Gartner recently published their annual Hype Cycle for Manufacturing Operations Strategy and Innovation in Manufacturing Industries. These two Hype Cycles focus on the leading-edge technologies and methodologies that will significantly change how manufacturers innovate, deliver and support products and services.

Augmentir was recognized as an important player in both Hype Cycle reports.

Emerging Technologies in Manufacturing

According to the report, “manufacturers that adopt the breakthrough opportunities presented as innovation profiles on this Hype Cycle will accelerate digitalization that increases the agility and ability to innovate products and business operations”.

These Hype Cycles, which reflect the convergence of the physical and virtual worlds, present several key mature and emerging technologies, including the following:

  • Connected Worker: Connected workers use digital technologies to improve and integrate their interactions with both physical and virtual surroundings. Through the use of digital work instructions, as well as augmented/mixed reality delivered through mobile/wearable devices, they are able to make faster and better decisions that optimize and improve a process or workflow that they participate in.
  • Immersive Experiences – Manufacturing Operations: According to Gartner, immersive experiences refer to enabling the perception of being physically present in a nonphysical world or enriching people’s presence in the physical world with content from the virtual world. The report covers three kinds of immersive experiences: Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Virtual Reality (VR).
  • Machine Learning: Machine learning is a technical discipline that identifies patterns and generates predictions based on analyzing large sets of data. According to Gartner’s research: “In manufacturing operations, machine learning (ML) can take advantage of available data and rely on the algorithms to identify patterns and correlations. It can also use them to predict outcomes, to find the best course(s) of action and to control processes. Typical use cases include eliminating unplanned downtime and stoppages, increasing yield optimization, reducing energy usage, improving product quality or stabilizing production processes.”

Augmentir is mentioned in the context of Connected Workers and Immersive Experiences in Manufacturing Operations as software and solution provider.

Augmentir’s Approach to Connected Workers and Immersive Experiences in Manufacturing

Augmentir sits and the intersection of these innovation profiles, using artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to amplify the value that digital technologies bring to the connected worker.

Digital Work Instructions help guide connected workers with visual aids and augmented with AI-driven insights and contextual information enable workers to perform at their best.

Integrated Remote Expert assistance helps workers resolve issues faster using insights from Augmentir’s AI and information from the guided procedure.

Augmentir’s AI uses granular data  to identify the largest opportunities in improving the skills of the frontline workforce, and helps to drive continuous improvement throughout the organization.

At Augmentir, our AI identifies patterns and generates insights based on analyzing data from connected workers. These insights improve worker performance as well as provide positive impact on training, operational workflows, and quality. According to Gartner, “The possibility of predicting performance is extremely attractive for manufacturers. This is driving the strong interest in ML. ML is an essential enabler of artificial intelligence (AI), smart factories and intelligent automation”.

Our view at Augmentir is that the purpose of a connected worker platform isn’t simply to deliver instructions and remote support to a frontline worker, but rather to optimize the performance of the connected worker ecosystem. Artificial intelligence is uniquely able to address the fundamental macrotrends of growing skills gaps and the loss of tribal knowledge. With an ecosystem of content authors, frontline workers, subject matter experts, operations managers, continuous improvement engineers, and quality specialists, there are were dozens of opportunities to improve performance.

If you’d like to see how our AI is able to uncover and rank “True Opportunities” across your workforce and improve overall worker performance or drive continuous improvement, sign up for a free 30-day trial of Augmentir.

Artificial Intelligene

This post by Augmentir CEO Russ Fadel was originally published on Medium.

I have been a fan of Marc Andreessen since the Netscape days — he has consistently predicted the macro changes in numerous marketscapes before virtually anyone else. Recently, I was watching Marc on Youtube “Why You Should Be Optimistic About the Future” and found his discussion on AI particularly enlightening, and in complete alignment with Augmentir’s journey. The entire video is worth watching, but the discussion on AI runs from between the 7:00 to 9:00 minute mark.

Some of the most insightful (paraphrased) quotes include:

  • “There is a more fundamental question — is AI a feature or an architecture?”
  • “A16z sees this with most start-up pitches now — ‘here are the 5 things my product does…and oh yeah, AI is always bullet number 6.’ Number 6 because it was the bullet they added after they created the deck”
  • “If AI is a feature, then this is correct, where every product will have AI sprinkled on it.”
  • “We (a16z) believe AI is an Architecture, and if it is, everything above this will need to be rewritten.”
  • “Ultimately, the goal of AI is to answer questions, even before the have been posed.”

