Energy & Industrials

Energy & industrials companies are using augmented reality to drive innovation and efficiency.

End Market Overview: Manufacturing and Industrial Services companies were among the first to see how augmented and virtual reality technologies could improve productivity and profitability.

Companies using augmented and virtual reality in their manufacturing processes include, but are not limited to, Boeing and Ford. Uses span from basic training applications to VR-aided design solutions.

While consumers viewed initial smart glasses offerings, such as Google Glass, with skepticism, manufacturers and related maintenance and service companies saw great opportunity. Google Glass pivoted to focus on the enterprise with its Glass at Work program, and companies like Osterhout Design Group, Meta, Atheer, Six15 Technologies, Vuzix, and others have been developing and manufacturing smart glasses and related software for a variety of industrial use cases.

Software providers, including companies like SAP, APX Labs, XOEye Technologies, and others are providing smart glass software solutions that work on a variety of different hardware platforms for manufacturers and related companies to use in a variety of use cases.

Sample Use Cases:

Repairs & Maintenance – Employees can easily repair and provide related maintenance services to complex equipment and machinery with ease by following on-screen instructions on their smart glasses in real time. Rather than having to consult separate manuals or tablets, they can view instructions in their field of vision mid-job. Augmented reality allows for the simulated projection of images and video onto real life objects, guiding an employee through any services in real time. Augmented reality technology has proven to reduce equipment downtime and improve employee productivity because it eliminates the need for extraneous devices or paperwork and lets hands-on workers focus on the tasks at-hand.

Training – Employees on a factory floor use augmented reality smart glasses solutions to learn job specific tasks more quickly than through traditional training methods. And because smart glasses can record work as it’s done, properly completed work can be played back to new employees during of site training sessions.

Access to Experts – augmented reality solutions allow workers in the field to have direct access to experts without the need for experts to travel to work sites. This is possible because experts can see what field workers see in real time through smart glasses cameras and provide advice directly to them while they work.

Virtual Prototyping, Design, and Engineering – Augmented and virtual reality technologies can be used to create virtual prototypes, leading to a more efficient and less costly product design process with less physical prototyping necessary.

Ford Motor Company was an early adopter of virtual reality for use in product design. Microsoft HoloLens has demonstrated 3D design capabilities that will be useful in manufacturing and related product design fields.

Major VR & AR Players:

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