Augmented Reality for Energy Audits

Augmented Reality for Energy Audits

An energy audit is useful for homeowners and businesses to understand their quantity of energy consumption. By performing an energy audit, the goal is to reduce expenses and environmental damage. An energy audit is typically done by a utility specialist who is given permission to enter the building and uncover the upgrades or fixes needed to make the space more energy efficient. However, COVID-19 is still a concern to our society and preventative social distancing measures are in order in multiple areas across the country– meaning energy audits can’t always take place like they used to. 

This presents a new pain point for prospective customers who are interested in energy audits and reducing costs but are worried about the current CDC guidelines. Fortunately, new emerging technology like augmented reality (AR) can help solve this issue. By using a smart device– which most everyone has access to– customers can interact with a professional through an app and augmented reality technology. By leveraging a remote expert, customers can be guided through a series of steps to complete the evaluation themselves. With the addition of augmented reality, the process is streamlined with real-time instructions placed in their field of view. 

As mentioned in an article by the AREA, COVID-19 is acting as an accelerator by moving AR from ‘early adopters’ to a more ‘mainstream market’ with ready to use solutions. The article points out, “we’re seeing use cases that are driven by the travel bans caused by the pandemic. The most popular one is remote support.”

Not only can AR technology maintain social distancing orders, it can help the homeowner or business owner become more involved and educated in their energy usage. Tools such as AR-assisted measurement and expert energy advice seek to include the customer in the experience. 

AR takes regular phone calls and remote services to a new level– improving the overall customer experience. Remote expert assistance enables technicians to visually guide and collaborate with the homeowner. Touchless audits, done remotely could continue to work in a homeowner’s favor for years to come. Future use cases of AR could include home inspections or fixing critical home maintenance issues. AR can revolutionize the spread of knowledge and allow customers to take advantage of expertise from around the world.

The current pandemic has opened up a greater conversation on how emerging technologies can be extremely beneficial in our daily lives. The AREA predicts that “by 2021 or 2022. . .you’ll have more use cases with AR as it starts to deliver more value than existing tools. There’s also a big focus now on making more tasks digital and automated by leveraging AR and AI.”  

Reducing our carbon footprint will continue to be more essential as global temperatures rise at an alarming rate. It is reassuring to know that augmented reality can help with our energy consumption– along with reducing costs for businesses and homeowners alike. Think about the positive effects AR can create for our energy efficiency on a global scale. 

 

 Where do you think AR will make an impact?

Will COVID-19 Accelerate the use of AR?

Will COVID-19 Accelerate the use of AR?

The COVID-19 outbreak challenges businesses across the world and forces them to realize the importance of information technologies. With restrictions, such as social distancing, inability to travel, and disrupted supply chains, companies must adapt. Per a survey done by Grid Raster, 56% of businesses have implemented some form of AR/VR technologies, and another 35% are considering doing so. With COVID-19 accelerating the adoption of other online services, such as zoom, enterprise AR is the obvious next step.

As mentioned in a recent article from the AREA, “Augmented Reality can help mitigate the business impact while supporting business continuity through the pandemic.”

For the utility industry, social distancing can be especially difficult. Frontline workers may not be able to go on-site and maintain issues. This is where technologies such as AR-enhanced remote assistance come into play.

According to Sarah Reynolds, “AR-enhanced remote assistance enables product experts to connect with on-site employees and even end customers to offer them contextualized information and expert guidance, helping them resolve these issues quickly and ultimately reduce downtime. AR-enabled remote assistance marries the physical and the digital worlds – allowing experts and front-line workers to digitally annotate the physical world around them to improve the clarity, precision, and accuracy of their communication and collaboration.”

Similarly, AR can provide assistance to healthcare workers who need medical training or help with equipment changeover. AR-enhanced methods reduce human error –  and streamline the otherwise complicated learning process.

As pointed out by the AREA, AR supports remote collaboration. “AR enables users who are physically separated to be able to “inhabit” a shared virtual space, distributed by the AR application.”  Although organizations are utilizing video conferencing software, AR is the missing puzzle piece. With many people working from home, one crucial element is missing: collaboration. It is difficult to share information and communicate without face-to-face interaction. By taking advantage of AR, businesses can expand and thrive in the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the future to come.

 

How do you think COVID-19 will shift the use of digital technologies? Will Augmented Reality fill in the missing pieces for enterprise and e-commerce companies? Leave your thoughts below!

 

 

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