October 14, 2022 – RealWear, a provider of assisted reality wearable solutions for frontline industrial workers, has recently announced a new partnership with multinational technology company Konica Minolta. The partnership will extend the use of Konica Minolta’s remote visual support tool ‘AIRe Link’ on smartphones and tablets for use with RealWear headsets. The move marks a step by Konica Minolta as a digital workplace provider to help its customers digitize their processes as part of the company’s Intelligent Connected Workplace portfolio.
Konica Minolta AIRe Link is a remote support application that allows service specialists to see what customers see and to remotely guide them visually to fix an issue. Prior to the partnership with RealWear it was possible to use the application via any tablet or smartphone using a link that opened the application in a browser. This allowed workers to problem solve virtually and more rapidly.
Commenting on the limitations of using a handheld device, Zdenek Vrbka, Programme Manager, Intelligent Connected Workplace at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe, said: “Our experience has shown that the majority of issues can be solved using remote visual support in combination with a smartphone. However, there are situations where the smartphone blocking one hand is an issue. That is why we decided to partner with RealWear – one of the market leaders in the assisted reality market – to add a hands-free application to our offering.”
According to RealWear, Konica Minolta identified several hands-free use cases when using AIRe Link internally and in discussion with other manufacturing vendors. Examples included:
- Operators of complex machines who require help with machine configuration or a machine malfunction and need both hands available to follow instructions from machine vendors;
- Junior field engineers fixing complex machines and who need advice or assistance from more experienced colleagues and require both hands to fix the machine.
By extending the AIRe Link platform to head-mounted wearables, Konica Minolta customers will now be able to use remote visual support in situations that require hands-free operations. The AIRe Link application is available for download from RealWear Cloud.
Konica Minolta stated that since the first deployment of AIRe Link in 2020, more than 6,000 technical experts are now using the solution, and it is supporting thousands of customers and frontline professionals. Of these, 40% are external customers, and are operating across a range of industries, from energy and utilities to scientific research.
Jon Arnold, Vice President of EMEA at RealWear, commented: “At RealWear, we understand the importance of reducing response times, minimizing unnecessary customer visits and improving first-time fix rates. With Konica Minolta’s AIRe Link application on RealWear Navigator 500, it’s now easier than ever to provide real-time assistance to Konica Minolta’s customers.”
Image credit: RealWear
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.