At Augmentir we had to make a strategic decision at the time of company founding (late 2017), as to whether AI was going to be a feature of our connected worker platform or, whether it was going to be the architecture that our connected worker functionality ran on. We didn’t frame the decision as elegantly as Marc did, but we nevertheless asked, “will AI be a feature of our product or will it be pervasive?”

Even though no one in our space had chosen this path, we decided AI would be pervasive. We postulated that the purpose of a connected worker platform wasn’t to deliver instructions and remote support to a frontline worker, but rather to optimize the performance of the connected worker ecosystem. We knew that AI was uniquely able to address the fundamental macrotrends of growing skills gaps and the loss of tribal knowledge. With an ecosystem of content authors, frontline workers, subject matter experts, operations managers, continuous improvement engineers, and quality specialists, we predicted that there were dozens of opportunities to improve performance.

By building our connected worker platform on an AI architecture, all data is automatically pipelined, labelled, and cleansed, and is immediately available to start generating insights and recommendations. On this journey, the scope of what we can use AI for has even surprised us. Our initial thoughts were on personalizing instructions and content to make each frontline worker perform this current task safely and as quickly as they can, given their current proficiency. This immediately expanded to a generalized True Opportunity™ system that uses AI to stack rank where an organization has the largest capturable opportunities across all stakeholders. The range of this is astounding: which jobs have the largest monthly opportunity, which workers can benefit from targeted training, what is the optimum time to perform any given task, what inline training material can benefit from an update, what content/procedures would benefit the most from an update, etc.

The future looks even more fantastic — AI bots offer a realistic opportunity to capture tribal knowledge and convert it to a scalable corporate asset, and AI Diagnostic bots to make everyone an immediate expert.

This is only possible when you view AI as an architecture, not as a feature.

If you’d like to see how the AI architecture of our connected worker platform is able to uncover and rank “True Opportunities” across your workforce and improve overall worker performance or drive continuous improvement, sign up for a free 30-day trial of Augmentir.


Enterprise AR

Judging by the plethora of images we see in the media of individuals wearing Augmented Reality (AR) sets in all aspects of their work-life, one could assume that Enterprise AR has been widely adopted amongst many companies. However, the reality of Enterprise AR is that most industrial companies have had difficulty creating sustainable value when attempting to implement the technology. One reason being is that most early AR vendors were overly focused on delivering information and digital work instructions to industrial workers via wearable devices, which has not produced the expected efficiency benefits.

Since many of the early adopters of AR solutions failed to justify cost and complexity compared to the minimal gains in efficiency, they got stuck in “pilot purgatory” where they weren’t able to successfully emerge from an initial proof-of-concept initiative.

First Wave of AR Solutions Failed to Find Widespread Adoption

But why is it, that a technology that promised to generate overall success and savings in resources, costs and time has failed to deliver? If we take a step back and examine the first wave of enterprise AR, we can pinpoint some of the reasons why Enterprise AR alone has been unable to provide the value that manufacturers are looking for causing a lack of widespread adoption:

  • Early AR solutions are characterized by high costs and long implementation cycles, which made them accessible only to the largest manufacturing enterprises that have high innovation budgets and significant resources.
  • Solutions were not tailored to small and mid-market manufacturing companies. 
  • Poorly implemented software solutions and early hardware that didn’t perform to the comfort, safety, and reliability expected by the users
  • Existing solutions only deliver information to frontline workers and with that have not been able to provide value beyond the initial one-time gain in productivity. 

Most importantly though, once the solutions were finally deployed, it became obvious that the software failed to provide value beyond the initial one-time gain in productivity, which was  frequently seen in use-cases where hands-free operation was the real source of the benefits derived.

Expanding the Value Proposition of Enterprise AR by Focusing on the Connected Worker

But just because the first wave of AR implementations have mostly failed, doesn’t mean that the technology doesn’t have the potential to generate great efficiency gains for industrial companies. We simply need to take a new approach. 

What’s been overlooked so far in all use cases and solutions examined in Harbor Research’s latest report, is the potential derived from collecting data about the work from this newfound connectivity to the worker. 

