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Staying Ahead Of The Curve With Smart Glasses

Jan 15, 2020MOVERIO Smart Glasses, Visual Instruments

ORIX, a building maintenance company, trains its new hires remotely with Epson’s Moverio smartglasses.

The rapid growth of the Internet of Things, wearable technology and augmented reality sectors are creating disruptions across all industries, significantly changing the ways in which we live and work. Amidst a fast-evolving landscape, how can businesses keep up with technological developments and stay ahead of the curve?

Augmented reality (AR) projects have been carried out since the 1960s, yet it wasn’t until recent years that we’ve seen AR expand its presence across enterprise and consumer verticals. These range from retail AR experiences, to the use of AR in warehouses and manufacturing plants. According to ARtillery Research, the global market for enterprise AR  is estimated to reach US$29.6 billion by 2022, which will make it the largest extended reality sub-sector.

Similarly, wearable technology has grown in popularity over the past few years, with the release of devices such as smartwatches, wearables and smart glasses. Data and analytics company GlobalData estimates that the wearable tech industry is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19% to reach US$54 billion by 2023.

And thirdly, the Internet of Things (IoT)—a term coined by technologist Kevin Ashton in the 1990s—has reshaped our lives in monumental ways. At the workplace, it has enabled a new ecosystem centred around connected products and business processes. Using connected devices, workers can now capture greater volumes of data, obtain timely insights into workflows and streamline daily operations.

These developments have created transformative shifts: from hands-on to hands-free information, from in-person visits to remote collaborations and from traditional experiences to immersive, interactive ones. The pace of technology is empowering businesses and consumers alike—yet at the same time, it creates growing pressure for companies to keep up with the constant innovation.

To keep ahead of the curve, businesses need to tap into the right tools and technology. Here’s where the Epson Moverio smart glasses comes into the picture, with applications that extend out across a variety of industries.

 

Remote Assistance with Moverio

For manufacturing companies, the financial costs of downtime can be substantial. Industry Week indicates that on average, manufacturers deal with up to 800 hours of downtime per year. The average cost per hour of downtime is estimated to be US$260,000 each hour, according to analyst firm Aberdeen Research.

Multiply these figures together, and you’ll end up with a staggering amount. While your actual costs may not come close to this estimate, there’s no denying that downtime can have a severe impact on your bottom line.

JMACS uses Moverio to monitor for faulty machinery

It’s why companies such as JMACS, an electric wiring and cabling company in Japan chose to use the Moverio Pro BT-2000 to facilitate 24/7 remote monitoring of its faulty machinery.

The smart headset stood out with its binocular vision and AR functionalities; this meant that a supervisor located off-site could get a first-person perspective of what the wearer is looking at, and a hands-free instruction manual could be placed into the field of vision of the wearer.

 

The device’s two-way communication capabilities also created a remote support system, so that the wearer is able to receive instructions from a more experienced engineer located off-site where needed.

Since using the Moverio Pro, JMACS has seen considerable results in productivity and cost savings. The company managed to reduce downtime on its production lines, as well as losses from defective products by about one-third or about 30%.

 

Creating immersive visitor experiences

Beyond the workplace, there are other exciting industry applications for smart glasses. Used in the tourism sector, smart glasses can transform an ordinary visitor experience into an encounter that is immersive and interactive.

Take travel attraction Past View’s usage of the Moverio BT-350 as an example. By donning the smart glasses, visitors at the attraction were immediately transported back in time. They were able to view how the environment looked like in the past, as well as listen to virtual characters explain about historical events that occurred back in the olden days.

Amongst other devices in the market, Past View went ahead with Moverio as it provided translucent display. This was particularly important for Past View, as the company wanted its visitors to be able to enjoy the AR experience without losing sight of the attraction’s modern-day environment.

 

Providing healthcare assistance

Adopted into the healthcare sector, smart glasses are a valuable device that can help improve the quality of life for the visually impaired[1].

The Retiplus application, developed by visual aid company PlusIndes serves as a technologically advanced solution for visually impaired individuals. Here’s a quick overview on how the technology works: the application processes images captured by the Moverio BT-300 / BT-350 camera, then directs and adjusts the images to the wearer’s remaining visual field. This effectively expands the useful field of vision of the wearer.

In contrast to traditional low-vision aids (which tend to be uncomfortable for users), the Moverio smart glasses were lightweight and had a long-lasting battery life — features that surprised visually impaired individuals who tested out the device.

The smart glasses market is only just in its early stages, and the future looks promising. The ever-improving nature of AR, wearables and connectivity technologies points towards the growing relevance of the device for both enterprise and consumer markets. And companies that embrace the change will definitely gain a competitive advantage.

 

[1] Disclaimer: Moverio smart glasses are not certified for actual diagnosis of visual impairment.

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