New technologies impact the way industries operate and function—some with lasting implications. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two such revolutionary technologies that have moved beyond experimentation toward higher adoption across industries.
Industries that are most aggressively deploying AR/VR applications demand reliability and time-critical services such as energy and utilities, and telecommunications. Also included are industries that rely heavily on precision, safety, and quality results such as aerospace and defense and healthcare. These industries place increasing value on reducing risk to ensure high-quality, responsive, and positive outcomes.
Let's take a look at how these industries are deploying reality tech.
Aerospace and Defense
Safety and quality are mission-critical for this sector. Organizations prioritize training and continuous improvement of their processes to close skill gaps, ensure regulatory compliance, and reduce the risk of defects getting into products out in the field. AR and VR apps have become one of the most cost-effective and flexible methods of improving training effectiveness and augmenting field instructions and task flows.
Maintenance and repair operations are a critical and complex segment of the A&D sector. Companies in this space have traditionally relied on paper-based work instructions and either classroom-based or on-the-job training. These training formats are time-consuming and can also disrupt ongoing operations and require layers of quality control. AR technology is a viable option to replace paper-based instructions with digital step-by-step work instructions provided to workers in real-time. This gives workers direct access to resources when they need them to focus on their core tasks without cumbersome paper instructions, improving productivity and minimizing re-work.
AR/VR technologies are leading to improved patient care. Wearable devices enable medical professionals to diagnose and treat their patients, even if they cannot examine them in person. Doctors can also interact with patients or specialists at far off locations throughout a medical procedure for more optimal outcomes. AR technology helps doctors perform surgeries more accurately and precisely with digital imagery, 3D views of organs and body parts, and real-time digital overlay of patient information. VR applications improve the quality of medical training by allowing students to understand human anatomy better through an immersive virtual environment.
Energy and Utilities
Applying reality technologies in energy and utilities offers the potential to improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, enhance safety, and widen the scope of services delivered by this industry. With AR/VR, experienced personnel in utility companies can train new employees on equipment installation, maintenance processes, and repair procedures in a simulated environment. Businesses are using augmented 3D models of equipment to view internal components and explore the functionality in depth. Trainees can learn better safety practices without getting exposed to real danger.
Reality technologies also improve asset management and maintenance practices for utilities. AR may be used to overlay digital information on the real-world view through a smartphone to help field technicians repair damaged equipment and rectify power outages faster and more effectively. When a subject matter expert is not available on-site, AR-enabled mobile devices can help communicate in real-time. Experienced personnel can guide the on-site technicians in resolving the issue. Engineers can determine the extent of damage or wear and tear to particular assets and deploy preventive maintenance procedures to the field teams.
With the continual evolution of technology, wired and wireless telecom networks are becoming increasingly complex. The inspection, maintenance, and repairs of devices call for skilled professionals experienced in handling sophisticated hardware. If such technicians are not available on location, they can still inspect the telecom equipment by utilizing the remote assistance feature in augmented reality applications. The direct benefits are time and cost savings as the inspection duration becomes shorter, and the technician does not need to visit the site to resolve issues.
The telecom sector is also using AR/VR to repair and maintain service lines and underground or undersea cables. Identifying issues and completing repairs on time in such a sophisticated infrastructure is simplified by giving technicians in the breakdown area markers to quickly find and troubleshoot problems with real-time video instruction or digital overlays of component and system images. This improves response time and enhances customer service.
In the era of Industry 4.0 and digital technology, we are only limited by our imagination. AR and VR applications promise to bring about a paradigm shift in the way industries function. From changing the way factory shop floors look and operate, to training new and existing workers and improving response to maintenance and repair calls, businesses are increasingly embracing reality technologies to enhance productivity while reducing their total cost of ownership.
Even though AR/VR's potential has not been fully realized, a new era of possibilities is now available to all industries. New and innovative use cases and business models are likely to emerge as the two technologies become mainstream.
To learn how Cyient's AR/VR solution delivers increased productivity across industries, see the demos of virtual reality training applications for different industries and visit us at www.cyient.today/arvr.