AR is growing in scope in industrial areas such as smart manufacturing, according to ABI Research. According to the company, services like 5G may provide excellent options for those exploring their options. Which is weird as ABI Research previously claimed that AR might be slightly over-hyped. 

The 5G network, with  ultra-low latency, would be the ideal solution for  AR / VR experiences. Further, ABI Research forecasts that almost 10% of industrial smart glasses and standalone VR devices will have 5G capabilities by 2026.

I really dig this, Having these connected possibilities means streaming high-quality content which can be used for numerous applications, and I cannot way to see how it could be used for building and engineering etc.

“Wearing smart glasses, rather than using AR on handheld screens, empowers the worker to use both hands and look directly at the work that needs doing,” says Marina Lu, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “AR will enable shop-floor workers to see a digital twin overlaid on a physical object with assembly or repair instructions according to customized needs. Remote applications that connect field engineers to a remote expert require high-accuracy interaction and low end-to-end latency for time-sensitive applications, and thus continuous connectivity is vital. When users in field service and maintenance are in remote locations where Wi-Fi is nonexistent, devices can leverage 4G and eventually 5G networks to keep these workers connected and safe.”

Some connectivity companies, such as Qualcomm, Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia, as well as telcos such as Verizon, SK Telekom, and Orange, view AR and VR as one of the main use cases for the 5G network.

Ericsson has  used AR troubleshooting at its  sites in Tallinn, Estonia, and is widening its use to other Ericsson sites in China. By using the tech, the engineers can solve questions, which can raise productivity by 50%. Xerox Israel has deployed AR to raise first-time fix rates, remote resolution rates, and mean time to repair.

In essence, Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) can efficiently bring rudimentary remote devices that do not communicate as often while remaining energy efficient, which is good for the green thumbs out there. Some companies have started to adopt LPWA, as shown by Huawei and Toshiba’s NB-IoT solution for smart factory monitoring. Flowserve uses real-time sensors with AR to predict pump failure, reveal the steps for making the fix, and bring management analytics to its team.

“Mobility is the key to enhance user AR/VR experiences and industry market penetration, which poses new requirements on operator’s network structure and services, but also create new opportunities because only operators can create value in connecting the supply chain, connecting the factory and the product, and understanding the end customers,” adds Eric Abbruzzese, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “Ubiquitous connectivity is necessary for users to interact with the surrounding environment and receive on-demand information anytime and anywhere. New business models that can leverage connectivity capabilities and bring value to end users wherever they are operating need to be developed.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s Augmented and Virtual Reality Device Connectivity. This report is part of the company’s AR & Mixed Reality research service, which includes research, data, and Executive Foresights.

Tom Ffiske
Twitter: @TomFfiske
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