Augmented Reality Remote Support Software

User friendly AR remote support software made to perform. Argus brings your expertise everywhere at any time. 

Use Cases

Product Features

User-friendly, high-performance video call platform for Realwear & Android.

Optimal call experience

Optimized for low bandwidth and high latency environments. Adjust your video settings during the call.

Expert toolkit

Place markers to assist and guide field workers. Document by making high quality screenshots during the call.

Easy management

Create multiple organizations and manage an unlimited amount of users. Add devices and see usage stats.

Custom solutions

Integrate Argus into your organization:

– Dedicated call server in your IT environment

– Connect a user database 

– Match brand identity 

How to get started

Step

1

Create Organization

Step

2

Install
Argus

Step

3

Add users & devices

Step

4

Start your first call

Step

1

Create Organization

Step

2

Create Organization

Step

3

Add users &
devices

Step

4

Start your first call

Pricing

Pay per device and add unlimited users. Contact us for custom sulutions.

Free Trial


1 device, unlimited time

Get Started
Subscription A

 

40

 

 

per device, per month

Get Started
Subscription B

 

100

 

 

per device, per quarter

Get Started
Subscription C

 

350

 

 

per device, per year

Get Started
Free Trial


1 device, unlimited time

Get Started
Subscription A

 

40

per device, per month

Get Started
Subscription B

 

100

per device, per quarter

Get Started
Subscription C

 

350

per device, per year

Get Started

Self-managed

Host your own platform on-premise or in the public cloud.

Product Features

Everything you need to unlock remote expertise, anywhere.

User management
  • Add / delete / manage users
  • Create multiple organizations
Expert toolkit
  • Place markers during a call
  • Take screenshots during calls
Video stream
  • Manage video quality settings during call
  • Optimized for low bandwidth &
    high latency conditions
Device management
  • Manage multiple devices
  • See usage statistics
Platforms
  • Realwear
  • Android
User management
  • Add / delete / manage users
  • Create multiple organizations
Expert toolkit
  • Place AR markers during a call
  • Take screenshots during calls
Video stream
  • Manage video quality settings during call
  • Optimized for low bandwidth &
    high latency conditions
Device management
  • Manage multiple devices
  • See usage statistics
Platforms
  • Realwear
  • Android

Hardware

Argus is available for Realwear & Android. 

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Get in touch

Everything you need to unlock remote expertise, anywhere.

  • Demkaweg 11 3555 HW
    Utrecht Nederland
  • +31 30 71 16 158
  • sales@argus-remote.com

Hardware

Realwear
Android

Contact

sales@argus-remote.com
+31 30 71 16 158
Blog

All Rights Reserved © 2020 VR Owl  – Argus is a product by VR Owl  –  Download Terms & Conditions

Purchasing and licensing
Software features
  • What are the video settings options?

    In most cases Argus uses VP8 codec compression. The values will vary between the device’s capabilities and the available network conditions. By default Argus is set to automatically determine between these settings. with the following settings per profile:

    • High

    Audio: up to 50kbps
    Video: up to 2500kbps
    Resolution: 720p to 1080p
    FPS: up to 60fps

    • Medium

    Audio: up to 40kbps
    Video: up to 1750kbps
    Resolution: 460p to 720p
    FPS: up to 30fps

    • Low

    Audio: up to 30kbps
    Video: up to 500kbps
    Resolution: up to 360p
    FPS: up to 30fps

  • How many devices can I add to my account?

    As many as you want. You can upgrade your account to the amount of devices you need.

  • Can I record videos when using Remote AR Remote Expert?

    No, you can not record videos with Argus. You are able to make screenshots and save them locally.

  • Can I place markers when connected to Argus Remote Expert?

    Yes you can. To provide instructions and guide the other party, the expert is able to place markers. These annotations can be placed on points of interest.

  • What are the main features of Argus AR Remote Expert?

    The main features of Argus are:

    • Videostream:
      We focus on optimal video stream  and call experience as the core feature of Argus. Making sure you stay connected under the most extreme circumstances.  You can change the video settings on the go to ensure you always have a stable connection. Argus functions under low bandwidth conditions on remote locations.
    • Expert toolkit:
      During a call you’re able to take screenshots and save them locally.  To provide instructions and guide the other party the expert is able to place markers. These annotations can be placed on points of interest.
    • Multiplatform:
      At the moment we support Realwear and Android and plan on supporting headsets like the Vuzix, Toshiba and others in the near future.
    • User management:
      Add, delete and manage users. Connect user directories via Auth0.
    • Device management:
      Add, delete and manage devices in the field. Mix of devices is possible.
Support
  • Installing Argus on an Android device

    Argus is available for Android devices and can be downloaded via an APK. In this article we’ll cover how to install Argus for Android.

    Argus for Android

    The Argus Android app allows you to use Argus on a smartphone without the need of an AR headset. It has all the features offered by Argus like high quality video calling and our Call features. 

