Immersive technology blurs the line between the digital and physical worlds. It allows for a user to access the complete 360-degree space around them. We are at the forefront of technology adoption at the enterprise level, with the power and utility industries beginning to see the benefits of implementation. We have explored how augmented reality will assist with safety and efficiency in the utility industry– as baby boomers retire and more training is required. However, today we will dive deeper into more use cases for immersive technology in the energy and utility sectors.
Work Order Management
Work order management, “ a set of procedures that are designed to process a work order in a timely and efficient manner”, are an integral part of a field technician’s daily routine. By merging immersive technology into the work order management system, the process can be streamlined. Immersive technologies, like Augmented Reality, can guide employees through their work orders in real-time, while they are using a tool or their attention is elsewhere. This process can guide technicians through a step-by-step checklist and even send the information out to managers.
Naveen Joshi, a columnist for Forbes, brings up inventory management as another strong use case for mixed reality in the energy sector. “AR technologies can be used to superimpose digital information on the real world through a smartphone or a tablet. This information is beneficial in situations such as power outages or damage to equipment. The technicians can capture images of damaged equipment using augmented reality.” AR can help the technician figure out what parts need to be repaired and request the right personnel for the issue. Therefore, increasing operational efficiency and improving the overall maintenance process.
Engineers can see digital overlay above their assets that is followed with instructions and a mapping of asset functionality. Joshi puts it into perspective, “Augmented reality technology can be used to generate 3D models using 2D diagrams of components. 3D models help technicians get a better understanding of the equipment than 2D drawings. The 3D models can also be used to view the internal components of a piece of equipment and explore its inner workings.” Emerging technology, like wayfinding and GIS, can combine with AR and VR to locate and maintain assets. With this simplified and user-friendly approach, crew members can use their time more wisely at work while maintaining success.
Immersive technologies have the ability to be a growth driver in the digital transformation journey for the energy and utilities sector. Workflows will be converted from manual processes to automated and interactive. We will see how it will be beneficial in a variety of ways and help companies run more effectively. What are your predictions?
Do you remember times before the World Wide Web? With technology being a central part of our daily lives– it feels like a fuzzy memory to recall a world without it. The Web made it possible for people to share information and connect from thousands of miles apart. It is easy to take it for granted now, as everything we need is right at our fingertips.
What if I told you that we may have another revolutionary period coming our way. That is one of emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
You may think integrating such new technology is out of the question, at least in the near future.
However, let’s dive into the story of the World Wide Web a little more.
The World Wide Web marks the end of an era of frustrating incompatibilities between computer systems. According to Tim Berners Lee, it is defined as “ The universe of global network-accessible information”. The Web, put simply, is a shared information space where people can collaborate and communicate.
Today, we are certain it has made our lives easier. I personally cannot imagine doing research before the Web. I could list an endless list of other tasks that are accelerated because of this information system. Yet, back then, people still doubted the power of the World Wide Web. In fact, Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the web, was first rejected when he presented his idea. There was also a great deal of resistance, as skeptics were worried about the adverse effects on the economy and society as a whole.
In his article, Sergey Galyonkin, recalls trying to raise venture capital for the world’s first internet advertising company in 1995, and couldn’t find a single investor. Nobody believed it would take off, but in a matter of five years, that quickly changed.
If we had a looking glass into the future we would see that emerging technologies will become an integral part of our lives– much like the Internet and Web are today. AR and VR will follow a similar trajectory to that of the World Wide Web.
There are definitely skeptics in this space too, with distress over a plausible “hyper-reality” if we merge AR with our current world. Although it is important to take these potential issues into account, we will certainly develop ethics around interactive technology as we move forward.
Emerging tech will transform industries across the globe. In particular, our education system, which has not radically changed in decades. Children thrive in an environment where they can tap into their creativity– and technology has the ability to customize experiences for each individual student and their learning needs. As computers and iPhones are strictly virtual, augmented reality combines both real and virtual content. Learning could be much more engaging if a student could put on a set of glasses and interact with a multi-dimensional image of the inside of a cell or a chemical element.
Galyonkin reiterates that “Virtual Reality holds the promise to be even more transformative than the flat Web was — reaching into every segment of every market and remaking it to be virtually accessible”. He mentions virtual reality touching industries like real estate, eCommerce, and entertainment.
Can we draw similarities to the rise of the World Wide Web and emerging technology? I like to think so. There will always be resistance to change and the unknown, but in the end, we will see how humans and technology can thrive together to create an exciting and transformative future.