philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


AR in the field service industry


GN: Why is field service such an attractive sector for AR/VR?

MB: Field service is all about improving asset reliability and predicting failure before it even happens, while improving the customer experience and decreasing the costs of service. In an ideal world, live video and AR can be used to provide remote support to the customer, eliminating the need to dispatch a technician at all.

However, if a truck roll is required, augmented and virtual realities permit a service provider in the field to engage someone off-site into a firsthand projection of the project or scenario being handled in front of them.

This ability to tag additional knowledgeable team members, especially considering the increasing complexity of service products, enables a service provider to offer additional, valuable resources for a given project from a centralized source, at a lower cost and in a more efficient manner. In effect, AR and mixed reality can democratize knowledge, something that is especially important as the seasoned workforce ages and their knowledge can be relayed to the more tech-savvy younger workers.

According to a study by The Service Council on the feasibility of AR for the service enterprise, 41% of incomplete service visits would benefit from the use of live video or AR sessions.

The same study by The Service Council found 72% of respondents were already using or evaluating AR, so the technology's deployments have proven to be widespread.

AR software comes in various forms, ranging from consumer-oriented and conferencing solutions used for live video, such as Webex and GoToMeeting, to more purpose-built platforms. We're especially interested in XMReality, SightCall, XOi Technologies and PTC Vuforia.

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