If you could envision workers as a new source of information to improve your processes, and if you used AI to analyze that data to create insights into every aspect of their productivity and training, you could benefit the entire organization.

How a vision like this can be put into practice is the focus of Harbor Research’s latest report “Transforming Industry with Augmented Operations.” Stay tuned for more insights into the report by following this blog series or download the full report here.

Ready to Dive In?

If you’re ready to test out all of the features of the easiest connected worker platform on the market and start creating sustainable value throughout your manufacturing organization, sign up for a free 30-day trial of Augmentir.


manufacturing challenges

In the last ten years alone, billions of dollars have been invested in cloud technology, networking infrastructure, computing hardware, and software platforms to solve manufacturing challenges and revolutionize the service enterprise. Until recently, few of these investments have been directed to support the activities of the hands-on or frontline workforce. Entrepreneurs with long experience in industrial software describe these frontline workers as the “forgotten component” of the enterprise, people hidden from view as if by a “cloak of invisibility.”

Recently, organizations have turned to emerging technologies like Enterprise Augmented Reality (AR) to solve manufacturing challenges such as the imminent skills gap or the need to continuously improve productivity and quality. This market was created when wearable computers/smart glasses and augmented reality emerged as technologies that offered the promise of delivering live information to front-line workers in an immersive manner to be consumed hands-free. But despite the ubiquitous marketing images of people in smart glasses and VR goggles, Enterprise AR has had trouble generating sustainable value for industrial organizations and has therefore not been able to gain traction beyond test-pilots.

Harbor Research recently set out to examine a new software platform that takes a refreshingly new approach to integrating AR and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a comprehensive offering that better enables manufacturing and services industry workers to perform their jobs.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be examining the findings in the Harbor Research report and take a deep dive into:

  • Why Enterprise AR alone fails to provide value in manufacturing
  • How we can make frontline workers part of the digital journey through AI and AR
  • How a new revolution in worker productivity called “Augmented Operations” provides a step-change beyond traditional Electronic Work Instructions and Enterprise AR
  • How manufacturers can leverage the concept of Augmented Operations to continuously improve their operations  

Can’t wait to see the results? You can jump right into the the full Harbor Research Report and discover a new software platform that leapfrogs the current Enterprise AR market’s noise, clutter, and failures by cleverly unifying core work-instruction and process-development tools with AI and machine learning in a single, scalable solution.

Ready to Try Augmentir for Free?

If you’re ready to test out all of the features of the easiest connected worker platform on the market and start creating sustainable value throughout your manufacturing organization, sign up for a free 30-day trial of Augmentir.

artificial intelligence

Augmentir CEO Russ Fadel outlines why the next wave of AR implementations in the service industry must harness also Artificial Intelligence.

There has been a lot of advocacy for using Augmented Reality (AR) in the field service industry due to benefits from improved field technician performance to reductions in field service operating costs. However, what these early success stories don’t mention is how companies have been slow to adopt this technology and have struggled to move beyond the pilot phase.

It was believed early on that wearable technology would be the core of Enterprise AR by 2018 and thus, vendors were overly focused on getting work instructions on a variety of wearables. Many also heavily invested in using AR to present information to technicians with rich content and 3D CAD overlays. Since then, it’s become clear that these investments haven’t delivered enough value to the enterprise due to a lack of adoption.

What has been overlooked is the opportunity to create sustainable value throughout the entire organization by connecting to service workers not only by delivering personalized information, but also using artificial intelligence and machine learning to augment the intelligence of the organization.

This is the beginning of a new era, an era not of Enterprise Augmented Reality, but of Augmented Operations where AR is but one of many ways to present data, support, and guide field workers. This transformation is driven by the combination of two key technology trends – Enterprise AR and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning.

Why is Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Important?

Historically, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) has been applied against external data sets. A recent trend however, is to embed AI in software platforms, having it act on the internal data, eliminating the estimated 80% of AI/ML project efforts around labelling and cleansing external data. This is frequently being applied to solutions focused on improving business processes where the human worker is at the center.

At Augmentir, we use our AI engine to identify patterns in noisy data generated by technicians and highlight areas that can improve overall worker performance and also provide personalized procedures based on the proficiency of each worker in real-time.

The AI engine is able to continually deliver insights and recommendations based on that human worker data which is valuable intelligence that can be used to help drive continuous improvement across the entire organization – from operations to training to quality.

