Why Going Beyond Augmented Reality with Augmented Operations will take the Service Workforce of the Future to the Next Level

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.”