Despite the accessibility of augmented reality (AR) technology these days, it is yet to see mass adoption from a commercial standpoint. So far, it has been mainly used for entertainment and prototype demonstrations. Tech experts are aware of the potential it brings to the table, but it seems most businesses are still adamant over its integration. Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, is ready to innovate its aftermarket services with the help of Microsoft's HoloLens headset, which would be used to fix their vehicles.
While the German company's mechanics are experienced enough to repair most types of troubles, it normally requires them to take apart some section of the automobile. Meanwhile, with the help of Microsoft's Mixed Reality technology, automotive technicians can now collaborate with other experts remotely to perform diagnostics quicker than average, as reported by CNN.
The headset can overlay a three-dimensional image which the users can interact with before finalising what needs to be done. The United States headquarters of Mercedes-Benz already tested the HoloLens system at 13 dealerships earlier this year. The renowned European marque was seeking various ways to overcome the travel restrictions imposed amid the pandemic which would prevent them from sending specialists over to help fix certain problems.
With more people working remotely as a preventive measure against coronavirus transmissions, some companies have opted to provide support in virtual space instead. As such, ABI Research, a tech market analytics group forecasts increased demand for AR headsets and technology moving forward. Before the year ends, researchers estimate that close to two million AR products will be shipped and should go up to 3 million the following year.
Mercedes-Benz project lead for engineering services Andrew Sanders breaks down the repair guidelines followed by dealerships in the U.S. which begins the moment the owner brings their car in. In-house mechanics will attempt to assess and fix the issue but will contact company specialists in Florida for remote assistance. If that does not resolve the problem. A field expert will then be dispatched to personally handle the situation.
At $3,500 apiece, the HoloLens headset might be expensive for most people. Moreover, the price does not include the curated software Dynamics 365 Remote Assist provided by Microsoft. Another notable Japanese carmaker that also uses AR technology is Toyota. It helps workers accurately measure the thickness of paint and rust-prevention coatings to speed up the process.