    Download and install Argus

    You can install Argus on your Android via an APK

    1. Enable “Unknown resources” on your phone. Depending on your device you can use one of these settings to enable it. 
    • Under settings go to “Applications”, then proceed by selecting “Unknown sources” and enabling it.  
    • Under settings go to “Security”, then proceed by selecting “Unknown sources” and enabling it.
    1. You can download the APK directly to your smartphone. The APK will be shown in the notification bar after the download has been completed.
    2. You can also download the APK to your PC and copy it via USB cable to your phone.You can find the APK on your phone by searching for it with the file browser.
    3. Open the APK and the installation of the Argus will start. 

    Smartphone compatibility

    Argus uses standardized video connection just like any other video calling service like Skype. This means that most Android devices are compatible. 

    Other devices

    Do you have other (AR) devices which you would like to use Argus on? We also offer custom solutions to fit your needs. Contact us at sales@argus-remote.com

  • Request a trial

    In this article we’ll cover how to request a trial for Argus remote. To determine if Argus fits your business case we offer a free, unlimited trial for 1 device. This means that you can use Argus without any costs, for as long as you want. You can add unlimited users but you can only have one device connected to your account.

    To request a trial:

    • Go to our dashboard 
    • Sign up by entering your email address and password 
    • Verify your account by clicking the link you received by email 
    • After login you can create your organisation and you will be directed to your dashboard 

    Once the trial process is completed you will be able to add your device, manage users and place your first call. To upgrade your account and add more devices contact our sales team at sales@argus-remote.com

  • Supported platforms

    In this article we’ll cover the supported platforms and browsers for Argus.

    Argus dashboard works in Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

    Argus support the following platforms:

    We will add more devices in the future. If you have a special request, contact us at sales@argus-remote.com

  • Call quality and bandwidth

    In this article we’ll cover how to change the video stream quality. Argus is optimized for low bandwidth and high latency conditions. You can set video quality settings during a call using the settings icon on the left side of the screen.

    In most cases Argus uses VP8 codec compression. The values will vary between the device’s capabilities and the available network conditions. By default Argus is set to automatically determine between these settings, with the following settings per profile:

    High

    Audio: up to 50kbps
    Video: up to 2500kbps
    Resolution: 720p to 1080p
    FPS: up to 60fps

    Medium

    Audio: up to 40kbps
    Video: up to 1750kbps
    Resolution: 460p to 720p
    FPS: up to 30fps

    Low

    Audio: up to 30kbps
    Video: up to 500kbps
    Resolution: up to 360p
    FPS: up to 30fps

  • Call features

    Argus offers two main tools which can be used during a call: screenshots and placing markers. During a call you’re able to take screenshots and save them locally. To provide instructions and guide the other party, the expert is able to place markers. These annotations can be placed on points of interest. In this article we’ll cover how to make a screenshot and how to place markers.

    Screenshot

    Select the camera icon to take a screenshot. When taking a screenshot, the headset user will see a countdown of 3 seconds, after which a high resolution screenshot will be taken. The screenshot will be placed in the top left corner of the screen. You can download or delete the screenshot.

    Marker

    Select the marker icon to place markers. These annotations can be placed on points of interest. The user will see a small dot appear on their screen. Argus does not recognize objects so the markers will move with the device’s screen. You can place as many markers as you want.

  • Add and manage users

    When using Argus there are two key components; users and devices. The amount of devices is tied to your license but you can add as many users as you want. This is handy when your device(s) are used acros locations or departments. In this article we’ll cover how to add and manage users.

    To start installation you need an Argus account. The Argus app has to be installed on your devices in order to add/manage devices on your Argus account. Only administrators can add new users. 

    User roles

    When you add new users to your account, you have the option to give the new user one of the following roles: 

    User. A user can only make calls with Argus and use the features within.
    Admin: An admin can do what every user can, but can also add/manage/delete new devices & users.
    Blocked: The user will be blocked from using Argus within your organization, unless an admin changes the role.

    When an administrator changes the rol of the user, the role will only change for that particular organisation.

    Adding a user

    As an administrator you can simply add new users using the dashboard. 

    • Select ‘add user’ under the tab ‘users’ on the dashboard.
    • Give your new user a name and a role. Administrator or user. 
    • Enter the user’s email and press ‘save’.
    • Argus will automatically send the user an email. It’s then up to the user to finalize the process.

    Finalizing users account

    The new user has to create an account on our website if they haven’t already. The new user will be added to the organisation as soon as they log in to their account. 

    Manage users

    You can manage your users under the tab ‘users’. As an administrator you can edit all the users by selecting the ‘pen’ tool. You can change users’ roles, see when they were last online, block them from using Argus and delete them from the organisation.   

  • Add and manage devices

    To add devices you need to register an account which automatically grants you a free trial, allowing you to add 1 device, free of charge. To add/manage devices to your Argus Account/organisation, the Argus app has to be installed on your devices. Only administrators can add and manage devices. In this article we’ll cover how to add and manage devices.

