Index AR Solutions Vice President Scott Sommers presented at the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE) Underground Distribution Committee meeting in Savannah recently, highlighting how the company is combining augmented reality (AR) and eBook technology to create highly engaging training solutions for clients.
Founded in 1933, the SEE is a non-profit, non-political trade association of investor-owned electric utility companies serving the southeastern U.S. The Underground Distribution Committee is one of the association’s 25 member-driven working groups, with areas of interest that include performance of materials and equipment, underground tools, engineering and construction practices, operations and maintenance practices, service polices, industry standards and codes, safety, and training.
Sommers spoke at the committee’s meeting on Oct. 2, fielding numerous questions from a highly engaged group of nearly 50 attendees.
The topic was AR, and specifically how Index AR Solutions is helping clients use the technology to solve real human challenges today.
Sommers pointed to the company’s Gas Tech Apprenticeship SuperApp®, a powerful training and field reference solution built in partnership with MidAmerican Energy Company, and now available for purchase by other utilities.
The solution replaces paper-based materials with a digital library of complimentary AR and eBook training modules, to create a rich and highly visual training platform. Interactive multimedia eBooks are paired with an AR learning experience that is loaded on each apprentice’s work tablet for use in both training and in the field.
In addition to improving knowledge retention and worker safety, the solution also features imagery and video testimonials that not only train but also boost engagement and morale.
For example, the first eBook session features a motivational video message from MidAmerican Energy’s CEO, along with a brief montage of statements from peers on what they feel makes a good apprentice, what they are most proud of, and how long they have been with the company.
Sommers noted that many meeting participants were touched by the video, underscoring the power of the human element and the relevance of the Index AR Solutions tagline – “we augment people.”
Sommers also showcased a new AR application being developed for Southern Company designed to significantly improve the situational awareness of workers who spend time in potentially hazardous substation environments.
Built by Index AR in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Southern Company subject matter experts, the the app makes the invisible visible – displaying visual indicators of equipment health, capacity factors and required minimum clearances such as flame retardant (FR) zones in the substation.
Later versions of the tablet-based app will display detailed maintenance histories of equipment and include all of the directions needed to perform maintenance tasks using a lean process that includes visual step-by-step procedures, warnings and videographic recording of critical steps for internal and external compliance.
Sommers also discussed analytics with audience, highlighting ROI, reductions in errors and other metrics that Index AR’s clients are using to quantify the impact of their AR deployments.
In some cases, the results are dramatic.
For example, clients using Index AR applications to enhance work inspection procedures have seen cost and time requirements reduced from 30 percent to as much as 95 percent in the case of an inspection app deployed by Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), the teaming partner for Index AR Solutions.
For more information on Index AR offerings, click here.