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Help the planet by travelling less (while also saving time and money)

Join us as we look at how wearables are changing the communications landscape for the frontline and making the world a better place.

Technology is a wonderful thing. A beacon of mankind’s progression, humanity has harnessed it to make the impossible possible and improve the way we do things, making tasks easier, faster, and more efficient – especially where the result enables activities to be carried out from a distance. 

Since a quill was first dipped in ink and the first letter was scribed and whisked away on horseback, distance communications have never been far from the thoughts of those looking to advance our species. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone was a revolutionary development that meant that people no longer had to be in the same room as the person they’re talking to. Leap forward a century and the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, and Skype have expanded on the principle of Bell’s invention, adding in video so that we can read body language and facial cues, thereby adding yet another dimension to remote communications. 

All these technological advances have incremented by allowing us to do more and more remotely each time. But why do we put so much energy into it? It’s because travelling can be a pain in the neck. It’s expensive, takes time, can be inconvenient, and last, but by no means least, modern methods massively damage the environment. The more you can do from home or the office means the less you have to travel and, by extension, the better it is for the planet.

How does RealWear help?

RealWear is an Assisted Reality wearables platform. Confused as to what that means? Allow us to explain. Assisted Reality (or aR for short) is one of many forms of Extended Reality – a series of technologies which bring digital content into what we can see and hear to improve whatever task it is that we’re doing. As you go along the XR Spectrum, you become increasingly immersed in a digital environment.

Assisted Reality provides digital content but doesn’t obstruct your view with it (kind of like the dashboard of your car), making it an incredibly safe and reliable solution for remote collaboration in industry. For a more detailed explanation, you can read our blog post here.   

In short, RealWear solutions enable remote audiences to see and hear what a frontline professional is experiencing, and provide them with in-situ digital documentation and workflows. This enables frontline professionals to get on with the job at hand while being supported remotely, all while keeping their hands free to carry out work and remaining situationally aware. When coupled with apps like Microsoft Teams or HandsFree for Zoom, RealWear solutions become the next stage up from a video call. 

That’s why so many of us here at RealWear believe so strongly in our solutions. Rugged Assisted Reality wearables take remote collaboration to another level entirely – they allow us to effectively be in places without physically being there. It’s more than just a voice from a speaker, more than a series of heads and shoulders on a screen; it’s fully interactive collaboration and it’s exactly what will make so many business trips a thing of the past and lower the carbon footprint of those that invest in this tech. To put it simply, RealWear will save you time, money, and CO2 production, regardless of your industry.

What’s a typical scenario where RealWear can help?

Deployed properly, we are confident that you will see results with this technology. Just think about every single trip your employees take over the course of a year, and now think of how many of those journeys could be avoided if you were to invest in wearables to carry out the necessary tasks remotely. It’s frankly a staggering amount of carbon that’s being saved, and the only people that should be unhappy about it in the long run is the aviation industry. 

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Let’s take a look at the Oil & Gas industry. In a Bloomberg Business Week report, they reported that one company spent $50,000 on helicoptering in a specialized crew to deal with an issue with a turbine. As staggering an amount as that is, it pales in comparison to the downtime cost in waiting for a fault to be rectified. An average-sized refinery will lose $12 million per day if production stops.

If there’s an issue with a piece of specialist machinery in the United States and the only person that can fix it is in Asia, they may not be able to attend immediately for various reasons. If they can’t get on a flight for four days, that means a staggering $48 million in downtime, plus fights and travel expenses on top. You’re also looking at a whopping 5.5 metric tons of CO2 over the course of the round trip! Situations and processes like this should no longer be the norm.

Why aren’t wearables mainstream already?

Wearables garner significant ROI and help the environment, yet we’re still in the early stages of seeing their adoption gain widespread traction. Sure, COVID-19 caused a significant uptake into remote solution adoption, but why did it take the world grinding to a halt for this technology to gather real momentum? 

It’s simple – people and companies adhere to their processes, it’s only human. If they’ve always solved issues by flying people on-site, that becomes a standard way of working and isn’t seen as a problem that needs fixing. For many companies, they simply don’t realize they have a problem, and it’s much trickier to market a solution when the audience is unaware of the benefits. 

The problem is that they need these solutions – we all do. Carbon footprints are sky high, so we all need to reduce our emissions. As we’ve established, one way to do this is to cut down on unnecessary business travel. Utilizing Assisted Reality, RealWear renders most travel unnecessary by enabling you to do more remotely. 

Let’s take a look at an example

Goodyear is one of RealWear’s happy customers. A while back, they recorded a video with Microsoft where they discussed how RealWear HMT-1 devices running Microsoft Teams have revolutionized the inspection process at the tire manufacturer. Taylor Davis, one of Goodyear’s Electrical Engineers said: 

“I was always in person to solve a problem…always. I thought that you had to meet in person with someone else in the process development centre or I had to travel to one of my plants or to a vendor to get anything done. We’re talking days to months of travel. Then the pandemic hit, and we had to adapt.

If a machine breaks, I don’t know how to fix it and my person of expertise is remote somewhere, I can now use RealWear within minutes to get online with them and show them what I’m seeing.”

This is a prime example of a company that understandably continued to go through the motions as they were unaware that a better solution existed. As soon as they implemented the solution, they cut down on travel and solved issues faster than ever. You can find out more in our case study or check out Microsoft’s own post.

RealWear’s solutions save time, money, stress, and the environment. Widely adopted, these products will make the world a better place, and this is just the beginning of a very exciting development for industry.   

For more information on how RealWear and Assisted Reality Wearables can help with sustainability, please download our research paper that has been developed in partnership with ABI Research.

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