One such innovation that companies across industrial sectors are looking to in order to innovate and gain new efficiencies is mixed reality (MR). MR is a technological capability that allows individuals to use spatial computing headsets to view and interact with data, represented as holograms, in their real-world environments.
From a business perspective, this computing technology enables a method of data interaction that is intuitively understood by the human brain while keeping end-users heads-up and hands-free.
According to Colin Masson, Global Industry Marketing Director at Microsoft, manufacturing organizations are currently using MR technologies to facilitate the following:
“The (manufacturers) who were well into their journey are creating dramatic gains right now in terms of productivity, agility, and stability… and speed to market,” said Masson.
“In the case of Mixed Reality we’ve seen mass acceleration in its adoption at scale… We know this is here to stay. What happened over this last year isn’t the art of the possible isn’t just possible, it can be achieved at scale.” Adopting new technology can be an intimidating, but necessary, exercise. However, don’t allow the fear of the unfamiliar to stop you from maximizing efficiencies in your key business processes.
By following five critical steps in your MR deployment strategy, you can ensure scalable success, impact your organization’s bottom line, and position both you and your organization as industry leaders.
If you don’t already have an immediate problem in mind to tackle, take an inventory of specific pain points that are impacting your operations. Critically examine these issues, then select the one which could be solved using MR for remote support situations, improved comprehension, inspection, training, or collaboration. If there are workers who need support from specialized experts or more senior workers (OEM in internal), you have a use case for an MR-enabled remote support tool.
Defining a ‘SMART’ scope will help manage the expectations of all parties and stakeholders involved in your MR implementation while keeping the project on track and within a predefined timeframe and budget.
Successful MR solution deployments always have a higher rate of uptake when two project champions are selected.
One should be at the management level and be responsible for the planning, implementation, management of the implementation, and ensuring that project key performance indicators are tracked and reported.
The second should be at the operations level and a member of the end-user group who is keen on the immediate impact of the tech and its future possibilities. This person will be responsible for ensuring the solution is being used and for helping other users with troubleshooting.
Having two project champions also helps ensure that the implementation remains operationally focused. Organizations that focus on real, operation impact versus sandbox, innovation-lab projects tend to experience a greater deal of success and scalability with mixed reality.
For many, mixed reality technologies are completely new. To push this point even further, some end-users can even misunderstand the very nature of the technology altogether if not properly introduced to the tech and trained on how to use it.
To avoid this, we recommend training the end-user group through play. Mixed reality hardware requires a unique set of input functions and gestures in order to interact with applications (think: the clicking of a mouse button to select an app or the pinching of a phone screen to zoom in on an image). To train users on how to use these functions and gestures, giving each end-user the opportunity to play games that come on various MR hardware is an effective and approachable way to learn how to interact with content in this new computing system.
For example, the Microsoft HoloLens comes equipped with a game called RoboRaid. This game has users practice the air tap (click) function on various fast-moving targets (in the shape of attacking robots).
Before moving forward with an MR solution, ensure that the software vendor has adequate support and training resources to enable ease of:
Not all software vendors are created equal. Because MR is a relatively new technological category for many companies and end-users, ensure that your vendor is a partner first and a vendor second. This will ensure that your implementation is as smooth and pain-free as possible.
Still have some questions on how to implement MR or how MR remote support can help your technicians and engineers facilitate complex troubleshooting or inspection whenever in the world the HoloLens user or the expert resource is?
Through the implementation of RemoteSpark, we’ve helped our clients solve critical downtime events, reduce MRO-related travel by 60-75%, and reduce production downtime by 30%.
We’re here to help.
For more information on best practices for deploying an MR system for remote guidance, consider downloading The Ultimate Guide to AR Pilots. This guide contains step-by-step instructions on how to effectively implement, scalable AR/MR pilot programs.