    Adding devices

    1. Go to ‘devices’ and select ‘add device’.
    2. Open Argus on your device.
    3. Scan the QR Code with your device or enter the pincode by saying letter and then saying the letter you need. For example: Letter A, Letter R, Letter G, Letter U, Letter S. If you do not get either of the options, say ‘open registration’ so the options will reappear.  
    4. Optional: Give your device a name and a location on the website and press ‘save’. 

    Managing devices

    The device has now been added to your organization. You can view and edit device info like the name, hardware, serial number, battery status and operating system by pressing the ‘pen’ button. If you wish to reattach this device, select the ‘reattach’ button to generate a new device code. Select the ‘trash’ button to remove a device. 

    Adding more devices

    You can add more devices by upgrading your license. Please contact our sales team at sales@argus-remote.com for more information. 

  • Switch to another organization

    As a user you are able to switch between organisations you have been invited to. To switch you need to have been previously invited by an admin. There are two options on how to switch organisations:

    Option 1

    During login you can choose which organisation you want to sign in to.

    Option 2

    After login, you can click on your profile, located top right of the screen, and switch between organisations.

    How to request access to an organisation

    Organisations are groups to which individual users and devices are assigned. You can switch between organisations if you have been invited to more than one by an admin. If you don’t see an organisation follow the steps in this article

  • Create and manage your organisation

    Organisations can be anything from different departments and locations or even companies you supply Argus to. Organisations are used to manage your devices and users from one central location. In this article we’ll cover how to create and manage organisations.

    Creating an organisation

    After registration you’re asked to create your organisation. You can choose a custom name and upload an icon. You can create one organisation per user.

    Manage your organisation

    Sign in to Argus and go to ‘Organisation Manager’. As an admin you have the ability to view your invoices, change your organisation’s name, upgrade to more devices and cancel the subscription. 

    Manage users and devices

    As an admin you can also manage devices and users and add. This can be done from the dashboard.

  • Pricing and licences

    In this article we’ll cover our prices and how it relates to your devices and users.

    Prices

    Argus offers a device/periode license model. You pay a fixed amount per device and per month, quarter or year. You can always upgrade your license and devices by contacting our sales department.

    Users

    The number of users connected to your account can be unlimited. Meaning that multiple users can use the same device. This may be relevant when your device moves across departments or locations.

    Our pricing model

    We offer a free trial where you can use 1 device for an unlimited amount of time. The trial device is always included with your license for free.

    Free trial:  1 device for an unlimited amount of time
    Subscription A: €40,- per device per month.
    Subscription B: €100,- per device per quarter.
    Subscription C: €350,- per device per year.

    Purchasing a license

    Send an email to sales@argus-remote.com with your company’s information and requested license to receive an invoice or if you have a special request. 

  • Calling with Argus

    The key feature of Argus is providing a stable connection under low bandwidth conditions and in remote locations. In this article we’ll cover how to make a call with Argus.

    Before your start

    To make a call you’ll have to make sure you followed the previous steps by Creating an organisation, adding a device and by installing Argus on your device.

    How to make a call with

    • The expert has to be logged in to Argus on the dashboard.
    • The person on site has to turn on the headset and open Argus.
    • For the Expert: Go to ‘devices’ on the dashboard and press the call button.
    • For the person on-site: When the call appears on your device’s screen, say the command ‘accept call’. For Android users press “accept call”.

    Settings and Toolkit

    You can change the video settings on the go. This option can be found on the left side of the screen. You can choose between low, medium, high and auto. This makes sure that you always stay in touch with the person being called. You can also add markers and take screenshots using our Call features.

    For further questions visit our support page or contact support@argus-remote.com

  • Installing Argus on a Realwear HMT-1

    In this article we’ll cover how to install Argus on a Realwear HMT-1 using either Realwear Explorer or Realwear Foresight. With Realwear Explorer you can install Argus on a single device, one by one. If you want to add Argus to multiple devices at once, it’s best to use Realwear Foresight.

    Before installing Argus make sure your Realwear is up to date, charged and connected to the internet. 

    Via Realwear Explorer

    Checklist:

    • Realwear Device
    • Mini USB cable
    • A Windows or Mac PC
    • A wired or wireless connection for your PC

    Realwear explorer is a software for Windows & Mac which lets you manage your individual Realwear device. You can install and manage your program using your mouse and keyboard, making for a much faster workflow

    1. Download the APK here.
    2. Download and install Realwear Explorer and open Realwear Explorer after installation.
    3. Once finished, connect the Realwear HMT-1 to your computer with a USB cable.
    4. Realwear Explorer will automatically detect your Realwear HMT-1.
    5. Drag the downloaded APK to the ‘drag and drop apks here’ window in Realwear Explorer, located in the top right of your screen. 

    Argus is now installed on your Realwear HMT-1. The next step is adding the Realwear to the dashboard. 

    Via Realwear Cloud/Foresight

    Realwear offers a program called Foresight which is especially handy to roll out to multiple devices and remote locations. You can add and manage multiple devices, see their information and when they were last online. 

