Scope AR Introduces WorkLink: AR Enhanced Repair, Manufacturing Instructions

Today at Augmented World Expo, Scope AR, an augmented reality company serving large corporate customers such as Boeing, Toyota and Lockheed Martin, launched WorkLink, an AR instruction tool designed to empower workers to become experts at repairing or building anything without extensive training.

WorkLink is an augmented reality tool that provides step-by-step visual instructions for manufacturing and repair of industrial equipment and high tech machinery. WorkLink runs on either a tablet or smartglass device, and overlays detailed images of assembly and disassembly procedures.

Scope AR’s CEO Scott Montgomerie explained that WorkLink is designed so that companies can input their own CAD data for any device it wants to support with WorkLink. The software interprets the CAD files and creates 3D models that can be easily animated to show repair or build procedures. Devices that have internal components can be animated to show in which order, and how to remove (or insert) each part. Once a module is created, authors can publish content quickly so workers always have access to the most recent data.

Montgomerie told us that the “core of [WorkLink] is all about knowledge transfer.” Modern technology and machinery has become so complex that even specialized professions rely on experts for certain tasks. Montgomerie believes that WorkLink will help everyone become experts at doing anything. Currently, the software is meant for industrial environments, but Montgomerie said he sees a future where the instructions to build Ikea furniture will be delivered through augmented reality, or where you’ll be able to download the instructions for a mechanical repair on your motorcycle or automobile.

WorkLink includes built-in analytics tools that help clients track worker performance and accuracy. The platform can track how long it takes to complete a single takes or a full procedure.  It can capture images and videos and lets the worker input annotations (such as notes about the process being incorrect for future updates). Organizations can also use checklist verification to ensure that a job is done correctly and completely.

“Whether enterprises have a distributed workforce of field technicians needing assistance to repair equipment, or they have to train thousands of workers on proper operating or assembly procedures at scale, WorkLink enables them to always have an expert present with compliance assurance measures and tracked analytics along the way,” said Scott Montgomerie, CEO and co-founder of Scope AR. “Delivering intuitive, AR step-by-step instruction through WorkLink, organizations can increase employee comprehension, improve productivity and safety, and reduce downtime at a level never before possible.”

Scope AR also announced a significant update to its previous product, Remote AR, a tool that enables video calls with expert technicians through tablet or smart glass devices. The software lets workers shoot video or images of what they are working on and draw on the image to highlight what they are having trouble with.

The previous iteration of Remote AR required two connections with the expert: one through the Remote AR application to provide the video feed, and a separate phone call for voice support. The Remote AR update includes voice chat within the application, so you’ll only need to make one call. Scope AR also built a low bandwidth mode for Remote AR, so you can receive support even when you have a weak network connection.

The previous version of Remote AR was only available on tablet, smarthphone or smartglasses. Scope AR added a desktop client for the new version. Now support experts can provide advice for workers using any device directly from the Windows Desktop Expert client.

Scope AR said the platform is device agnostic. The company currently supports iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as a number of AR devices, including the ODG R7 and Epson Moverio. Montgomerie told us there are no plans to support the Vuzix M100 as the screen is too small, but the company is working on other AR devices. Scope AR just started testing the platform on Microsoft Hololens.

Montgomerie told us that Scope AR has been conducting a beta test over the last few months with both WorkLink and the new version of Remote AR in the manufacturing industry, for training flight attendants to use the complex safety equipment inside airplanes, and for tearing down oil pumps efficiently. He told us that clients in the beta test have reported significant drops in worker error and tasks are being completed faster than they ever were before on average.

WorkLink and the updated version of Remote AR are available today. Check out the company’s webpage for more information.

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 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.