.

How can you benefit from AR remote instructions within your company?

How does augmented reality work?

There are three complementary technologies that have some overlap but also offer some significant differences:

1. Virtual reality creates a virtual environment for both individuals as in collaborative use. When a person wears a VR headset they visually leave the room they are located in, and enter a digital space.

Although the physical presence does not change, the illusion of a new location is created. This can be useful for various applications including panoramic 360 video, or collaborative decentralized work environments.

2. Augmented reality adds a visible layer to the real environment, for instance a picture-in-picture with a manual or turn-by-turn directions on a navigation system. Wearable AR devices project an image for the user without completely obscuring their regular vision.

This can be achieved with smartphones or tablets, with augmented reality glasses the user can still use both hands to perform various operations. This technology is often used for remote instructions.

3. Mixed reality is in simple terms an enhanced version of augmented reality. In this case the digital additions are integrated within the environment as if they were physically present. Take a hammer for instance.

With AR you could show a picture of a hammer. When moving your head the picture will remain fixed within your field of vision. With MR the device can project a hammer onto the table. Even if the user moves his/her head the hammer will remain in the same place on the table.

In this article we will focus on AR remote instructions, with some MR applications. VR technology is significantly different and can be implemented in other ways.

Helping others without being present

It’s a common occurrence within most industries; an employee requires some assistance or information about the task at hand. This might involve calling a person, leaving the working space in order to find a colleague, and several physical movements by multiple participants.

Now let’s take a look at the very same scenario but this time using AR glasses, like the Realwear HMT-1. The employee has a question about the operation of a machine. This person calls a specialist, either by choosing from a menu by hand or by voice. Just like a Skype or Messenger call a direct connection is made with a specialist who can assess the situation in both audio and video.

This expert provides the employee with instructions on location, without either person leaving their actual physical position. The second scenario might seem complex at first, in practice it’s actually much easier.

Three advantages of AR remote instructions:

Time: Instead of finding the right person to assist, the expert is just a tap or a voice command removed from the location. Just like with a customer service helpdesk, the colleague can be located within the same building, or at the other side of the world.

Safety: In the first scenario we described above the worker had to move from the work space, and invite another person onto the work floor. This means more employee movement, which will always pose safety risks. There’s a reason many industries use safety clothing and hard hats, unnecessary movements increase risk.

Efficiency: Remote instructions save time and costs, increase productivity and enhance safety. This automatically leads to a higher level of efficiency, which is of course very important for every industrial organization.

These are just three advantages, there are many more. Ask our AR specialist about all the options for your company.

Low threshold approach

While working on advancements within the industrial sector, there are several routes to take with various goals to accomplish. Although augmented reality can be classified as ‘disruptive technology’, the implementation within an organization should not disrupt the regular workflow.

Because AR and MR are both additive technologies, this means roll-out can be executed in a non-disruptive manner. This means the current output of the company will not be adversely affected, the enhancements will not cause temporary interruptions in the workflow.

This does require meticulous planning beforehand, although this process is involved it can be executed within a limited timeframe. Employee training is minimal if the hardware and software are prepared beforehand, with tangible goals in mind.

Augmented reality based remote instructions are ‘no regret’ decisions for the industry, which will create new opportunities for the industrial sector.

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