    Checklist:

    • Realwear devices which are connected to the internet
    • A Windows or Mac PC
    • A wired or wireless connection for your PC

    Follow the instructions to install Argus using Foresight. If you need additional information you can download a guide here

    1. Download the Argus APK.
    2. Open Realwear Foresight and register.
    3. Open the App catalog and select ‘Add new app’.
    4. Fill in the form, upload the APK and press save.
    5. Go to devices, select ‘add new device’ and enter your device’s data.
    6. Go to policy, create a new policy and add the Argus app.
    7. Go to ‘device groups’ under the tab devices and select ‘add new policy’.
    8. Add all the devices you want Argus to be installed on.
    9. Restart all the devices and the installation of Argus will start automatically. 
  • Request access from an administrator

    In this article we’ll cover what to do when you can’t see your organisation.

    In this article we’ll cover how to request access from an administrator. An admin for the organization has to add you to the organization. Send your admin this article and let the admin follow these steps to add you to the organisation.

    User roles

    When you add new users to your organisation, you have the option to give the new user one of the following roles:

    User. A user can only make calls with Argus and use the features within.
    Admin: An admin can do what every user can, but can also add/manage/delete new devices & users.
    Blocked: The user will be blocked from using Argus until an admin changes the role.

    Adding a user

    As an administrator you can simply add new users using the dashboard.

    • Select ‘add user’ under the tab ‘users’ on the dashboard.
    • Give your new user a name and a role. Administrator or user.
    • Enter the user’s email and press ‘save’.
    • Argus will automatically send the user an email. It’s then up to the user to finalize the process.

    Finalizing the user’s account

    The new user has to create an account on our website if they haven’t already. The new user will be added to the organisation as soon as they log in to their account.

    Want to switch organisation? Follow the steps in this article.

  • What kind of support is offered?

    You can contact us for support at support@argus-remote.com, call us on +31 30 71 16 158 or check out our knowledge base.

  • How do I get started?

    Start by registration of your organisation on the Argus Dashboard. 

Supported platforms
Content
  • The 10 AR headsets and AR smartglasses for AR remote assistance

    There are several applications for augmented reality technology. Entertainment obviously, because playing games with AR on a smartphone can be a lot of fun. However, the most potential lies in professional use, with smartglasses for remote assistance being just one example. What devices are currently available and how do they stand out from the rest? On this page we will list the most popular devices and how they stack up against the competition. From operating system to weight and battery life, what are the best AR headsets on the market?

    What is AR remote assistance?

    When devices and tasks are checked, controlled and guided from an external location we speak of remote assistance. This could be a helpdesk operator telling you to switch the computer off and on again, it can also involve sophisticated software. AR remote assistance is an advanced form of decentralised collaboration, where the communication between professionals and audiovisual information is the key to success. Contact the experts for custom advice and tailor made solutions.

    Starting with AR and Remote assistance

    It would not be fair to say that AR glasses are a dime a dozen, but there are a considerable amount of options. In emerging markets such as these, there will be successes and failures, and the winners are not always obvious from the start. ODG (Osterhout Design Group) was a major player in augmented reality products, long before the current crop of brands and devices. As an experienced company with clients such as the US army in their portfolio they sure had the required expertise. The first few devices were sleek in design and promising in specifications. However, in 2019 ODG was no longer ‘reality’ and went bankrupt. It was heavily speculated whether Microsoft would ever release a new HoloLens mixed reality headset, which they actually did. It will not be a cash cow, however it will help grow the industry.

    The same applies to Google Glass, the infamous failure as a consumer product has received a second life in an Enterprise Edition. Speaking of failures, the last entry on the list below has not been able to deliver on their promises. The Magic Leap 1 sold about 6000 units instead of 100.000 planned units. That’s not a great look for this hyped 4+ billion dollar company. Meanwhile, established brands like Toshiba release impressive products without much fanfare. This means it’s important for professionals to examine all the available options, and separate the best ‘wear’ from the vaporware. So without further ado here’s our list of the best AR headsets and AR smartglasses for AR remote assistance … and some lesser candidates.

    1. Realwear HMT-1

    This compact AR headset features a monocular LCD screen with a 20 degree Field of View. The device runs on the Android platform. This device weighs

    380 grams with a battery life of 5 up to 12 hours. It’s possible to use the HMT-1 with regular glasses, and in combination with safety glasses and helmets. The adjustable band allows for continuous use without strain on the head. The speech recognition is especially solid, which makes this device very suitable for the workfloor. It’s possible to install Android APK files for customization.

    2. Vuzix Blade

    If you’re looking for a device that resembles a regular pair of glasses the Vuzix Blade comes pretty close. With merely 85 grams in weight and a more traditional frame, this device is comfortable to wear for a prolonged time. Therefore it’s unfortunate that the battery life of the Blade is 2 to 8 hours max. There had to be sacrifices made and the battery is clearly a weaker point of this sleek looking product. The 8MP camera with 720p video mode is fine however, and the 8GB internal memory is expandable. Keep in mind the Vuzix Blade is tethered to a smartphone, so it’s not a standalone device. This does make app management a bit easier compared to some other options on this list.

