One of the things that has often been suggested as a potential barrier to the adoption of augmented reality in field service has been the reliance on additional hardware. Indeed, during a recent presentation on the Field Service News Digital Symposium demonstrating OverIT's Space1 Augmented Reality solution for field service workers, a slick video showed the potential use of the tool, with transportation workers using a real ware head-mounted computer...
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While the technology is a fantastic device, it is, as are all such devices an additional expense. Of course, the ability of an engineer to work hands-free is hugely valuable. But at a time when we are looking at an ongoing and unprecedented global economic downturn, many field service organizations may be looking at such additional costs as a barrier to adoption. This may even be the case even though such solutions could become essential in a world where remote assistance is becoming increasingly important.
So is that a requirement for the Space1 solution to be utilized in the field? Does it require a head-mounted computer or smart glasses? Does the solution have to run on a real ware device, or is it device agnostic?
"We typically support any hardware that it's available on the market, and most of all, we support our customers in finding the device that will work best for them..."
- Francesco Benvenuto, OverIT
"In space one, we are agnostic in terms of hardware," explained Francesco Benvunto of OverIT during the Q&A section of the presentation.
"We typically support any hardware that it's available on the market, and most of all, we support our customers in finding the device that will work best for them. This ranges from tablets and mobile phones to devices like the real wear head-mounted device and even more immersive tools such as Hololens. We are totally agnostic.
Of course, another big question around hands-free devices is just how easily they can respond to voice commands. In the demonstration provided by Space1, for example, the worker was in a busy rail depot where one would imagine there could be a significant amount of background noise.
In such environments, noise cancellation and the ability for the device to read and respond to aural commands effectively is crucial to whether it is fit-for-purpose. One question field service organizations must consider when exploring such solutions is the effectiveness of the solutions ability to operate in such environments - and is that a hardware or software consideration?
"It's both on the hardware and the on the software," explained Benvenuto.
"We have optimized our solution to work in the best possible way with various hardware. We have so many customers all over the world that are; you know that have those requirements in that they want to allow a technician to work in places where there's a lot of noise. So noise cancellation that is a vital part of the solution.
"Everyone can calibrate the solution for working in such environments. We are also readily available to allow customers to try the solution and to demonstrate the capabilities."
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- Connect with Francesco Benvenuto on LinkedIN @ www.linkedin.com/in/benvenutofrancesco/