On November 2, 2022
RealWear debuts remote guidance tool AIRe Link on its Navigator 500 devices
Last month, RealWear, a manufacturer of immersive industry 4.0 solutions, services, and products, announced a critical partnership with Japanese remote collaboration service provider Konica Minolta.
The alliance enables RealWear to host Konica Minolta’s AIRe Link remote visual support tool on its portfolio of augmented reality (AR) headsets.
The RealWear partnership also allows Konica Minolta to leverage immersive hardware to enhance its Intelligent Connected Workplace portfolio, including AI, IoT, and 5G solutions.
AIRe Link by Konica Minolta is a remote support and guidance application which allows customers to share video feeds of a workplace procedure such as a repair operation so that an official expert can provide instructions.
Originally, Konica Minolta designed the AIRe Link service for smartphones and tablets. However, the RealWear technology partnership enables AIRe Link users to streamline customer service experiences by eliminating clumsy browser-based setups using integrated, immersive hardware.
Jon Arnold, the Vice President of EMEA at RealWear, added;
“At RealWear, we understand the importance of reducing response times, minimising unnecessary customer visits and improving first-time fix rates. With Konica Minolta’s AIRe Link application on RealWear Navigator™ 500, it’s now easier than ever to provide real-time assistance to Konica Minolta’s customers”
More than 6,000 technical experts use the AIRe Link solution to support frontline workplace operations. According to Konica Minolta, roughly 40 percent of its customer base are external parties proving the solution’s reliability as a workplace tool for many clients.
Additionally, in 2021, Konica Minolta won the Buyers Lab 2022 Pick Award in the Document Imaging Software category from Keypoint Intelligence for its remote guidance solution. The event awarded AIRe Link with the title “Outstanding Remote Support Tool.”
RealWear Provides Konica Minolta with Hands-Free Navigation
Integrating the AIRe Link service onto RealWear’s product portfolio enables customers to leverage the hands-free remote guidance application, allowing them to continue with a repair or perform other multitasking priorities.
Zdenek Vrbka, Programme Manager for Intelligent Connected Workplace at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe, noted that clients could solve most issues using remote visual support in combination with a smartphone. Although, based on the firm’s experience, they found that a smartphone application is not always practical for frontline operations.
“However, there are situations where the smartphone blocking one hand is an issue. That is why we decided to partner with RealWear – one of the market leaders in the assisted reality market – to add a hands-free application to our offering”
The Konica Minolta representative also explained how a hands-free, RealWear-powered AIRe Link application applies to various frontline use cases. For example, an on-site machine operator can use the new immersive AIRe Link solution to connect with a vendor to receive expert insight into machine configuration or a malfunction.
Additionally, Vrbka explained that on-site employees could adopt the AIRe Link solution to help junior engineers complete tasks with remote assistance from more experienced colleagues.
The Firm’s Adopting AIRe Link Today
As thousands of firms adopt the AIRe Link application to enhance workplace operations and communications between dispersed workers in the hybrid age.
One of Konica Minolta’s clients includes the Bruker Corporation, an international firm which offers scientific, analytic, and diagnostic instruments for molecular and materials research.
Bruker Corporation uses AIRe Link to connect with customers and see their issues instantly. The Head of Service at Bruker Corporation, David Burian, noted that his firm could remotely identify or fix a customer’s problems using the solution, avoiding unnecessary travel, expense, and CO2 emissions.
“The customer gets a solution faster, and we save travel costs and carbon emissions. It also significantly improves customer satisfaction and ensures the well-being of service staff”
Additionally, European energy provider EG.D is performing a pilot study with AIRe Link to analyse its benefits as a remote visual guidance tool. The Czech firm aimed to test the new information transfer option for its field service workers.
According to EG.D, Konica Minolta assisted it in its research, providing the energy company with crucial insights into successfully prepping, executing, and evaluating the performance of the AIRe Link solution.
David Šeda, the Project Manager at EG.D, said;
“The pilot study provided us with a better understanding of the possibilities of assisted reality in our company. We also gained exact data about the usage of AIRe Link by our employees. This is an important input for our discussion about the deployment options of assisted reality in our company”
More on RealWear
RealWear enables its hardware adopters to download the AIRe Link application via its Cloud solution. The firm debuted Cloud alongside Cloud Assistance in August, two software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, marking the firm’s transition from an immersive hardware firm to a digital solutions provider.
At the time, Andrew Chrostowski, the Chairman and CEO of RealWear, said;
“Wearable technologies are becoming more and more mainstream in the enterprise, and making deployments simple and frictionless is one of our key goals”
RealWear Cloud gives clients a dashboard with tools to track and manage immersive devices. Additionally, the service provides streamlined access to device updates, real-time data, and third-party applications, including Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Cloud Assistance helps on-site operations by providing a secure method of scaling fleets of RealWear AR devices, which reduces device downtime and increases productivity using real-time remote technical and troubleshooting support for frontline workers.
Additionally, in November, RealWear debuted a massive new hardware update, boosting its Navigator 500 device with an integrated voice controlled thermal camera.
RealWear designed the new Navigator 500 feature in collaboration with Teledyne FLIR. The thermal camera allows on-site technicians to record data like high-resolution visible-spectrum, thermal, and colour images to assist with machine maintenance operations.
Soon, RealWear will enable its Navigator 500 operators to share the new data options via integrated Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Webex Expert on Demand immersive collaboration applications.