Realwear powerlines

The world learned the value of video conferencing technology during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Technologies like Cisco WebEx, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom enabled us to interact during the lockdown.

This now widely accepted culture around virtual meetings, the “Zoom culture”, makes sense. So why wouldn’t we extend the same concepts for remote working and remote support? New Zealand-based technicians are directing the installation and set-up of engineering machinery in the US using hands-free voice-activated head-mounted tablet computers from Company-X.

We became the first Australasian reseller of RealWear head-mounted tablets in 2019 because of some really exciting productivity opportunities. Even more so now with the global Covid-19 pandemic. That has been a huge catalyst.

We have clients buying RealWear head-mounted tablets from us who sent millions of dollars’ worth of engineering machinery off to the US and who normally send technicians over to set it up.

The US, like many other countries, didn’t fully lockdown during the pandemic, and their businesses still had a need for essential equipment.

They have sent RealWear head-mounted tablets over to the US and have an expert here in New Zealand using software and a web browser to see what the person in the US is seeing on the other end.

The New Zealand technicians are using Microsoft Teams to communicate with their States-side counterparts.

Another Company-X client had imported equipment from Europe but the technicians were not allowed to enter New Zealand to install it. Currently, they cannot enter New Zealand because they are not essential workers. So we are running head-mounted tablets here in New Zealand, and from Germany, they can tell the guy what piece needs to go where.

While such work was driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, Company-X clients are planning on a permanent switch to this remote expert on-demand solution. It’s amazing.

There might be a little bit of reduced efficiency with remote hands and an expert on-demand, but you’ve just saved thousands of dollars on airfares and hotels for the experts, so even if it takes an extra hour or two to set up it’s a fraction of the price to fly there.

Some of our clients are considering how they can use head-mounted tablets for all of their future overseas appointments so they won’t need to have a person on-site, just expert information.

  • David Hallett is a co-founder and director of Hamilton software specialist Company-X.