- Equipment giant Caterpillar has licensed Scope AR to provide augmented reality-based live video and voice support services to maintenance professionals in the company's dealer network.
- The tech support layers augmented reality over live video call and features screen-sharing, white boarding and annotation tools to help service workers repair or troubleshoot mechanical issues or conduct maintenance.
- AR support will be available to dealer mechanics and maintenance professionals working remotely, providing live tech support to construction job sites located anywhere network connectivity can be secured, and is expected to significantly reduce equipment downtime and associated costs.
While sensors and even robots have been used to successfully monitor equipment status and the structural integrity of bridges and buildings, the introduction of AR as a diagnostic tool makes remote repair and maintenance a reality for contractors faced with harsh conditions, large heavy equipment fleets or simply unaffordable downtime.
As much as drones have provided eye in the sky situational awareness to construction teams, AR via video chat powered by a smart phone or tablet introduces a microlevel of job site access to repair professionals, allowing maintenance staff to tap into OEM expertise on-the-fly, access schematics, repair manuals and instructions and get live play-by-play directions from product experts.
Remote maintenance and repair wasn’t expected to hit the AEC sector so soon, with forecasts placing the applied technology at least a year or two away. That could have assumed a fully immersive VR environment on the back-end, requiring huge data feeds from the remote site. If the Scope AR and CAT teams can get enough info and data simply via a smart phone or tablet video feed, any decent HD screen could suffice for remote AR support, whether for repair or to even provide building instruction to laborers.