Gartner Says Smartglasses Will Bring Innovation to Workplace Efficiency


“In 2017, Smartglasses May Begin to Save the Field Service Industry $1 Billion per Year”

So starts the latest news release from Gartner, noting that “the use of smartglasses has the potential to improve worker efficiency in vertical markets such as manufacturing, field service, retail and healthcare.”

As new owners of Google Glasses, we’ll be taking a look ourselves. How might smartglasses improve productivity?

“Smartglasses with augmented reality (AR) and head-mounted cameras can increase the efficiency of technicians, engineers and other workers in field service, maintenance, healthcare and manufacturing roles,” said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner. “In the next three to five years, the industry that is likely to experience the greatest benefit from smartglasses is field service, potentially increasing profits by $1 billion annually. The greatest savings in field service will come from diagnosing and fixing problems more quickly and without needing to bring additional experts to remote sites.”

Gartner predicts that “10 percent of companies in the U.S. may implement smartglasses during the next five years for companies with offsite workers, such as field service personnel and inspectors” and “… during the next five years, the ecosystems will evolve to include more apps that do specific tasks with smartglasses, which may cause IT organizations to provide them for a wider range of employees.”

There are lot of intriguing use cases. Consider:

Insurance agents, for example, may use smartglasses to video property that has been damaged and then check on the replacement value of items they have identified using a visual search.

How-to instructions and illustrations on the smartglass displays enable workers to perform tasks even if they do not remember all the procedures. The virtual assistant on the smartglasses could serve as an interactive, hands-free “how-to” manual. Thus, workers may successfully complete tasks they have little experience doing. In addition, workers with mild memory issues or cognitive impairment may find smartglasses useful tools for remembering how to complete tasks.

Video collaboration with experts in remote locations results in faster repairs and saves the expense of flying an expert to the site to help. Employees at remote sites can communicate and share video of what they see with experienced workers to get advice on how to diagnose and fix problems. In this way, enterprises can improve the cost-effectiveness of their field service and remote operations by employing a larger ratio of less-experienced workers to experienced ones or specialists, thus saving labor costs.

The streamed video can be stored as evidence that a job was performed correctly or that everything looks fine during an inspection. Such video records can be valuable if customers make allegations against the field service company. The video record is important for other industries as well, notably insurance adjusters, real estate appraisers, construction inspectors and couriers to prove package delivery.

Stay tuned as we explore how smartglasses with help property and facilities managers, construction companies, field service providers, and other companies with mobile workers will benefit.

You can read the full news release here: Gartner Says Smartglasses Will Bring Innovation to Workplace Efficiency.