Advancements in augmented reality (AR) are driving new levels of innovation for businesses. Our virtual event, Vuforia Live, featured real-world AR case studies, AR-driven business strategy sessions, and updates from the Vuforia R&D team on what customers can expect next from the PTC AR product portfolio.
One of the most exciting use cases—remote assistance—proved to be extremely relevant during the past year. Vuforia Chalk: Game-Changing AR Remote Assistance, presented by Dan Hitomi, Product Lead for Vuforia Chalk, and Caitlin Sachs, Director of Vuforia Product Marketing, discussed how Chalk brings dispersed teams closer together for real-time collaboration and problem-solving.
Increasingly complex and highly varied products and workspaces, changing workforce demographics, and evolving customer expectations were just some of the challenges that companies faced before the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in travel bans, social distancing, and skeleton crews, companies found their ability to provide on-site support were severely restricted.
While knowledge workers pivoted overnight to virtual meetings and remote offices, industrial manufacturing and service teams didn’t enjoy the same flexibility. Complex equipment and machinery often have to be physically assembled, operated, or monitored in some capacity. Maintenance, service, and support procedures similarly require somebody to perform fixes and inspections onsite. To help reduce the burden of social distancing, reduced staff, and travel restrictions, these companies turned towards innovative technology solutions to enable their frontline workers and end customers—including AR.
To keep business up and running amid challenging and fast-changing conditions, many companies quickly adopted remote collaboration and assistance tools as part of their operations–and PTC stepped up to make Vuforia Chalk, a market-leading AR remote assistance solution, widely available to meet that need. By providing free access through summer 2020, and then launching a free 30-day trial program, PTC made Chalk easily accessible to industrial organizations so they could keep their operations up and running and experience how AR enhances remote assistance applications.
Even now as recovery begins and conditions improve, many companies are no longer thinking about their products, processes, and people in the same way. While the pandemic forced industrial companies to enable remote work, the benefits of remote support and service have encouraged many to consider how remote collaboration fits into their ongoing strategy. Going forward, they have the opportunity to embrace new ways of working and capture substantial and rapid value with AR.
While there are many ways to provide help remotely, Chalk builds on those existing methods with enhanced remote assistance that combines advanced AR collaboration and real-time video communications. Previously, even if a remote expert could be shown what their on-site counterpart was looking at, their guidance was limited to verbal instructions. Chalk uses AR to enhance remote guidance and collaboration, enabling clearer instructions and fewer errors.
Chalk enables an on-site user to connect with remote experts to easily share step-by-step instructions, real-time support, and knowledge sharing. Whether used with a mobile device, desktop, or wearable, each Chalk user—including the one onsite and their remote colleagues—can draw digital annotations that accurately “stick” to physical objects in the real world, facilitating live collaboration and problem-solving.
During the past year, these capabilities have proved invaluable. AR remote assistance helped keep older, more vulnerable experts (those most at risk for severe COVID-19 complications) out of risky situations—while enabling them to support their customers and colleagues. AR also helped teams facing with capacity restrictions to virtually collaborate and solve problems more effectively. As we enter the “next normal,” companies are leveraging Chalk not just for social distancing, but to drive better business outcomes, including:
Following incredible growth in the past year, Chalk continues to evolve to support the market need for a real-time knowledge-sharing solution that can help customers improve their bottom line. Check out more resources on Chalk and register for a 30-day free trial today.
Enable better remote assistance for faster AR time-to-value