For equipment manufacturers, the traditional approach to installing, maintaining, and servicing their equipment has become increasingly challenging due to the current travel limitations and changing nature of work caused by COVID-19. Industrial OEMs are turning to AI-powered Connected Worker technology to transform how they service and support their customers and ensure field service continuity during […]

For equipment manufacturers, the traditional approach to installing, maintaining, and servicing their equipment has become increasingly challenging due to the current travel limitations and changing nature of work caused by COVID-19. Industrial OEMs are turning to AI-powered Connected Worker technology to transform how they service and support their customers and ensure field service continuity during this unprecedented time.

Connected Worker technology combines augmented reality (AR) with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), allowing equipment manufacturers to improve the safety, quality, and productivity of their workforce both during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. 

Our vision at Augmentir is to transform connected worker technology with artificial intelligence and our software is the first of its kind to do so. Whether you have your own service force or work through a dealer network, equipment manufacturers can use Augmentir’s Connected Worker software platform to:

  • Enable your customers and 3rd party service companies to install, maintain, and repair equipment using easy to understand Augmented Guided Instructions
  • Provide remote and virtual support through integrated Remote Assist collaboration tools
  • Use AI-driven “True Opportunities” to shed light on inefficiencies and service, repair, maintenance process improvement opportunities within your direct service force, dealer networks, and customers

Connected worker software helps manufacturing and service teams improve safety, quality, and productivity across a range of use cases.

Manufacturing

  • Guided Instructions for Assembly, QA, MRO (maintenance, repair and operation): Personalized work instructions deliver the right level of guidance, based on worker proficiency, along with 80% reduction in training and authoring times.
  • Remote Assist for Engineering Support: Integrated remote assistance tools provide industrial- level collaboration and support remote problem solving, QA checks, remote factory acceptance tests, while greatly enhancing efficiency.
  • AI-driven Continuous Improvement: Granular data collection on every job drives insights into Scrap, First Pass Yield, Production Bottlenecks and AI- based True Opportunities.

Service

  • Guided Instructions for Repair, Warranty & Recall: Improves quality and efficiency by moving from paper- based to digital work instructions while providing enhanced insights into compliance and operations.
  • Remote Assist Supports a Multi-tier Service Network: Integrated remote assistance provides a level of remote and virtual support to customers and dealers that they have never had before.
  • AI-driven Continuous Improvement: Day after day, year after year, AI-driven True Opportunities find ways to improve your processes, procedures, and worker skills.

It’s critical that we recognize this time as a major turning point in the way frontline workers interact and perform daily operations. Manufacturers will continue to face challenges in a post-COVID world and connected worker technology will allow them to keep their workers safe and businesses operating.


Augmentir Offers Free Use of its Remote Assistance Tool for Frontline Workers to Help Companies Address the travel and social distancing issues related to COVID-19 As COVID-19 continues to spread across North America, the CDC has suggested that businesses implement remote work policies and travel restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus. The […]

Augmentir Offers Free Use of its Remote Assistance Tool for Frontline Workers to Help Companies Address the travel and social distancing issues related to COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to spread across North America, the CDC has suggested that businesses implement remote work policies and travel restrictions to help slow the spread of the virus. The situation has become more troublesome over the past few weeks, and many companies are looking for ways to help limit business disruptions while keeping the health of employees a top priority.

At Augmentir, the health and safety of our employees, as well as the employees of our customers and partners is our top priority. Therefore, in a response to COVID-19, Augmentir will be offering free use it’s Remote Assist Tool for the remainder of 2020 in an effort to help the many businesses affected by the sudden increase in work-from-home policies and travel restrictions resulting from the global outbreak of the virus.

During this challenging time, video-conferencing, chat, and remote support and collaboration will be more important than ever in maintaining the wellbeing of employees while also enabling people to continue to work and businesses to operate. Augmentir’s Remote Assist tool helps to minimize the negative impact that COVID-19 is having on businesses by providing a remote collaboration and support solution that can be adopted in less than 60 minutes, so that workers, technicians, and customers can get the support they need to do their jobs without compromising health, safety, or productivity.

Augmentir’s Remote Assist Tool – remotely connect your workforce and support customers without travel

Augmentir’s Remote Assist Tool, a component of the company’s Connected Worker platform, is an augmented reality (AR) solution designed to guide frontline workers with augmented, step-by-step-instructions, whenever and wherever they need support.

