One of your machines is down and your client calls for service and spends the better part of an hour in remote assistance, spinning their wheels. A field service technician is dispatched to inspect the problem, only to realize it has been misdiagnosed and the replacement parts he brought are useless. Time is spent trying to locate the actual issue, one he’s never encountered before. Searching through manuals for similar scenarios adds multiple minutes to the clock and the client becomes increasingly impatient. He calls head office to speak to an in-house expert to help walk him through it, but the complex problem is difficult to describe accurately. If the expert were with him, things would be very different.

Complex machinery manufacturers are losing money as a result of field service engineers failing to resolve issues on the first service call. Remote diagnoses can be inaccurate and difficult. Slow fixes and long machine downtimes also cause customer dissatisfaction. Augmented reality (AR) using Microsoft HoloLens can change this outcome, and quickly satisfy the customer.

A New Way to See Your World

Microsoft HoloLens is the first self-contained, holographic wireless computer device, enabling you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you. It is made up of specialized components that together enable holographic computing. The optical system works in lock-step with advanced sensors. The HPU makes light work of processing large amounts of data per second. All of these components enable you to move freely and interact with holograms.

HoloLens can empower field service engineers by placing the entire repository of technical knowledge at their fingertips. If you want to make a call or have a video chat, the digital window will pop-up right in your environment and you can complete your job – without using a PC or cellphone – directly interacting with the virtual projections so you can complete your task.  The following features make this possible:

  • Sensor Fusion: Advanced sensors capture information about your environment, so it can see, map, and understand the physical places, spaces, and things around you
  • Advanced Optics: See-through holographic high-definition lenses use an advanced optical projection system, generating multi-dimensional full-colour images with very low latency so you can see holograms in your world
  • Custom Holographic Processing Unit: The HPU is custom silicon that processes a large amount of data per second from the sensors, allowing the Microsoft HoloLens to understand gestures and where you look, and maps the world around you, all in real time
  • Built-in speakers/Spatial Sound: precise audio experience without headphones, HoloLens synthesizes sound so you can hear holograms from anywhere in the room

HoloLens seeks to immerse users in a digitally enhanced environment, where they can interact with virtual-reality elements added into real-world environments.

HoloLens enabled thyssenkrupp to transform the global elevator industry

Using HoloLens, 24,000 thyssenkrupp elevator service technicians can now visualize and identify problems ahead of a job, and have remote access to technical and expert information when onsite. The work they are doing with HoloLens centers on the use of Skype, which is available to all users of HoloLens without any additional development work required. Skype allows the technicians to be hands free on the jobsite, even when making remote calls to subject-matter experts and sharing holographic instructions between users. This enables more flexibility and also complies with safety regulations. In initial trials, HoloLens has reduced the average length of thyssenkrupp’s service calls by 4X!

Improve your Operations Planning

According to ABI Research, the AR market in industrial industries, particularly manufacturing, will grow by more than 400% over the previous year. As technologies like HoloLens become more mainstream, AR will be more prevalent and likely be part of our daily work experience.

Empowering customers to accelerate business value imagined and realized from their digital experiences is what Microsoft Services does best. That’s why we’re focused on helping customers unlock the possibilities of this new reality, using digital experiences to first imagine what’s next, and then quickly turn those insights into business value. We can help you build a world class predictive maintenance application and assist you to reduce field maintenance costs utilizing HoloLens.

#DisruptMining Event during PDAC 2017

Microsoft HoloLens was featured at an Innovation Expo at #DisruptMining, a marquee event during the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (“PDAC”) convention in Toronto on March 5, 2017 at The Carlu.  The event brought together mining executives, investors, tech fans and the best entrepreneurs to discuss, evaluate and challenge traditional notions of mining and exploration and showcase disruptive and exponential technologies with the potential to revolutionize the future of mineral exploration.  Look for a #DisruptMining blog entry soon!

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