Kognitiv Spark uses Microsoft HoloLens to empower field workers
Author:Greg Dashwood , Microsoft Canada
Kognitiv Spark, located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, is empowering industrial workers to achieve more through mixed and augmented reality. Using Microsoft HoloLens, along with artificial intelligence, Azure IoT Hub and Azure Custom Vision Services, the proprietary platform, RemoteSpark, brings expert help to field workers when they need it the most.
RemoteSpark was created to solve a key challenge in the field: on-site technicians don’t always have the full expertise to complete tasks, requiring help from a subject matter expert. In the past, this meant production and equipment downtime and expensive travel for an organization’s experts. Industrial organizations worldwide face similar challenges – field workers need access to information, knowledge, and experts to perform complex tasks.
Kognitiv Spark needed an option that would bring the experts to the field when and where they needed them. The answer was a mixed and augmented reality platform for maintenance, repair, and remote support that allowed field technicians to engage subject matter experts in real-time, reliably, and securely. Built and optimized for Microsoft HoloLens, RemoteSpark is a proprietary solution that is intuitive, effective, and scalable for industrial clients around the world.
Bringing experts where they need to be
In fieldwork, when a piece of equipment stops functioning, the worker on-site may not have the full expertise to troubleshoot the situation. With RemoteSpark, they can put on the HoloLens and launch the application, tapping into an SME who is, often, located elsewhere. Through their own computer, the expert can see what the worker sees and add holographic guidance. For example, an expert can import an animated 3D model through Azure to put a reference to the specific task in the worker’s direct field of view.
RemoteSpark also leverages artificial intelligence through Azure Custom Vision Services. The technology allows a worker to ask, “RemoteSpark, what is this?” and have the platform use machine learning on Azure to identify the object or equipment from the live video feed. If available, the AI can automatically retrieve related content and make it available to the field worker autonomously.
Outside of artificial intelligence, Kognitiv Spark leverages a breadth of Azure functionality, including IoT Hub, Functions, CosmosDB, and Storage. Knowing business requirements for security and connectivity for a diverse clientele — including defense and aerospace organizations — Microsoft Azure, HoloLens, and Kognitiv Spark’s proprietary rendering engine provided an option that scaled the MR market across industries.
Using HoloLens to empower Canadian Armed Forces
When the Royal Canadian Navy was looking for a fully integrated solution that would leverage RemoteSpark’s capabilities, Kognitiv Spark created Mixed Reality Remote Assistant Support (MIRRAS). The result is an on-premise solution, fully containerized, that doesn’t require external connectivity to remain mission capable with the highest level of availability and security.
Designed to be used with the Microsoft HoloLens, the software leverages augmented reality, mixed reality, artificial intelligence, and IoT integrations to improve efficiencies with ship operations including repairs, maintenance, and knowledge transfer. As processes shift toward Industry 4.0, AI and mixed reality enable the Royal Canadian Navy’s marine technicians—and systems in general—to be as operationally effective as possible. After ongoing work with the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, Kognitiv Spark’s industry-leading security features and reputation made it the natural choice for the project.
In today’s world of work, field workers often fear being displaced by technology. Kognitiv Spark aims to change that perspective, using industry-leading technology to empower field workers to achieve more. RemoteSpark and Microsoft HoloLens provide a medium that can augment their cognitive capabilities and help them deliver in complex situations and dynamic environments.
Looking forward, the team’s goal is to scale to serve clients in more demanding situations and operational deployments. With Microsoft HoloLens and the Azure Cloud with its AI capabilities, Kognitiv Spark will continue to support field workers and clients securely.
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