Remote Assist for Mobile vs. HoloLens: What Are the Benefits?

The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped how companies operate and as it becomes more and more necessary for Field Service teams to find solutions that enable them to collaborate virtually and effectively, immersive meeting tools are in demand. There are a number of new applications arriving on the market which take advantage of advancements in technology and notably with the advent of mixed reality and advanced augmented reality. One of these newer applications is Microsoft’s Remote Assist for Mobile. Similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens application, this immersive option allows for connecting and collaborating using live video calling, mixed reality annotations, and high-resolution snapshots – all with a smartphone.

What are the Benefits of Using Remote Assist?

Remote Assist empowers your technicians to collaborate more efficiently by working together from different locations. Accessible via HoloLens, Android, or iOS devices, your field technicians can share their real-time view with the experts in remote locations to get the help they need and troubleshoot the problem faster. This is especially useful for newer field technicians who may need assistance from their more experienced counterparts. The expert can ‘walk the site’ with the technician, saving time and money by getting the job done right the first time. Another benefit of Remote Assist is the ability to lower costs with remote inspections by combining video, screenshots, and annotations needed to ensure key safety protocols. And most importantly, Remote Assist allows for social distancing, keeping your at-home experts safe yet virtually available for onsite needs.

Should you use Remote Assist for HoloLens or for Mobile?

You can utilize the Remote Assist application through Microsoft’s HoloLens or by using your mobile devices. But which is best for you? There are similarities and differences between using the two. Let’s compare:

HoloLens

  • The HoloLens is an untethered holographic headset that consists of a visor, headband, and several light and infrared cameras.
  • As a Dynamics 365 Remote Assist HoloLens user, you can make or join a one-to-one call, group call, or scheduled meeting using Teams or Outlook.
  • Allows for Microsoft Teams Group calls for up to 50 participants/experts

Pricing of the HoloLens is $3,500

Mobile Device:

  • Use the mobile devices you already utilize – smart phones, tablets, etc.
  • Allows one-on-one Teams calls between the technician and the expert
  • One Remote Assist license for the onsite field service technician and one Teams license for the offsite expert.

Both HoloLens and Mobile options include:

  • Augmented reality of the technician’s environment, including holograms and the real world behind the holograms that both the technician and expert can view and interact with.
  • The ability for the technician and experts to annotate the physical environment with arrows and drawings, insert files, take photos, and attach these to a *field service work order (*Dynamics 365 Field Service license would be required)
  • All experts must have a Microsoft Teams account
  • The Remote Assist user license automatically includes a Microsoft Teams License.

Deciding on whether to use the HoloLens or your mobile device when using Remote Assist can depend on multiple business factors. Larger Field Service organizations may go with the HoloLens as it provides Group calls, thus enabling technicians can get input from multiple experts in one single session. Smaller organizations may start with the mobile option as it still provides the virtual collaboration and annotations between users.

Using Remote Assist can transform your Field Service from a cost center to a profit center by optimizing your resources, resulting in greater customer satisfaction. If you’d like to talk about how Remote Assist for Mobile or HoloLens can help your organization, contact us. One of our Field Service experts would be happy to guide you in the right direction.

Author: Jennifer Franchi, Director of Field Service Solutions

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Remote Assist for Mobile vs. HoloLens: What Are the Benefits?