Outlining the role of augmented reality

How augmented reality technologies could affect the future of fieldwork

From a consumer standpoint, the water and waste industry is often perceived as simple as a leaking sink. The industry, however, is much more complex, covering sewage treatment plants and sewage and wastewater dams. With this complexity in the industry, having the right experience available when needed can be a big challenge. The reality is that field service technicians can only have so much experience. But technicians can use technology, specifically augmented reality (augmented reality), to support enhanced communication and real-time collaboration and ensure there is always experience on site.

RA is fast becoming a major field service tool. AR offers remote assistance software, including smart glasses, digital AR and collaborative AR, which benefit all companies, their technicians and their customers, providing a space for collaboration

RA in water and wastewater

Field experts may not be available at the time of an error. In the event of an emergency, an on-site technician has the ability to connect with an off-site technician through a collaborative RA. When an on-site team meets a challenge, remote assistance software allows an expert to be there virtually, with RA features that enhance the collaborative experience without having to wait or stop production, saving time and money for project and project managers.

Apart from repairs, technicians can perform virtual inspections. With the ability to “log out” in many areas that can affect the performance and security of operations, virtual inspections can be just as effective at a much lower cost. In addition, the time on the windshield spent traveling on a distributed operation is often a misuse of a company’s time and costs.

The evolution of RA in the field service

RA has evolved since its introduction in 1957. Today, consumers have the functions of RA to view furniture at home or to try on virtual sneakers before buying. While the ability to see your dream IKEA bedroom in your home, a pair of Yeezys at your feet, or see a much-desired creature up close are advantages of RA, it has also served the field services industry, especially with collaboration and remote service.

Smart glasses

Early initiatives, such as Snapchat shows, allowed consumers to share their point of view with followers at the click of a button. Showing the value of smart glasses to on-site service organizations has not been easy. While major brands such as Facebook, Google and Apple are working on their smart glasses adaptations, experts say the adoption by the service industry is still a long way off.

Digital AR

In the field service, digital RA is presented in the form of work instructions. For example, how to restart a pump or install new equipment. The power of digital RA is the ability to receive expert advice without the need for an on-site expert. However, the need to develop work instructions relevant to all common field use cases requires time and energy, making the ideal field use case for AR in the field difficult.

Collaborative AR

Today, the industry is looking for ways to have an expert in the right place and at the right time. Collaborative AR does this and more with the use of remote assistance software. As the most practical and valuable tool on the market, collaborative RA connects an off-site expert with an on-site person, including technicians and clients, who need information, whether related to training or maintenance.

Unlike digital RA, collaborative RA shows its value immediately. Without the need for digital content, experts can be present at virtually any time. This skill allows technicians to demonstrate how to solve a problem in real time, rather than explaining the necessary steps.

With benefits ranging from ease of use to response times, field technicians in the water and waste industry can be confident knowing that inspections can be performed and problems with the power of the RA can be solved and of remote assistance software.

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