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ABB Utilising AR Functionality to Aid Remote Technicians

ABB is in the process of introducing the Ability Remote Insights system arrangement to help its field service technicians perform key tasks and utilise augmented reality (AR) for communication.

The new AR functionality by ABB is set to feature within Ability, its range of digital enterprise offerings. The Ability Remote Insights service by ABB will offer an augmented reality interface to field service technicians. Some of the features offered by the system include screen sharing, remote guidance, and document sharing to aid technicians to perform designated tasks. According to ABB, the system will do more than just enhancing the speed and efficiency of remote technicians. It will also prolong the asset lifecycles and improve response times.

The company revealed that its augmented reality system can be utilised to enhance worker safety and offer training.

Michael Kerley, research and development manager of pulp and paper quality control and web imaging systems at ABB, released a press statement regarding the system. This technology is suitable for guiding remote field service professionals through tasks such as part replacement.

Kerley explained that the high-level remote support technicians can observe the same thing as a local user by using their AR devices. This enables them to guide users through different service actions.

Image source: ABB

ABB is supplying the augmented reality software and has remarked that it is hardware skeptic. In ideal scenarios, the system can be utilised in combination with mixed reality or augmented reality headsets like Google Glass Enterprise, Microsoft Hololens, and Vuzix AR glasses. The advantage is quite evident, as workers can use both their hands, whilst also being able to incorporate hand gesture controls for Remote Insights interface navigation. ABB has revealed that the augmented reality system can be used for working on tablets, smartphones and other types of wearable devices.

ABB, primarily an automation firm, is leading from the front in terms of mixed reality, virtual reality and augmented reality implementation into its range of enterprise products. The company, in its efforts to include these technologies, has been emphasising the aspects of AR and VR-powered applications for remote access and collaboration.

The augmented reality hardware sector is also witnessing developments congruent with the AR-driven ambitions of ABB. Google has made its Google Glass offering into an enterprise-exclusive product. Microsoft is also set to bring several new features to its much anticipated Hololens 2. These include features like eye tracking, lighter construction and a more expansive field of view. The system seems to be a promising tool for enterprise clients.

Many smaller firms are also investing in the AR hardware space. Earlier in the year, the X2 Glasses were debuted by ThirdEye Gen, a New Jersey-based company. The company claims that these are the lightest AR glasses featuring 5G connectivity.

ABB has revealed its plans to drive its ABB Remote Insight system into the workflows of various industries. It is currently collaborating with many field service companies and groups, for developing extensive AR applications with customised tools to meet customer requirements.

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