    3. Vuzix M300XL

    Unlike the previous entry this Vuzix product is a fully standalone device, which is quite an accomplishment considering the 150 grams weight. The design does push a bit hard on the ears though, which can lead to some discomfort during a longer session. The operating time ranges from 4 to 12 hours, which is pretty good. The Android based operating system can be navigated with both a touchpad in the frame and by voice-control. The last option does not work very well though, so for a true hands free operation the M300XL should not be your first pick. The Vuzix store is first in class though, and the device is very convenient to use.

    4. Vuzix M400

    This is the most expensive Vuzix product listed here, with a battery life of 6 to 12 hours and a dedicated remote control unit the higher price tag seems to be warranted. Also the 12 MP camera, high quality autofocus and built-in flash are premium features that will certainly increase productivity. The added controller makes operating this system particularly intuitive, and it compliments the accessible app store very well. The Achilles heel is again the poor implementation of voice control, that isn’t nearly as intuitive as it should be. With 190 grams it’s a bit heavier compared to the M300XL model.

    5. Daqri

    This item is in a league of its own, which translates to a considerably higher purchase price compared to most entries on this list. With 335 grams of weight and a battery duration of merely 4 hours this is not an augmented reality headset that is designed for all-day wear. This product shines in use, the gaze based system is intuitive and offers a true hands free operation. The binocular design offers a stereoscopic 3D image with perceived depth, and the glasses come with a seperate processing unit which adds considerable computing power to this device. The Linux based Daqri VOS operating system is proprietary, which means standard apps can not be used.

    6. Toshiba DynaEdge

    We can safely say this device is an engineering marvel, with 50 grams of weight and a 6 hour average battery life. This device runs on the Windows 10 operating system, which could be beneficial for software development. The diminutive weight creates a comfortable experience, however a supplied computing unit is required for operation. The built-in touchpad is responsive, but the navigation buttons do not work in all available apps. Apart from the high quality screen the camera is also very capable. This pair of AR glasses is suitable for remote assistance and can handle copious amounts of data.

    7. Epson Moverio bt-300

    The number is not the only similarity with the Vuzix M300XL, the form factor and technical specifications also remind us of that other AR headset. With 238 grams this is not the lightest but also not the heaviest option, the most outstanding feature is the standard controller which makes navigation easy and comfortable. The way the lenses are designed can lead to reflections which in some situations can lead to discomfort. The Moverio apps are well done which makes for a good user experience. The camera is well suited for photos, there is 16 GB memory on-board.

    8. Google Glass Enterprise Edition

    The front-runner of augmented reality glasses is back with an all-new edition geared at hands free operation and remote assistance. The battery life is not optimal with 2 to 8 hours, the design however is very close to an actual pair of spectacles. It should come as no surprise that Google Glass Enterprise Edition features the most advanced Android system on this list. Android Oreo in fact, which makes it easy to use APK files on this device. In terms of hardware specifications this version of Glass does lag behind the competition, it could do with an upgrade in this regard.

    9. Microsoft HoloLens

    Although this product is quite a bit different from the others on this list, it does warrant a spot in this top ten. Perhaps in particular for the remote assistance options. Skype is a Microsoft product and the HoloLens runs on the Windows 10 operating system. Just like the Daqri we mentioned before, and the Magic Leap 1 below, this dual lens design creates a stereoscopic 3D image. In terms of processing power this headset is certainly among the most impressive, it’s also the largest product by far. Do note there is a second edition HoloLens available now, the successor to the first mixed reality headset on the market.

    10. Magic Leap 1

    Just like the HoloLens the Magic Leap 1 offers a superior image fidelity, which makes it more suitable for creative use than industry applications or logistics. This is the long awaited first product from the multi-billion startup Magic Leap, as a brand they are still relatively unknown. Technologically this device is impressive, the major problem is a lack of useful applications. In order to maintain a lightweight device the 1 is sold with an additional processing unit. With about 3.5 hours of use it’s not an all-day device, but within certain fields it could prove to be a worthwhile addition. The proprietary Lumin OS requires specific knowledge to code for.

    So, what are the best AR headsets for remote assistance?

    As you can tell, there’s no clear winner here. Some headsets are incredibly lightweight, others are very powerful. The prices range from below 1000 euros but run up to 5000 euros. Some devices work completely standalone while others require a separate processing unit. Even though the Magic Leap 1 can be considered a flop so far, the mere ambition elevates this particular mixed reality headset to a special device. In fact, there’s no best option, just better products for particular applications. Therefore it’s important to ask for advice and decide in which way augmented reality technology will benefit your organisation.

  • 5 great use cases for AR remote assistance

    You have to see it to believe it. This old adage certainly applies to augmented reality. Until a person actually wears and uses an AR device, the potential just doesn’t register. For instance, the impact AR has on remote expertise and assistance is often not appreciated fully. Unfortunately we can not transform the screen you are using right now to an augmented reality wearable. So in order to provide some more insight into the advantages of AR assistance we will show you five great use cases.

