By Poornima Apte
Librestream Technologies leverages augmented reality (AR) as a tool to diagnose, inspect and maintain assets. The company recently announced a collaboration with Samsung that delivers Librestream’s Onsight Augmented Reality Enterprise platform through the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro, as well as the newly released XCover Pro. The result is a portable and ruggedized AR solution for field service and other industrial workers.
I recently spoke with Charlie Neagoy, vice president of business development at Librestream, about the promise of AR and the Samsung collaboration.
Q: What are the benefits of using AR in field services?
Charlie Neagoy: Companies worldwide are facing the dual challenges of, one, ever-increasing operational complexity and two, the loss of experienced field workers due to retirement or attrition. Field service technicians are called upon to do a wider variety of tasks, in a greater array of situations. In some cases, a tech is required to inspect, diagnose and service equipment they may never have seen before. This drumbeat of complexity requires a new approach to technician training and enablement. AR meets this need by giving access to immediate information and expertise in the field, delivered to mobile devices in a way that works with, not against, their existing work processes. AR “augments” a field tech by displaying contextual product, data or internet of things (IoT) information on their tablet or smartphone. It guides them through step-by-step procedures, and can instantly bring the eyes, ears and experience of a remote expert into the field virtually.
Beyond the challenge of increasing complexity, companies are faced with an unprecedented loss of organizational knowledge as their most experienced and skilled technicians retire. Whether from retirement or departure, companies must be able to retain and transfer their operational knowledge to new technicians. An AR platform like Onsight captures an enterprise’s field service knowledge in a platform that never retires or leaves, making the enterprise more resilient.