Microsoft’s HoloLens Now Helps Elevator Technicians Work Smarter

by Charles Singletary • September 16th, 2016

Mixed reality applications and devices have brought a new shine to gaming and entertainment and will continue to push the envelop as the technology becomes more capable. Mixed reality has also proven to be beneficial in workplace environments. For example, NASA is using data gloves and augmented reality to train their astronauts in a virtually recreated International Space Station. In a slightly more grounded environment, the HoloLens is being used to assist technicians in elevator repairs.

Traversal via elevator is such a regular part of our lifestyles, its importance is rarely recognized…until they’re not working as they should be. ThyssenKrupp AG, one of the largest suppliers for elevators, recognizes how essential they are as well as how the simplest malfunctions can deter the lives of millions. Announced on their blog, Microsoft is partnering with Thyssenkrupp to equip 24,000 of their technicians with HoloLens.

With this tool at their disposal, these technicians get a major boost in efficiency. In a video attached to the announcement embedded above, a rep explains that their technicians will be able to tackle an issue in 20 minutes or so for something that would usually take two hours without HoloLens. You also witness how a technician can get a look at what’s wrong with an elevator before starting, with a seemingly sci-fi future interface displayed on the wall next to it.

Once they get down to the work itself, off-site assistants can view what the technician sees and even direct the tech’s attention toward something by drawing on a Microsoft Surface screen. Skype integration, which is what allows them to contact support, allows them to comply with safety regulations and remain hands-free while receiving said support. The One World Trade Center is taking advantage of this new partnership along with one set in motion in 2015 called MAX, a predictive maintenance system. The combination of these two tools makes the One World Trade Center a symbol for new advancements in this arena.

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