Augmented Reality (AR) is an innovative technology that is being increasingly used in many industrial contexts. AR enables users to view virtual images on top of the physical world in real-time and interact with the digital elements in the physical context.
AR systems have multiple applications and offer many advantages, including the ability to create unique collaborative experiences. It’s a solution that improves training and education and can revolutionise maintenance in the industrial sector.
We will look at how collaborative Augmented Reality works and what the benefits are, to gain a better understanding of how we can fully leverage this technology to optimise company activities that could benefit from more collaboration.
What is collaborative Augmented Reality?
These days, workplaces are increasingly complex environments where it is crucial to balance field work with remote work for the purposes of environmental sustainability, cost rationalisation, increased efficiency and improved safety standards.
AR opens up a new frontier for remote collaboration, providing the technology needed to create the perfect synergy between workers, regardless of their geographical location. Collaborative Augmented Reality is a way to overcome the limits of distance and promote collaboration between departments, teams, technicians, employees, companies, and even institutions.
Applications of remote collaboration with AR
Using AR software and hardware solutions, engineers can collaborate remotely with technicians operating in the field, to improve the inspection, repair, and maintenance of industrial systems and equipment.
Plus, in-house engineers can collaborate with an external supplier’s engineers, for example by assessing a problem detected with a machine and finding a solution together that will create value along the entire supply chain.
Collaborative AR can also be used in training, as employees can take part remotely in advanced training events organised in other locations, facilitating access to training resources that would otherwise be hard to find in some places and ensuring that the workforce can acquire high-level skills.
The same applies to education. Compared to video lessons and online courses, collaborative AR technologies also help with remote technical training, allowing students to actively participate in practical activities carried out in workshops and labs, interacting with perfectly recreated virtual tools.
This technology is also useful in the design, development, and prototyping of new products. For example, automotive companies can organise collaborative tests of new car prototypes with all the departments involved; road tests can be monitored remotely by teams of designers located in different countries around the world, who can interact with the driver and each other.
It can also make it faster to achieve authorisation from public or private organisations, by allowing inspectors to collaborate remotely during conformity tests of new company products, improving time to market, and reducing costs and inefficiency.
AR remote collaboration: benefits and perspectives
Remote collaboration using AR technologies opens up new opportunities in various industrial contexts, from engineering processes to training and the educational world.
Specifically, collaborative Augmented Reality offers several benefits for companies:
- It improves the remote onboarding of new employees, helping new resources to settle in and minimising the risk of mistakes due to a lack of training;
- It reduces the physical distance between companies, suppliers, professionals, and customers as the parties can access collaborative experiences that improve interaction, regardless of their geographic location;
- It optimises recruitment and new talent acquisition practices, as candidates can be effectively assessed remotely before a company hires professionals that live in other provinces or countries;
- It provides access to skills not available in the company, through remote collaboration with foreign experts or experts who can’t get to the company site;
- It reduces the costs of professional training, optimising the resources available for the workforce to acquire skills and for essential periodic updates;
- It improves the efficiency and safety of field operations, as information can be shared in real-time and experts can communicate with each other and with technicians in the field instantly.
AR remote collaboration tools
The creation of unique collaborative experiences requires the use of state-of-the-art AR technologies specific to this kind of application. This is AR hardware and software for next-generation remote collaboration, which provides optimal support even in complex contexts like the industrial sector.
A smart, efficient, and intuitive solution is Kiber 3, an innovative and reliable AR/XR communication technology that allows remote users to experience real situations as if they were actually there, while operators in the field can get instant support and stay focused on their work.
Kiber 3 is an all-in-one, hands-free solution developed specifically for industrial operations that require instant expertise and remote collaboration. For example, with the Kiber K3S visor, field operators can access instructions from experts while keeping their hands free, and experts and customers can monitor the work remotely and collaboratively.
Through a specific software platform, all connected users can experience what is happening as if they were actually there, communicating with each other and with the technicians in the field. Kiber 3 can also be used in hazardous industrial contexts, such as in potentially explosive atmospheres, thanks to its ATEX – Zone 1 certification.
Kiber 3’s AR technology is a powerful tool for remote collaboration, which facilitates interaction between teams working remotely and helps to improve the safety, efficiency, and productivity of industrial operations in a revolutionary way.