    1. Collaboration AR Remote assistance

    One person can never know everything. Teaching course after course to the same employees is just not very efficient. You will end up with a workforce consisting of “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” personnel. It’s usually more effective to teach the staff collaboration skills, so they can work together on projects using their own unique skills. With augmented reality the threshold for collaboration is greatly reduced, just rely on AR remote expertise and call in an expert that can assist you. This does require a database of employees and unique skills for the staff to pull from, this way an expert in a certain field can be contacted immediately. For some reason many organisations organize staff meetings, roundtable discussions and presentations for the upper level positions, meanwhile other employees are left to their own devices. By implementing AR within the company for remote assistance, collaboration will be enhanced throughout the organisation.

    2. Repairs with Augmented reality

    When a machine breaks down it’s always at an inconvenient time. Repairs can take a long time, especially if a certain skill or person is required to fix the problem. There are two ways of speeding up the process; either hire more skilled employees and have them wait until something breaks down, or make use of remote expertise and let a specialist take a look without actually being present. This is possible by using AR technology. An employee with the basic skills to repair a machine can use digital manuals and such to look up information, at the same time an expert in a different location can help the colleague step by step. The expert can see and hear thanks to a camera and microphone, it’s like this person is looking over the shoulder of the employee on site.

    3. Customer service with AR Remote assistance

    The level of customer service has been greatly improved in the last couple of decades, in no small part due to the increased usage of internet technology. Instead of driving to a service center, customers can now contact a customer service representative online. By chat, voice assistance or in a video call, whatever is required. For some businesses the stakes are very high, and the consequences can be enormous. However, it’s not always feasible to support your clients at every single moment. With AR technology it’s possible to place a customer service employee right there in the room without actually being there. The necessary equipment can either be purchased by the client, rented or supplied within the standard contract agreement. If a client needs assistance they can use an AR wearable device for personal assistance right away. And that is the next step in customer service.

    4. Quality control with Augmented Reality

    There are many reasons to invest in quality control. If you are a manufacturer it’s important that the yield is optimized, defective products will cut into the profits. There are several methods to assure the quality of both the output as the complete workflow. Remote expertise allows for a more hands on, or perhaps eyes on approach. For instance, a specialist can look through the eyes of an employee while working. Not literally of course, but the eye of the camera on the wearable AR device. This allows the organization to examine every step in the proces, from the very start up to the final product. Using remote expertise the best in the field can analyse the situation in order to improve the quality of the process and the output. Instead of random visits QA can be embedded as a standard method within the organisation.

    5. Education with AR Remote

    Learning doesn’t stop at the moment a diploma is handed out by a school. Education is a lifelong process, either by practice, learning on the job or courses within a company or organization. Augmented reality remote expertise is a new and effective method of teaching new skills, that can be implemented in many ways. For instance, an assembly line worker can be coached in real time using AR prompts on screen, with live commentary by a coach. The employee does not have the stress of a trainer looking at their hands, even though someone is actually following every move through the AR wearable device. A practical application is in medical fields. A medical professional can communicate with a patient, while wearing an augmented reality device. The communication with the patient remains personal, at the same time a remote coach can provide the professional with added information and expertise.

    These are just five practical examples of AR remote expertise. For every field and sector there are many advantages waiting to be discovered.

  • How your industry can benefit from AR remote instructions

    To stay competitive a company needs to innovate. Either by optimizing internal processes, integrating new technologies from outside sources or both. Virtual and augmented reality are new tools that help industries optimize their processes without directly replacing them. In other words, they provide new building blocks instead of tearing down what already works. Take AR remote instructions for instance, this a very practical application of augmented reality in an industrial environment. Although the technology is cutting edge, it doesn’t (necessarily) replace manual labor and human expertise, but it enhances the way operations are executed in a more subtle manner. This allows companies to build upon a solid foundation and ‘augment’ business operations. How can you benefit from AR remote instructions within your company?

    How does augmented reality work?

    There are three complementary technologies that have some overlap but also offer some significant differences:

    1. Virtual reality creates a virtual environment for both individuals as in collaborative use. When a person wears a VR headset they visually leave the room they are located in, and enter a digital space. Although the physical presence does not change, the illusion of a new location is created. This can be useful for various applications including panoramic 360 video, or collaborative decentralized work environments.
    2. Augmented reality adds a visible layer to the real environment, for instance a picture-in-picture with a manual or turn-by-turn directions on a navigation system. Wearable AR devices project an image for the user without completely obscuring their regular vision. This can be achieved with smartphones or tablets, with augmented reality glasses the user can still use both hands to perform various operations. This technology is often used for remote instructions.
    3. Mixed reality is in simple terms an enhanced version of augmented reality. In this case the digital additions are integrated within the environment as if they were physically present. Take a hammer for instance. With AR you could show a picture of a hammer. When moving your head the picture will remain fixed within your field of vision. With MR the device can project a hammer onto the table. Even if the user moves his/her head the hammer will remain in the same place on the table.

