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Vendors Target $25B AR Solutions for the Energy And Utility Sector

AR and VR technologies, which were largely used by the gaming industry before, are being used to cut downtime during energy and utility site operations. The technologies are also cutting down spend in regards to personnel deployment and mobilization involved for monitoring activities.

The Honeywell Users Group conference, recently held in Madrid, Spain, offered a closer look at the changes that are to come. The event is usually held for the software company’s annual gathering for its automation clients.

The company offers a multitude of solutions, including VR offerings with centralized control patterns to help colleagues connect and share information. Video, graphics, and audio are all incorporated in real-time.

Users can perform back-ups by connecting to colleagues instantly, draw out instruction manuals with voice or eye-gesture commands, watch video demos instantly, and so much more. Drones can be incorporated for mast, power line and pipeline inspections, as well as aggregating voluminous data for multiple uses including analysis. If necessary, everything can be controlled through a headset.

Automation vendors report a reduction of around 30 percent of both output and plant downtime with such systems in place, which also raises throughput by 10 times. AR, robotics, and VR combined, spells great outcomes for industries that are well on their way to reducing costs.

Vendors are also hopeful of cashing in on the positive response. In an estimate by ABI Research, the energy and utility sector will reach a valuation of $18 billion, by 2022. That figure might even be higher, according to industry sources who estimate the 2022 valuation to be $25 billion.

Jason Urso, Chief Technology Officer, Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), proclaims that despite valuation estimates, the domain of AR offerings can fetch billions for his organisation eventually. He described that the old fashioned ways, compared to AR and VR solutions, are what paper maps are to Google Maps.

Despite valuation estimates, the domain of AR offerings can fetch billions for his organisation eventually. – Jason Urso

He stresses that AR solutions are more than just digital, as the interactive elements are invaluable, much like how Google Maps can help suggest routes, transportation options etc.
AR and VR are creating consistent outcomes, powered by real-time assessment of risks. In respect to the energy and utility sector, the technologies are set to fuel advanced automation mechanisms.

Based on a KPMG conducted survey which involved numerous CEOs, energy business leaders were optimistic, with 46 percent indicating revenue maximization, and 39 percent of them indicating better risk management and agility. Regina Mayor, Global Sector Head, Energy and Natural Resources at KPMG, highlighted how technology is transforming the energy sector, by enabling better rig safety, enhanced failure identifications and crew deployments.

Dr. Carole Nakhle, CEO of Crystol Energy, stated that the U.S. is the clear forerunner in terms of innovations, in light of the recent AR and VR tech developments. Urso points out that innovations will have a global impact, albeit at a different rate than expected. He stresses that AR and VR with big data can vastly improve operations.

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