The new reality of connected field service

Augmented reality (AR) enhances the way we see, hear and feel by bringing elements of the virtual world into the real world. Many people associate augmented and virtual reality with the gaming industry, but the technology offers far more than entertainment for a niche group.

Industry forecasters predict that by 2020 the market worth for AR will reach $100 billion (€83.41 billion). Moreover, analysts predict that the enterprise AR market will lead the consumer market, driven by the need to improve safety, productivity and efficiency, says Manuel Grenacher, CEO of Coresystems.

The continued growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) introduces new complications and headaches to various industries. The field service industry, which will grow to a $5 billion (€4.17 billion) market by 2020, is one example. The real-time connectivity of the IoT in a mobile-first world has conditioned customers to expect faster service than ever before, putting pressure on technicians who rely on traditional service methods for issue detection, such as phone calls and/or service tickets.

In addition, as the IoT continues to grow and become more complex, the industry develops a greater need for service technicians with more technological expertise than ever before. Thus, there are fewer expert technicians who can meet customers’ growing expectations with more complex issues, leading to longer travel and wait times.

To remedy this, the field service industry is becoming an early adopter of AR technologies to keep up with this new level of improved capacity, ability and performance. Per a study by the Service Council, 68% of respondents attributed the increasing complexity of service products as a driving trend toward AR solutions.

Two key drivers for an optimal field service experience are first-time fix rate and duration of onsite visits, and the industry has a lot to gain by integrating new AR innovations into its business strategy. One way AR will help service technicians is with the camera of their smartphone. A technician connects to the customer’s smartphone camera via an app.

The technician can then see the issue through the customer’s camera and walk the customer through issue detection and possible solutions. This greatly reduces onsite visit times, as the technician now has a better understanding of the issue at hand. Another benefit to the app is when a technician is needed onsite, the app (through GPS functions) can notify the user of the status of their request and location of their technician. This ability to be constantly updated on the status of your ticket can really put a user’s mind at ease and by meeting real-time expectations.

Manuel Grenacher

The second way AR helps onsite service is with AR glasses and their ability to reduce training time for junior technicians. A less experienced technician can perform onsite tasks with the more skilled technician behind the wheel, providing real-time visual guidance for the onsite technician.

Normally, a highly skilled technician can only visit a specific number of clients a day. However, by remotely connecting these expert technicians to remote worksites, field service companies can handle multiple clients without travel time, increasing the number of clients they can support in a day and reducing overall cost of the service.

By combining the latest advancements in video and augmented reality functionalities, customers can expect faster issue detection and problem resolution from start to finish, resulting in better customer satisfaction, experience and loyalty overall.

The author of this blog is Manuel Grenacher, CEO of Coresystems

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow OR @jcIoTnow


9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

How can IoT optimise the bearing supply chain?

Posted on: September 24, 2021

In 2020, stock management issues were estimated to cost UK manufacturers 66 billion GBP  because of disruption caused by the pandemic. Consequently, the quest to improve efficiency, cut waste and enhance supply chain operations is one that suppliers know all too well. Here Chris Johnson, managing director at miniature bearings specialist SMB Bearings, explains how the Internet of Things

Read more

Guardara uncovers key zero day vulnerability in IoT message broker software

Posted on: September 24, 2021

Developer-focused code security specialist Guardara announces it has uncovered a Zero Day Vulnerability in open source software from EMQ, the provider of open source software for IoT devices. The vulnerability, which was uncovered by a non-security expert using Guardara’s powerful testing tool, could have significant implications for connected IoT devices depending on NanoMQ.

Read more