    In this article we will focus on AR remote instructions, with some MR applications. VR technology is significantly different and can be implemented in other ways.

    Helping others without being present thanks to AR Remote instructions

    It’s a common occurrence within most industries; an employee requires some assistance or information about the task at hand. This might involve calling a person, leaving the working space in order to find a colleague, and several physical movements by multiple participants. Now let’s take a look at the very same scenario but this time using AR glasses. The employee has a question about the operation of a machine. This person calls a specialist, either by choosing from a menu by hand or by voice. Just like a Skype or Messenger call a direct connection is made with a specialist who can assess the situation in both audio and video. This expert provides the employee with instructions on location, without either person leaving their actual physical position. The second scenario might seem complex at first, in practice it’s actually much easier.

    Three advantages of AR remote instructions:

    1. Time: Instead of finding the right person to assist, the expert is just a tap or a voice command removed from the location. Just like with a customer service helpdesk, the colleague can be located within the same building, or at the other side of the world.

     

    1. Safety: In the first scenario we described above the worker had to move from the work space, and invite another person onto the work floor. This means more employee movement, which will always pose safety risks. There’s a reason many industries use safety clothing and hard hats, unnecessary movements increase risk.

     

    1. Efficiency: Remote instructions save time and costs, increase productivity and enhance safety. This automatically leads to a higher level of efficiency, which is of course very important for every industrial organization.

    These are just three advantages, there are many more. Ask your AR specialist about all the options for your company.

    Low threshold approach with AR remote instructions

    While working on advancements within the industrial sector, there are several routes to take with various goals to accomplish. Although augmented reality can be classified as ‘disruptive technology’, the implementation within an organization should not disrupt the regular workflow. Because AR and MR are both additive technologies, this means roll-out can be executed in a non-disruptive manner. This means the current output of the company will not be adversely affected, the enhancements will not cause temporary interruptions in the workflow. This does require meticulous planning beforehand, although this process is involved it can be executed within a limited timeframe. Employee training is minimal if the hardware and software is prepared beforehand, with tangible goals in mind.

    Augmented reality based remote instructions are ‘no regret’ decisions for the industry, that will create new opportunities for the industrial sector.

  • What is Remote Maintenance and how can your industry use it?

    The basic definition of remote maintenance means that computer systems can be supervised and controlled from a remote location. This is done by placing software on local systems, that can be accessed from other locations. Often these systems work through an internet connection, although the software can also conduct local analysis, determine both critical and non-critical situations and send feedback for preventive measures. AR remote maintenance adds an audiovisual method of system analysis and employee assistance during maintenance tasks. On this page we will explain how augmented reality can enhance decentralized services for a wide range of organisations.

    Local operations with Remote AR Maintenance

    The core of remote maintenance is the organization that is in need of maintenance, not the service provider that works remotely. This usually applies to processes that are conducted using computerized hardware and software, with some sort of connectivity. It could be a computer terminal that operates the lights in an entire building, a PC used for administrative purposes or a machine on a factory floor with a central processing unit. Virtually every machine is equipped with some sort of software, and often these devices are connected. In order to make sure the machines and devices keep operating, several fail safe measures have to be taken. For instance spyware and virus scanners, factory reset options or up-to-date backup images so data will not be lost. Many of these operations are done automatically with locally installed software, soms tasks are performed manually by trained employees. For advanced assistance and operations remote maintenance can be used in various ways.

    Network management Remote AR

    Some maintenance can be conducted locally, however more advanced tasks require more expertise or custom solutions. This requires network interoperability, both locally and decentralized systems and service providers. Internally there will be an intranet solution in place, externally services will operate through an internet connection. These services are typically called ‘cloud services’, which applies to all digital services that are passed through various internet channels. It should be obvious that security plays an important factor in maintaining a safe and functional environment, every system that is connected to another device will be vulnerable. This also applies to local networks, for instance USB drives that are used on company computers. For remote maintenance network management is imperative to provide a safe and reliable method of controlling computerized systems, in which the right balance between smart software and knowledgeable experts should be present.

    Augmented reality for Augmented Reality Maintenance

    The basic explanation of augmented reality is an overlay of digital information on top of the actual environment. Let’s take a warehouse employee as an example. An order picker wears a pair of AR glasses that displays the correct row in the warehouse. While riding an EPT the wearable device clearly shows arrows that guide the employee through the warehouse to the correct position. Upon reaching the destination the built-in camera is used to scan the product bar-code, the worker can use both hands for the order picking because all AR actions are conducted either by voice or image recognition.

    AR glasses function like virtual assistants using both audible and visual cues for the user. Some of these features are available offline, while others require an active internet connection. For instance AR remote maintenance, where augmented reality devices are used to analyse and control the infrastructure. In this case both the human aspect as the online connectivity play an important part of the equation.