  • AI helps each worker perform at their peak by changing the instruction to one that optimizes for speed, while meeting quality and safety targets.
  • AI understands the patterns and outliers in the vast instruction/job execution data to identify the largest opportunities in the areas of: productivity, worker effectiveness, training materials effectiveness, and instruction effectiveness. Insights and recommendations are made on how to capture these opportunities and drive continuous improvement on a year-over-year basis.
  • With AI, companies can capture tribal knowledge through interactions between experts and frontline workers, making the expertise a scalable corporate asset over time.

With this concept of Augmented Operations (using AI/ML to deliver intelligence across the organization from your augmented workforce), we are seeing a change in how organizations are making informed decisions, empowering workers, and improving the productivity of humans in the workplace.

Augmenting the Service Workforce of the Future

Despite some early momentum, Enterprise AR alone isn’t enough to deliver sustainable value in the field service sector.

What has been ignored is a real opportunity to create sustainable value throughout the organization – not only giving workers the ability to consume information and apply knowledge, but also augmenting the intelligence of the organization relative to how it engages empowers, and continually improves its human workforce. At Augmentir, we are calling this Augmented Operations, and we believe that this will transform the service workforce of the future.

To learn more about how Augmentir’s platform leverages AR and AI to continually improve the productivity of your frontline workforce download our free white paper, “Rise of the Augmented Worker.”


Ready to Dive In?

If you’re ready to start addressing the skills gap problem within your organization and want empower your workforce with the tools they need to continually improve productivity and quality, sign up for a free 30-day trial of Augmentir. Test out all of the features of the easiest connected worker platform on the market at no risk and start creating sustainable value throughout your manufacturing organization.

Augmented Worker

This article was originally published on AI Authority.

Leading manufacturer of operator interface systems and industrial displays, STRONGARM, has deployed Augmentir’s AI-Powered Augmented Worker Platform. The innovative producer of Hardened Workstations acknowledged that the AI-driven Augmented Worker platform has improved efficiencies and quality within a fortnight of its deployment. Currently, Augmentir, Inc. is a leading provider of Augmented Worker software for industrial companies.

Last month, Augmentir announced it has closed an oversubscribed funding round, led by Pritzker Group Venture Capital, with participation from Lerer Hippeau, current investors, and HOLT Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of HOLT CAT.

STRONGARM has expanded the use of Augmentir’s AI-Powered Augmented Worker Platform across its operations, resulting in improved technician performance and training, better insight into job status, and improved quality.

What STRONGARM Achieved with AI-Powered Augmented Worker Platform

In an official press release, STRONGARM posted,

“Because the process was so easy, our technicians were able to quickly incorporate Augmentir into their daily operations, and the results were immediate – technician productivity improved, and inspection times went down. Furthermore, when one of our senior and most experienced technicians retired recently, we were able to onboard a new technician and trust Augmentir’s AI engine to guide him during the learning curve to get (the) product out the door at 100% quality so that we didn’t miss shipments. Once Augmentir’s AI engine determined that the worker had become proficient, it recommended that the instructions should be adjusted to enable him to complete the job faster while still meeting quality and safety goals. This has resulted in a 20% reduction in average build time in our most complex workstations.”

Steve Thorne, General Manager of Operations at STRONGARM stated,

“We chose Augmentir because their platform allows us to not only digitize and standardize on our manufacturing work instructions, but also to intelligently close the skills gaps when on-boarding new technicians. In addition, it’s AI-based ‘True Opportunity™’ system enables us to gain insight into how our technicians are performing, and autonomously identifies our largest capturable opportunities across our entire operation.”

“The use of Augmentir across our manufacturing operation represents an important step for us in our digital journey and continued commitment to quality and innovation in the products we build,” added Steve.

Augmented Worker Demonstrates Future of Manufacturing Lies with Digitally-Enabled AI and Robotics

STRONGARM designs and manufactures ergonomic and environmentally protected workstations for companies in a wide range of markets, including food, pharmaceutical, CPG, packaging, and transportation, with additional interface solutions for specialized verticals including STRONGARMenergy and STRONGARMhealthcare.

The company credits its long-term leadership position to its commitment to innovation. Since its 1990 founding, STRONGARM has maintained a robust “lot-size-one” offering wherein STRONGARM collaborates with clients, and then designs innovates, fabricates, and assembles these customer-specific products, all in-house.

