My kids (Scotty) love playing games on my iPhone. One specific mobile application that they have grown fond of is Pokémon Go. For those of you saying “Poke-what?, it is an augmented reality (AR) based mobile game that allows users to locate and capture Pokémon that appear as if they are in the player’s real-world location. Sounds silly, but it’s actually quite impressive how Pokémon Go has utilized mobile app technologies such as Augmented Reality and GPS to achieve over 1 billion downloads and $4 billion in revenue.
In our last blog, we discussed defining your mobile architecture, building the right team, and thinking like a user – all things that help shape your mobile program. In this blog, we’ll walk through more intricate mobile app technologies your team can take advantage of to boost your workforce efficiency and user experience on-the-go, while highlighting innovations in the the utilities industry.
Beyond Games: Turning Augmented Reality into a Utilities Tool
Augmented Reality (AR), an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology, has quickly come to the forefront of the discussion in mobile apps, mainly due to popular games like Pokémon Go. More and more companies are leveraging AR within their portfolio of mobile applications to provide operational efficiencies.
Below are a few examples of how AR can benefit companies within the utilities sectors:
Training/Safety: Ensuring field workers are trained is a top priority in the utilities industry to ensure the safety of employees. By leveraging augmented reality on their mobile device/tablet, field workers can access virtual trainings on demand, providing them with realistic scenarios using 3D models of equipment and assets. This allows them to interact with the model and be trained on the equipment without having to physically interact with the equipment in the field. This type of training is beneficial for mimicking realistic and dangerous real world scenarios so that workers can be trained on the necessary safety precautions and procedures.
Damage Evaluation: AR technology can be useful in storm situations when there is damage to equipment. As field workers are performing damage evaluations, they can leverage augmented reality to capture images of damaged assets and get data, such as asset type and maintenance history. This data can quickly help them identify the right crew for the repair and the correct parts needed, which leads to more efficient restoration efforts.
Maintenance Activities: The utility infrastructure is complex with many underground assets which poses challenges when there is a need to perform maintenance activities. By leveraging AR, field workers can view a 3D model of the underground equipment to get its exact location, information about downstream assets, and maintenance history. This leads to increased efficiency and time savings when performing maintenance activities.