Customers to get support via hologram

Put on the glasses, tap the virtual menu before your eyes, and you will find the Grundfos service technician in the room with you. At least digitally. It may appear impossible, but this is the near future to our BioBooster customers.

They have been chosen as the first to try the hologram glasses due to BioBooster’s special technology and the fact that BioBoosters are often hard to access. As an example, the service technicians in Langå would have to spend a day travelling to physically service the Tine Meieri (Tine dairy) in the most northerly part of Norway.

Hologram glasses, the so-called HoloLenses, thus makes it possible to bring several people together in a digital room, which is so close to the physical world that you get the benefits of face-to-face meetings without meeting the other persons in real life.

“It is about raising the contextual awareness,” says Christian Carlsson, Lead Consultant, loT Lab. In plain language this means helping the customer in the very room, he or she is in – but without moving geographically. The immediate advantage is a faster and more efficient support.

“The investment is covered after only two long trips. But we need to accurately imitate the physical meeting. The supporter must know the customer’s location in the room to help in the best possible way. Maybe the customer is not standing close enough to the machine. Wearing the glasses, the supporter can see the same as the customer, as well as the position of the customer relative to the product, which is being serviced. Without having to go there,” says Christian Carlsson.

A physical and digital mix
As the supervision takes place in a mix of the physical and digital world, both customer and supporter can access data which, because of the HoloLenses, appears as an integrated part of the space where the customer is located. Internet connection, built-in camera, microphone, 3D space scanner and graphic illustrations combined with actual reality make it possible.

“The supporter will be able to monitor everything the customer does and relate this to graphics showing the performance of the BioBooster. In the long-term, everything can be saved in the system, so improvement proposals can be ready the following day,” says Christian Carlsson.

Why do we need HoloLenses when we already have smartphones and Facetime?
“Obviously you can already do these things with a smartphone. However, you will have to use both hands. In addition, HoloLenses optimise the processes we know simply by combining digital and physical input in a new and intelligible way”.

Among customers in January
The support offer to BioBooster customers via HoloLenses is still in the early phases. But in January 2019, the technology will be released to a few selected customers as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – a product, which is up and running but not fully developed. In the long run, the product should be applicable to all Grundfos products.

“It will most likely be some of our Nordic customers who will get the possibility to test the MVP version. Technically, the solution is up and running but we need more practical experience. And a lot of the things we are focusing on right now in terms of 3D models and contextual awareness can be used many places in Grundfos,” says Christian Carlsson.