Field service can be challenging work with complex data behind equipment and services. Good service management systems make sense of that complexity and cut costs, improve visibility, optimize service delivery and drive new revenue through optimization of multiple areas such as scheduling, dispatch, parts and knowledge management, monitoring and forecasting. The revolutionary new Microsoft HoloLens can change the entire service process.
New technical possibilities from Augmented Reality (AR) are achievable for field service companies. Microsoft HoloLens allows you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the “real” 3D world around you. The HoloLens is an augmented reality headset. Unlike virtual reality, which takes over your entire vision and hearing to transport you to a completely simulated environment, augmented reality complements the world around you and layers holograms on your real-world surroundings. Augmented reality has been in use for some time, but Microsoft is the first to make a single, portable device to make this possible.
HoloLens technology can be used in a diversity of industries and contexts such as 3D design, in the creation of scale models and medical study analysis in the healthcare field. Because of its applications across a myriad of settings, HoloLens is positioned to make a significant impact in field service. AR technology has the potential to change the way how people work, including how they execute work orders, remote assistance, remote controlling and the display of real-time data.
This article describes how the Microsoft HoloLens can change the day-to-day operation of a field service engineer and the potential the Microsoft HoloLens offers.
What is a Microsoft HoloLens? It is the first self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you. The Microsoft HoloLens AR headset creates virtual 3D models that, thanks to the HoloLens’ various cameras and sensors, interact with the physical environment you are in. The inbuilt speakers sit above your ears creating sound based upon where each hologram is in relation to your position, making for an even more immersive experience.
3D Modeling is normally a very long and complicated process. HoloLens allows engineers to virtually see 3D images of assets they need to maintain. With HoloLens, the engineer virtually expands the 3D image of the machine to display how it is built. This can be very useful when an asset acts up unexpectedly. Moreover, engineers can examine the 3D visualization of an asset before arriving on site. This reduces on-site repair time because the engineer is better prepared before initiating repair, as well as having the necessary spare parts on hand.
A nice benefit of the HoloLens is the fact that an engineer has both hands free when executing his work. HoloLens frees up an engineer’s hands when executing work while providing a medium to read the information they need to do the job. By using HoloLens, the engineer can see the following: the service request, work order information, real-time IoT data of the asset being serviced, documentation, knowledge base items and much more. All this data gives the engineer the necessary information to fix the problem the first time.
Another HoloLens benefit is “guided maintenance”, where an engineer collaborates with another engineer via Skype. By using the cameras on HoloLens, both engineers can see what is happening on site. The offsite engineer can draw diagrams to visually communicate with the on-site engineer to assist in troubleshooting.
In short, companies will be able to step further into the digital era and transform the way how they deliver services to their customers. The Microsoft HoloLens platform allows service companies to develop functionality that was once thought to be futuristic, enabling companies to streamline their operations, create new business models and change customer interaction dramatically, thereby giving companies a way to stay ahead of the competition.