As a digital economy breaks down boundaries between industries, supply chains, employees and customers, we will see new remote access technology creating interconnectivity between companies, workers and consumers in 2018. Company support staff will be able to ‘remote in’ to cars and set-top boxes, delivering connected customer support across millions of IoT devices from the road to the living room. Workers will increasingly ‘remote into’ devices in other departments, divisions or training centres, creating cross-departmental collaboration, learning and oversight, says Adam Byrne, COO at RealVNC.
Future remote access technology will even enable remote human intervention in vehicles, creating interconnected transport ecosystems where everyone from technicians to fleet managers can ‘remote in’ to cars to fix faults, warn drivers, reduce emissions or even view police car chases in real-time from any location.
Below RealVNC outlines five ways remote access is set to transform our lives:
- Bank managers will help you from within cashpoints
2018 will see the transformation of the cashpoint into a smart, all-seeing, all-doing ‘bank in a box’ that enable people to obtain audio or video support from bank managers, deposit coins and even make ‘cardless’ withdrawals without ever entering a branch.
The key will be the creation of ‘smart’ cashpoints that replicate bank branches, by using the remote access technology that IT help desks use to allow bank staff to ‘log in’ to ATMs and guide customers through transactions in real-time. Crucially, banks will be able to see inside the ATM and fix faults or remotely update and even upgrade cashpoints from any location.
Banks are particularly sensitive to the loss of an older customer demographic because these are also the wealthiest customers and they are the most resistant to automation and branch closures due to the loss of human interaction. Financial institutions face the dilemma of ensuring that branch closures do not impact a lucrative market segment that attaches considerable importance to customer service and human interaction. Remote access technology will now enable banks to automate services without losing the human touch.
- Trainees and support staff will be able to ‘remote in’ to training centres and even living rooms
As the digital economy increasingly pulls down the barriers between geographies, sectors and people, we will begin to see companies and consumers using remote access technology to deliver real-time, remote customer support inside everything from data centres to living rooms.
Already, some pioneering enterprises are reaching out into customer homes by enabling staff to ‘remote in’ to TV set-top boxes and deliver real-time customer support from any location. Other companies are conversely allowing customers to ‘log in’ to training servers in other countries and receive virtual training from any location in the world.
The same is happening for workers. Some enterprises will allow real-time interconnectivity between tens of thousands of employee devices by enabling employees to ‘remote into’ everything from ‘smartboards’ to tablets across departments in real-time, creating cross-sector training and collaboration and allowing companies to oversee and enforce policies from anywhere, on the move.
- Vehicle fleets will be remote-controlled
The combination of remote access technology and live telematics data means we could soon see ‘remote control’ of vehicle fleets with technicians able to log in to vehicles to fix equipment on the move or even log in to police cars to remotely guide emergency services in real-time during pursuits.
Fleet managers and technicians will be able to remotely re-calibrate equipment or fix software faults on the road from an iPad, remotely predicting and preventing maintenance issues before they happen. They will even be able to see if a chilled vehicle refrigeration unit is turned off, remotely trigger an emergency cooling system to safeguard food cargo or see if a vehicle is exceeding CO2 targets and inject AdBlue into the exhaust, creating remote-controlled commercial vehicle fleets.
We’ll simultaneously see more drivers or passengers able to ‘remote into’ home devices such as CCTV cameras from their vehicles.
- Hospitals will begin to be transformed through ‘remote healthcare’
We’ll see the progression towards fully interconnected healthcare systems involving a live exchange of data between devices in hospitals and in the field, enhancing the effectiveness of healthcare decisions and the targeting of resources.
Technicians will be able to ‘remote into’ a huge range of critical devices such as MRI scanners, and trainee surgeons could even log into operating theatres to get remote training. Real-time audio, visual and text data will be shared between a medical ‘internet of Things’, enabling decisions to be readjusted in response to live information.
We’ll be closer to the emergence of a smart, adaptable hyper-efficient connected healthcare ecosystem bound together by a network of devices feeding vital real-time information to the people and systems that need it the most.
- Virtual reality supported by remote access will become a key tool for training and industrial design
Augmented reality has already gained popularity in the consumer space, with the success of games such as Pokémon Go, and we’ll now see a huge increase in the use of VR for more commercial applications in 2018. Microsoft HoloLens for example is now being used by Ford to design cars and also being used by Japan Airlines to train engineers.
This year we’ll see more applications of VR to train engineers across industries and soon we’ll even begin to see remote access being used in conjunction with VR to help technicians with remote maintenance and assistance to fix and avoid faults in trains, airplanes and much more.
The author of this blog is Adam Byrne, COO at RealVNC