Easy Engineering: What industries do you think will grow in 2021?

VIEWPOINTSYSTEM: Basically, any industry that is not directly affected by the pandemic and that has found timely solutions for changing production and working conditions, for example digital tools for home offices and remote collaboration, will continue to have good growth opportunities in 2021. We are also seeing the “digital resisters”, the latecomers to the digital revolution, investing significantly in new technologies and catching up against the pandemic background.

Accordingly, the providers of digital tools and infrastructures for remote services and automation are certainly among the winners of the pandemic and will continue to benefit in 2021 and beyond.

We also see manufacturing companies significantly expanding their service offerings to differentiate themselves from competitors. In the pandemic, they have learned what their own customers specifically need; moreover, customer expectations of the manufacturing company have changed. This ranges from the need to maximize the life cycle of current equipment to improved service, even remotely and despite contact and travel bans. Servitization will therefore continue to gain momentum in 2021.

E.E: What solutions do you provide for these industries?

VIEWPOINTSYSTEM: We develop and produce smart glasses based on eye tracking. They connect people working at a distance as if they were on site together. And this is, of course, particularly in demand in times of pandemic. For example, to receive help remotely from headquarters or from the service provider in case of malfunctions or to carry out processes such as maintenance, inspections or factory acceptance tests remotely.

Our latest smart glasses, the VPS 19, thus make expert knowledge available at anytime and anywhere, without the need for cumbersome and costly travel. The technician on site and the remote expert are connected via video and audio stream. Thanks to eye tracking, the expert sees exactly where the plant operator is looking, what he perceives and what he does not perceive. He can thus give quick and unambiguous instructions and also knows immediately whether the technician is following them correctly. The eye tracking features improve communication, make it faster and more intuitive, and also overcome language barriers.

During streaming, the expert can send the technician information, screenshots with annotations or drawings on the smart unit belonging to the system.

Our smart glasses are designed entirely around the needs of the wearer in real work situations. They are extremely lightweight, weighing just 43 grams, and can be worn comfortably even under a helmet. The fit is optimal even when moving and the glasses work reliably in almost all lighting conditions. The system is easy to operate and ready for immediate use. The battery can be changed during operation without interruption. Apart from WIFI, no additional infrastructure is required.

E.E: What is the impact of your product innovation on customers?

VIEWPOINTSYSTEM: Remote services enable companies to maintain business continuity – or that of their customers – despite travel restrictions and quarantine measures. However, the added value of remote service extends far beyond the situation of a global pandemic.

Our current understanding of field service will increasingly change to “Anywhere & Anytime Service”: In the future, companies will take it for granted that service can be provided anywhere, anytime. This may mean, for example, that the first “visit” by a technician will take place virtually by default. In the event of faults, technical support can be available remotely around the clock.

With smart glasses, companies thus improve their service even in post-Corona times and save travel time and costs. Last but not least, the climate is also protected by the reduced travel time. 

E.E: Can you give examples of specific use cases?

VIEWPOINTSYSTEM: Our customer Hanseatic Power Solutions, for example, successfully conducts Factory Acceptance Tests remotely using the VPS 19 smart glasses. The HPS team demonstrates the system live with the glasses. The customer watches the presentation comfortably on the screen in his office or home office without any need to travel.

Hanseatic Power Solutions sees a decisive competitive advantage in offering innovative digital services to their customers, and, not least, saves time, travel costs and personnel resources with the smart glasses. Whereas in the past experts often had to travel to the customer’s site to deal with minor problems, the smart glasses now enable rapid remote diagnosis. Operations can be planned more efficiently.

E.E: How will you adapt your solutions for the future?

VIEWPOINTSYSTEM: We expect that smart glasses will continue to gain ground in the industry, especially in remote support, training and documentation. For us, the next step will be mixed reality features, but we will only bring them into series production when our customers confirm to us after tests that they have a real benefit from them. Using a modular mixed reality display that can be simply clicked onto the glasses as needed, the wearer can then call up information or sketches that will help them in a particular situation, and they will be displayed directly in their field of view.

We can see that mixed reality is currently still subject to technical limitations – for example, in the quality of the displays and battery power. We will only bring these features into series production when our customers confirm after tests that they have a real benefit from them.

E.E: How do you think 5G will improve industrial processes?

VIEWPOINTSYSTEM: 5G will make smart glasses and all other IoT implementations that rely on fast, reliable data connections, range and speed increasingly suitable for mass use. 5G will connect even more machines and devices, and it will do so in fractions of a second thanks to extremely low latency.

With 5G, no assembly or maintenance worker will have to wait for an image or video to load or for the latest data from a running system to be projected in front of their eyes. This is particularly important in emergency scenarios, where real-time information is crucial, for example, to repair damage to the production plant. Especially in the field and in challenging environments such as mining, 5G is the most suitable technology for advanced automation.

VIEWPOINTSYSTEM GMBH

Franz-Josefs-Kai 47

1010 Vienna, Austria

T: +43 1 208 90 90

office@viewpointsystem.com

www.viewpointsystem.com