Russ Fadel, Co-Founder, and CEO at Augmentir, said, “STRONGARM is a great example of a small, innovative manufacturing company that was able to capitalize on the emerging trends around Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation.”

Russ added, “Augmentir was uniquely designed to meet the needs of industrial companies of all sizes, enabling even small to mid-sized manufacturing companies to get the benefits of Industry 4.0 today. Our SaaS-based ‘consumerized’ enterprise software approach makes trying, buying, and owning Augmentir simple, with free pilots, low IT support, and best in class usability.”

According to Thorne, STRONGARM started seeing value from Augmentir within 10 days of their Augmentir rollout. “The process for getting our operation set up with the Augmentir platform was easy and painless, with little required IT overhead,” stated Thorne.

STRONGARM plans to expand its use of Augmentir into the manufacturing operations of their ruggedized workstations used in the Oil and Gas industry.

The Augmentir Platform includes complete functionality that makes it easy for industrial companies to improve their operations across a range of manufacturing and service use cases. The Platform provides software that helps guide frontline workers with augmented, step-by-step-instructions, assist workers with live remove expert collaboration, and utilizes its AI engine to deliver organization-wide insights and recommendations that focus on improving the quality and productivity of frontline workers.

Augmentir is the first of its kind to combine enterprise Augmented Reality (AR) with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) to empower frontline workers, helping workers perform their jobs with higher quality and increased productivity while driving continuous improvement across the organization.

enterprise augmented reality

Field Service News, a leading online journal dedicated to the Field Service industry, recently posted an article featuring Augmentir as one of their top three picks for best new solution providers in the Field Service Sector. Field Service News spoke with field service management professionals and field service solution providers across the globe over a 12 month period to cherry-pick the top three solutions that meet their needs.

What landed Augmentir on this notable list?

1.) Strong Leadership Team
The first reason is the strong leadership team with founding efforts at Wonderware, Lighthammer, and ThingWorx. The Augmentir team has a proven track record delivering industry-leading solutions in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

2.) AI Powered Approach
In addition, Field Service Now calls out Augmentir for being different from the many Augmented Reality providers that have suddenly noticed the potential in the field service industry and says, “the really interesting thing about Augmentir is that they’ve gone far beyond the initial approach that many of their peers are offering when it comes to Augmented Reality (AR) and dived straight into an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered approach. In their own words, they position themselves as the first software platform built on Artificial Intelligence in the world of the augmented or connected worker.”

3.) Powerful Platform with an Easy-to-Use Interface
Finally, taking an AI approach is important when it comes to the use of AR in Field Service, because when leveraged alongside AI, AR becomes much more useful and powerful. Augmentir is a 100% AI-first company and understands that AR is the interface that makes the most sense for modern field service operations.

If you’re ready to test out the easiest augmented worker platform on the market so you can start improving overall worker performance and drive continuous improvement, sign up for a free 30-day trial of Augmentir.

ar and ai
Dear Augmentir Customers and Friends,

This week we announced that we closed an oversubscribed funding round that will support our mission to transform the frontline workforce with our AI-based Augmented Worker Platform.

This round was led by leading venture capital firm Pritzker Group Venture Capital, with participation from Lerer Hippeau, our current investors, and HOLT Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of HOLT CAT.

Not only does the successful closing of this round further validate our unique approach of using AI and AR to support frontline workers, but it also enables us to expand our global footprint, further increase the functionality of the platform, and make it even more accessible to companies across the small, mid-sized and large spectrum.

Together with our investors and partners, we look forward to reaching even more companies, more workers, and more innovators, while defining the future of work.

With a unique and proven track record that includes founding efforts at Wonderware, Lighthammer, and ThingWorx, our executive team has the unparalleled domain expertise to deliver the next software innovation that will revolutionize the manufacturing and industrial market and shape the frontline workforce of the future.

We are excited to continue this journey with you, to support your frontline workforce with augmented procedures and help your organization drive continuous improvement through AI-driven insights.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Russ Fadel, CEO, Augmentir

If you’d like to test out all of the features of the easiest connected worker platform on the market and start creating sustainable value throughout your manufacturing organization, sign up for a free 30-day trial of Augmentir.