The solution is available on both mobile devices and AR-enabled smart glasses, and allows users to remotely collaborate through a live video stream and directly communicate through audio. Both the user and the remote expert will be able to add annotations to the video stream so they can quickly diagnose the issue and determine a solution to move forward.

  • Connect your workforce with your internal subject matter experts: For equipment makers that have support teams in the field, Augmentir’s Remote Assist Tool allows them to remotely connect and collaborate with your subject matter experts to help troubleshoot and diagnose field service problems. For manufacturers, help keep your employees safe and avoid travel by allowing technicians on the shop floor to remotely connect with subject matter experts.
  • Connect your customers to your tech support teams: Keep your internal tech support teams safe by remotely connecting with customers to help quickly diagnose and troubleshoot issues.
https://youtu.be/02jJDkouZqw

Deliver a remote support solution in days

As company work procedures and daily routines are changing quickly due to COVID-19, we are happy to provide a solution that can be implemented quickly and easily. Companies that sign up will have free use of the tool for the remainder of 2020, and have access to the following features: 

  • Stream live video and audio to remote experts to improve issue resolution and remote knowledge sharing
  • Guide your field technicians and customers with live annotations for enhanced collaboration
  • Support remote users on their existing devices as well as AR-enabled smart glasses

Global efforts continue to focus on lessening the spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus. The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this public health threat. As companies must rethink their processes and approach during this time, we hope that offering our Remote Assist Tool for free will give businesses and workers the technology and support they need.

The current COVID-19 crisis has impacted almost every industry worldwide, forcing businesses to implement work from home strategies, discontinue travel, and scale back on operations. Industrial and manufacturing businesses have been particularly affected by this due to reduced frontline worker availability, supply chain issues and the need to create social distancing workplaces for the health […]

The current COVID-19 crisis has impacted almost every industry worldwide, forcing businesses to implement work from home strategies, discontinue travel, and scale back on operations. Industrial and manufacturing businesses have been particularly affected by this due to reduced frontline worker availability, supply chain issues and the need to create social distancing workplaces for the health and safety of workers while also keeping them connected.

But in an industry that relies on the bulk of its operations to be carried out on-site, how can manufacturing businesses remain at capacity and keep frontline workers engaged during a time of remote working and travel restrictions?

Many leading manufacturing businesses are looking to Connected Worker technology to help manage these issues and keep up with operations. Through the use of augmented reality (AR) combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), a connected worker platform allows manufacturers to take advantage of digital information to carry out tasks on site and complete jobs. Here are 3 major ways connected worker technology is helping keep manufacturing businesses stay afloat during COVID-19:

 

  1. Flexible work arrangements that support social distancing
    As a result of COVID-19, manufacturers have initiated policies that encourage remote working, eliminate non-essential travel and instruct employees who are sick to stay home until they are better. This directly impacts the progression of operations that typically take place when multiple workers collaborate onsite. With on-demand remote expert functionality, onsite workers can quickly pull in an offsite colleague when their expertise is required. Procedures, videos, realtime data and more are readily available to intelligently guide and help workers on the job.

  2. Reduced complexity and downtime
    Manufacturers can expect a learning curve as they assess strategies and implement new ways to work more at home and less on the shop floors. Using a connected worker platform allows companies to pivot quickly in order to retain the workforce and reduce downtime during learning periods. Frontline workers are able to receive fully augmented, guided instructions on any device to improve productivity, quality and customer satisfaction.

  3. Gather insightful data to track progress during the crisis with AI
    It’s critical for manufacturers to monitor processes and track progress during this time so that they can make quick adjustments to ensure overall optimization. Incorporating AI into an AR strategy goes one step further by enabling true organizational optimization using the rich stream of activity data to recommend improvement actions to frontline workers, continuous improvement specialists, trainers, manufacturing engineers, and operation and service managers.

As this pandemic crisis continues to spread worldwide, manufacturers will likely continue to face challenges and look to connected worker technology to keep their workers safe and their businesses operating. It’s also important to recognize this as a major turning point in the way frontline workers interact and perform daily operations in the future. 

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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.


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 […]

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.

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 […]

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.”


 

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 […]

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.