Key Questions: Differences Between Augmented, Mixed & Merged Reality

Jul 20, 2020 • FeaturesAugmented RealityRemote AssistanceDigital TransformationOverITSpace1Field Service News Digital Symposium

As part of an exclusive Field Service News presentation with the team at Space1 Kris Oldland talks to Francesco Benvenuto of OverIT the creators of Space1 and augmented reality tool designed for field service organisations to find out the difference between Augmented, Merged and Mixed Reality technologies as well as discussing the importance of Artificial Intelligence when it comes to the application of such technologies...

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Different Technologies, With Different Applications Within Field Service

When it comes to dialling in the experience required directly to your field service engineers or technicians, we are becoming more familiar with the processes and the technology. However, what can be confusing in identifying the solution your business needs is the various terms which, to the layperson at least, appear to largely to be synonyms. But is this necessarily the case?

"There is a technical difference," explains Francesco Benvenuto, OverIT when this question was put to him during a recent presentation of the Space1 Augmented Reality solution designed by the team behind Field Service Management solution OverIT.

"Augmented reality is a little different from mixed reality and very different from virtual reality. With Space1, we can leverage the three technologies in different application areas.


"Many of our clients are leveraging virtual reality so they can create a reproduction of a real environment giving them the ability to train an employee in safe conditions..."

     - Francesco Benvenuto, OverIT


"I would say that today, augmented reality is a technology that is ready to be used in the field for maintenance activities for training also for presenting service related reports. Mixed reality I would say that slightly behind augmented reality in terms of its readiness to be used in the field which is mainly with due to restrictions on the hardware side of the equation.

"When it comes to virtual reality, mostly our clients using VR within Space1 for training, many of our clients are leveraging virtual reality so they can create a reproduction of a real environment giving them the ability to train an employee in safe conditions.

Of course, during the last four months, where we've seen digital transformation accelerate as a result of the pandemic and remote assistance tools have been at the forefront of that. However, before this period, there has always been something of a slight reluctance to fully embrace augmented reality solutions within field service than might have been perhaps anticipated.

There have always been some nagging doubts. It felt there were just a couple of dots that needed to be connected before AR could indeed live up to its potential as a cornerstone of field service delivery technology. For me, one of those critical dots was the knowledge management piece.

This was something that leapt out of the presentation given by Benvenuto and his colleagues. Artificial Intelligence impressively powered the knowledge management aspects of the Space1 solution. As soon as I saw the solution being demonstrated, I could see that indeed, AI was potentially the one tool that could join an awful lot of those dots together. 

As Benvenuto said during the Q&A, "we see that artificial intelligence today is making our solution stand out from other products that are available in the market. We are using artificial intelligence because we believe that it's very important. Companies are facing challenges to be able to store such information, and with so many employees are leaving the company, it's often hard to find new workers.

"Also, it's getting harder and harder also due to the complexity of the assets that are being maintained on field to be able to store such data. So knowledge management, artificial intelligence, augmented reality are really key in helping organizations to solve this issue."


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