December 19, 2022
In 2020 and 2021, augmented reality remote support went mainstream and virtual reality training use cases exploded. Though training and remote support remained the top two AR/VR/MR (XR) applications in enterprise in 2022, organizations also explored virtual meetings and committed to digital twins. Here are some use cases that stood out:
Dozens of companies in a wide range of industries tested, deployed, and expanded their use of XR for remote support this year, including:
State Farm developed a POC for small business policy quotes conducted via VR headsets. Apple engineers in Cupertino continued to rely on AR to check factory issues at Chinese plants; while ReNew Power, in its transition away from fossil fuels, adopted Librestream’s Onsight solution to virtually connect workers, contractors, and SMEs.
In March, Mercedes-Benz deployed Microsoft Teams on RealWear HMT-1 at 56 service centers in Turkey. Hyundai announced plans to leverage TeamViewer’s Frontline AR platform at its Singapore innovation center to support assembly, maintenance, and other critical business areas. Indian chemicals conglomerate SRF Limited also implemented TeamViewer’s platform across four plants in July, while Ricoh customer engineers have been carrying Vuzix M400 glasses for instant support on the job.
Immersive training was just as popular as ever this year, with everyone from energy giants to a residential cleaning franchise adopting VR to teach new skills. In the UK, Southern Water is using VR to improve pollution response training, while rail operator LNER adopted SenseGlove’s Nova haptic feedback glove for train ramp assembly training.
In April, both Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways began exploring VR pilot training. The following month Walmart announced a new global upskilling academy powered by Pico Neo 3 VR headsets with training content by Strivr. Also in May, Accenture debuted the Nth floor, its metaverse campus for onboarding new hires (soft skills).
Milwaukee Tool incorporated AR into sales training; PBC Linear has been using Magic Leap 2 to teach complex manufacturing processes; and, in a feat for XR and the energy industry, offshore workers in Massachusetts became the first in the world to get certified through VR training.
Sales & Marketing
2022 also saw XR employed for sales and marketing: Retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Sunglass Hut introduced new virtual try-on features, while Tito’s vodka and Nike celebrated anniversaries with in-store AR/MR displays. In the auto world, Nissan recreated a Japanese dealership in VRChat, and BMW released two immersive experiences: An Nreal-powered virtual showroom for the M2 and a mixed reality driving experience for its iX1 electric vehicle.
On the more experimental side, all kinds of brands dipped their feet into the metaverse: Nike debuted .Swoosh, a home for its virtual creations and a kind of follow-up to 2021’s Nikeland on Roblox. In financial services, HSBC purchased land in The Sandbox metaverse and J.P. Morgan launched a lounge in Decentraland. Even wellness brand Alo Yoga and grocer Albertsons got in on the action: Roblox users meditating in Alo Sanctuary could earn exclusive digital items, while shoppers could scan billboards in Decentraland to order real groceries for delivery.
Companies ramped up their digital twin efforts, too: Lowe’s tested store digital twins using NVIDIA Omniverse and Magic Leap 2 to improve customer service; HS2 is building a digital twin of Britain’s new high-speed rail network to enable predictive maintenance; and car brands Renault and Mercedes-Benz are digitizing the production process to enhance predictability and transparency across factories worldwide.
In the world of design, Hatch released AssetXR, a VR project management solution for immersive design reviews; and Myco Mechanical adopted Trimble Connect AR for project managers and superintendents to visualize 3D BIM models in the real world. General Motors has been using VR and human simulation for early ergonomic issue discovery, while Honda continued seeing results from VR simulation at its L.A. design studio. And in a use case bridging asset visualization and remote support, Dell unveiled an AR app providing step-by-step augmented instructions for replacing common PC parts at home.
Virtual meetings: Toyota created virtual workspaces where employees participate in company meetings as avatars, and insurer Cigna experimented with Oculus headsets for virtual staff meetings. Likewise, real estate giant CBRE is exploring how the metaverse might help bring employees together, oversee properties, and work with clients.
Unique: In Australia, BAE Systems successfully trialed VR and cobots in shipbuilding, with staff wearing HoloLens to view assembly instructions then activating cobots to perform inspections.
This year, German freight company Dachser successfully trialed active exoskeletons by German Bionic to help workers perform strenuous tasks. In April, Amazon invested in Modjoul, a belt that gathers biomechanical data to reduce musculoskeletal injuries among warehouse workers. In June and August respectively, workers at Emirates Global Aluminum began testing an arm wearable by Kenzen to prevent overheating in warehouses and UK water company Severn Trent inked a deal to provide wearable personal gas detection devices to 10,000+ workers. Nevertheless, as of the new year, exoskeletons and body-worn sensors for workplace safety largely remain in the trial phase.
Want more? Did you know that BrainXchange debuted a directory of enterprise XR use cases in 2022? Now up to over 500 use cases, the directory is updated weekly with new pilots and deployments to inspire you. Bookmark it!
Image source: Accenture