Industrial Smart Glasses
Industrial smart glasses allow operators to receive information directly in their field of vision rather than looking down at handheld devices or scanning printed documents. They enable workers to be more productive and accurate, while increasing safety performance.
They can resolve issues faster with real-time machine data and 3D models, see augmented reality instructions and videos from back-end systems or call remote experts for live support.
Industrial smart glasses bring augmented reality to industrial environments where workers need access to real time data, alerts and recommendations for tasks. They enable hands free operation, which improves worker safety and productivity. The devices also reduce the need for handheld devices, scanners and printed material.
For example, a warehouse worker can look at a container and the screen will show where to pick it up for delivery. This saves time and effort in navigating complex layouts of storage racks and shelves, and increases picking accuracy.
Manufacturers can also use the devices to streamline assembly line work. Workers can view step-by-step instructions, diagrams and videos directly in their field of vision. They can also easily connect with remote experts using video capabilities and shorten audit periods.
In addition, QA inspectors can use smart glasses to access checklists and AR overlays to industrial smart glasses identify defects. They can also call for expert assistance and instantly upload their findings to a quality management system. This improves audit times and helps reduce the need for manual documentation, which can lead to errors.
Industrial smart glasses are also a great way to train new employees and ensure that they are familiar with a complex process such as an assembly line or the operations of a production plant. The devices can provide clear instructions and guidance for the task at hand and help speed up training times.
Unlike VR headsets, which are used for entertainment and home buying experiences, smart glasses are small enough to be worn while performing industrial tasks. They offer an unobtrusive experience with contextually relevant information – in the form of heads-up displays, text, or audio cues – displayed in the worker’s field of vision. This reduces visual interruption, allowing the user to continue with their work.
The augmented reality capabilities of smart glasses can be leveraged for many logistics, warehouse, and manufacturing applications. For example, order pickers in a warehouse can receive product images and visual indicators directly in their field of view to confirm picking locations and help them avoid errors. Workers can also capture barcodes using their built-in camera, eliminating the need for handheld scanners. Similarly, inspectors on equipment assembly lines can receive step-by-step instructions and diagrams directly in their field of view to reduce repair time, downtime, and improve quality and compliance.
These and many other industrial use cases have led forward-thinking companies to explore, pilot and deploy smart glasses in their workplaces. However, the key to success for these devices will be how quickly they integrate with an organization’s existing technology infrastructure. This will enable them to become an extension of the user’s workflow, seamlessly receiving and displaying data from their ERP ecosystem via Skylight.
There are a few challenges associated with industrial smart glasses. The first is that the technology must be able to display a digital overlay without blocking users’ view of the real world. The second challenge is that the devices must be durable enough to withstand repeated wear and tear. Finally, the displays must be small enough to fit into the glasses while providing a clear, immersive experience.
Regardless of the challenges, smart glasses offer an array of benefits for businesses. They can help to increase productivity, improve quality, and streamline operations. They also provide a way for companies to monitor employee performance and address safety issues.
In addition, smart glasses can reduce time spent on manual processes and tasks. For example, a company that uses industrial smart glasses smart glasses for final inspections can complete the process in half the time. This enables the company to meet production deadlines and deliver quality work.
As the industry continues to evolve, we expect to see more companies using AR and smart glasses in their supply chain operations. However, a few challenges will need to be overcome before these technologies can become mainstream. For instance, we will need to better understand the implications of mediated reality on human/technology relationships. This will require a multidisciplinary approach where the ethical and social implications of the technology are considered alongside its technical capabilities.
As the technology evolves, industrial smart glasses will be increasingly used to deliver business value across supply chains. The companies that get ahead will be those that understand which workflows benefit from these devices and how to deploy them effectively in their operating environments. They also will take into account their employees’ experience level with mobile devices and comfort with technological change to drive adoption.
In warehouse logistics, for example, smart glasses will allow order pickers to view pick information within their field of vision instead of looking down at a handheld RF terminal device screen, potentially leading to faster and more accurate picking. They can even use the built-in camera to scan barcodes for confirmation purposes, as well as communicate with each other remotely using voice and video.
For more demanding jobs, such as equipment maintenance, workers can follow videos of technicians on the job performing inspections and repairs for real-time remote support. This can cut down on downtime and help ensure that safety standards are being met and adhered to.
Another potential application is automated vision recognition, which can validate tasks based on visual cues in the worker’s environment. This could lead to an end to manual, paper-based processes that increase risk in hazardous or industrial environments. Smart glasses manufacturers are working to address these needs with a variety of solutions that include voice and scanning capabilities.