When Apple announced the addition of lidar to their latest models of iPads, there were some that decried it as a technology in search of a problem to fix. While it may be too low-resolution to pose a threat to handheld SLAM scanner manufacturers, we are beginning to see companies take advantage of this new capability.
One area that the iPad’s lidar seems to be helpful in is in enhancing VR and AR applications. Today, TeamViewer, a remote connectivity solutions company, announced that its Augmented reality-based TeamViewer Pilot has now been updated to leverage the LiDAR Scanner in the new Apple iPad Pro. The app allows experts to create virtual guides for users who are performing complex operations. They accomplish this via live camera-sharing, 3D space mapping, 3D AR objects and pointers, supplemented by voice and on-screen annotations.
“Needing to send an expert or technician to the filed to solve problems is a challenge that companies across all industries face,” says Andreas Haizmann, director of product management for TeamViewer Pilot.
“With TeamViewer Pilot, and the new iPad Pro, your expert can be virtually onsite from anywhere in the world. Now, objects and items can be highlighted much more precisely, preventing error and miscommunication. By providing an understanding of the physical environment, the LiDAR Scanner in the iPad Pro also enables Pilot to detect and occlude annotations behind physical objects. This provides a much better understanding of the real situation for both, the remote expert, as well as the person in the field– thus greatly improving first time fix rates and productivity.”
One area that VR and AR has shined in in developing applications for training – and this enhancement allows organizations to virtually “see” what workers in the field are doing using the iPad Pro’s camera and lidar. The trainer or supervisor can then make realistic AR annotations with guiding arrows, free-hand drawing, sequence guidance and more, right on top of objects in the field of view of the onsite worker.
TeamViewer Pilot technology allows companies to create a ‘shared central intelligence’ framework reducing work disruptions caused by the shortage of a skilled workforce. This may aid the transfer of knowledge and creating visual help documentation as a younger cadre of workers replace those that have decades of hands-on knowledge of particular tasks.
With a kind of “real-time virtual support”, a technician can complete a task faster, whether on a remote electricity utility pole or tethered atop a wind turbine, cutting down on machine downtime and improving incident response time. Visual guidance is especially valuable when the problem is too difficult to explain or when audio instructions are hard to hear.
TeamViewer hopes that their TeamViewer Pilot system can connect experts from anywhere to guide and educate field employees when issues arise. Experts can connect and collaborate in seconds, no matter where the field employee is located – either through the new iPad Pro, smart glasses and wearable headsets, or just by using a smartphone.
TeamViewer’s connectivity platform enables customers and users to unlock significant economic value as it allows them to develop new business models, increase process efficiency, reduce or replace on-site presence and manual intervention, improve product and service quality and promote connectivity and collaboration. More information about TeamViewer Pilot can be found here.