Field technicians and heavy, dog-eared service manuals have been a staple of the service industry. Service technicians flipping through manuals and schematics, trying to decipher which part goes where, hoping that the manual is accurate to the current make and model of the equipment being serviced, leads to frustrated customers, and frustrated techs.
In a world where consumers can pull up a video tutorial to do everything including unclogging the kitchen sink, static, text-heavy service information should be a thing of the past, but new technology, like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have yet to be fully embraced by manufacturers.
The reluctance is rooted in a twofold myth:
Augmented reality is just a fad and manufacturers don’t need to adopt it
Augmented reality is a nice-to-have, but has little value to the service organization
These couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Augmented reality is here, and it’s here to stay. By augmenting a physical product with digital data, manufacturers and OEMs can enable their service organizations to see the product like never before. Those who have already adopted these applications are your competitors, and you may already be behind. Augmented reality is taking the service industry into the digital age, where your consumers already are.
The challenge, and reasonable concern for manufacturers is that augmented reality seems complicated, expensive, and out of reach. The good news is, it’s remarkably not. The less-good news is that the way service information is built, drawn, and presented currently could make adopting augmented reality capabilities more difficult in the future. Manufacturers can stay ahead of the curve by using authoring and illustration software that allows manuals, service information, training documents, and more to be translated into multiple formats, from print to digital, including augmented reality.
It's also understandable to see why augmented reality looks like a toy, not a necessity. After all, many of us were introduced to augmented reality through video games. But AR opens the door to myriad benefits to your service organization – benefits that can save time and costs, but also increase technician job satisfaction and of course, customer satisfaction. Like what?
Visual and virtual learning has entered every other stage of our lives, technicians and customers expect the same from their service experience.
Manufacturers and OEMs who aren’t ready to deploy AR technology, or can’t apply it to their field service yet can still prepare for the augmented reality wave to come. At its essence, augmented reality is just another way to display service content. Adapting to, and adopting AR will take time, even for the most forward-thinking organizations, and you can be ready by using illustration software that will publish your service information into augmented reality-ready display when you’re ready. How?
Learn more about AR-ready illustrations with Creo Illustrate here.