    AR remote maintenance

    The word ‘remote’ can be interpreted in various ways. It typically means ‘not on the actual location’, this means expertise is brought in from another place. This could be a local expert who works from an office, or an specialist working from outside the actual facilities. This knowledgeable person can be an employee of the company, or a third-party service provider. There are several ways AR remote maintenance can be used for industrial purposes, here are a couple of examples:

    1. A maintenance worker is set out to fix an elevator. During the trip to the location the worker looks up information about this specific model and the revision history on an AR headset. Once on the scene the technician examines the elevator and runs into some issues. The wiring is not connected according to the standard procedure. The worker contacts the main office and asks for information about how to proceed. The colleague can look up information and guide the on site technician through the process.
    2. A system in a high risk area of a factory malfunctions. One operator is able to reach the location, but due to safety issues it’s not possible for an expert to reach this location. The operator makes an audiovisual connection with the expert and shows the situation at hand. This is possible because the AR device is equipped with a microphone and a camera. This microphone works two ways, so the operator and the expert can communicate one-on-one. The expert guides the operator through the process so the malfunction can be resolved. It’s not important where the expert is located. This could be in the same building or in another country. As long as an audiovisual connection can be established the ad hoc team can execute the task at hand.

    AR remote maintenance offers a new perspective on decentralized management of hardware, software and the workforce, with considerable benefits for the industrial sector.

  • The 5 advantages of AR remote support

    One of the most interesting applications of augmented reality is AR remote support. Whether it concerns a company that is looking for possibilities to enhance revenue, optimize the workflow or for organisations that are working on a higher efficiency rate, remote support will prove to be a welcome addition. Here are five advantages of using augmented reality in organisations for remote support.

    1. Enhanced skill set with Remote AR

    With remote support you are effectively deploying a team of specialists. First, there’s the person on location, who will provide a certain set of skills. A specialised professional will communicate with this person to provide additional knowledge. If there are several specialized tasks that have to be completed it’s possible to contact several supporting professionals. So you will essentially have a full support team present with all the required skills to do the job. This leads to a ‘modular’ approach where skills are distributed within the company. Personnel can focus on certain duties which leads to a higher quality workforce as a collective.

    2. Speed of Remote Support with Augmented Reality

    Time is money, when an important cog in the wheel breaks down it could disrupt the entire workflow. With Augmented Reality remote support issues can be resolved faster than ever before. Instead of waiting for service staff to arrive, a service employee can call in and get to work right away. Solving issues faster means less downtime and more revenue for the company. And this is only an example of corporate interests, if lives are at stake speed is even more important. In a medical facility for instance, you can call upon a specialist to take a look immediately. Also issues like a power outage can be harmful to people, especially at night. Augmented reality devices typically operate on rechargeable batteries, this means they will continue to operate during a power outage. For AR remote support an active internet connection is required, this can be achieved using backup power and mobile internet solutions.

    3. Location of AR remote support

    Although it can be advantageous to work from an office right in the middle of a bustling city, when service support is required it can take a long time for personnel to reach the location. With AR remote support you don’t need the specialist to visit the actual location, they can work from a distance. The reverse scenario is basically identical; if your facility is located in the middle of nowhere, you can still rely on expert assistance on a moments’ notice. Choosing a location for your company or organisation with the advantage of remote support means more opportunities to select a perfect location. This certainly applies to international organizations, who rely on experts the world over. A staff member from a different continent can assist like they are right there, using virtual eyes, ears and even hands. This provides you staff members with more mobility, and guarantees you always have the best expert at hand at any location.

    4. Cost-effective Remote AR support software

    We already mentioned time is money, but there are also other factors at play that affect the bottom line. With augmented reality remote support you can reduce costs in several ways. For instance, the amount of workers doing the same job can be reduced, for the aforementioned reasons. Also, low-level workers are now able to handle duties that require more skills. They only need to possess the basic skills required to fulfill their duties, for more advanced operations they can rely on the expertise of co-workers. The amount spent on travel can be greatly reduced, including personal transport, public transport and other solutions such as air travel. There are many areas where costs can be saved in a structural way, based on a reasonable investment with low recurring costs.

    5. Efficient Remote support Augmented Reality

    The money saving measures also translate to efficiency. Only the most skilled people will work on any project, without the need for a physical presence. Remote support using AR technology will have an effect on many levels within the company, and beyond. For instance, less travel means less strain on the environment, implementing innovative technology is subsidized by many governments. It’s also a forward looking approach with a ripple effect for years to come. The way we work is changing, and new technologies such as augmented reality play a large role in this transition. Consider methods like SMART or Lean Manufacturing where priority is placed on efficient operations.

    What do you need to get started with AR Remote software

    There are three key components to implement Augmented Reality remote support; hardware, software and workforce training. There are already several hardware solutions available for a variety of implementations. Software can be developed based on standard development solutions, and personnel training will allow the organisation to make optimal use of the existing workforce. The choices and workflow will differ depending on the relevant sector, the size of the organization and the predetermined goals. Consult with your representative for tailor made advice.

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