Written By:
XOi Technologies

News from AHR 2018

Wearable Tech: How it Improves Field Services


Tuesday was Day 2 at the AHR Expo, and Matt and Steve are staying busy. They’ve had lots of conversations about XOi’s Vision™ product, but they’re also talking to attendees about the field service industry. They’ve also had a chance to take a peek at some of the awesome tech that’s available for field service companies. One technology in particular is at the top of everyone’s mind: wearables.

Because there is so much interest in wearable technology and how it can change the field service industry, we thought it might be nice to answer some of the top questions field service techs have about wearables. Here are few of the questions Steve and Matt have heard most often.

  1. Which wearables are most useful for field services? With so much wearable tech available, it’s hard to know what will be most useful for a company or service tech. In most instances, a wearable camera in the form of an action camera (like a GoPro) or smart glasses (like these from Vuzix) is the best option in field services. Wearable cameras that capture both videos and still images are the most useful. Those images and videos can then be used to build a knowledge base, provide customers with visual explanations and evidence on jobs performed, and can help field service organizations track the work that technicians do.
  2. Don’t those things present a safety hazard? Actually, using the right wearables in the field can improve field service safety. Not only does it allow techs to document the jobs they’re working on, but it also lets field service managers review those videos and images to find unsafe working conditions and opportunities to train service technicians on better safety hygiene and habits.  
  3. Can’t I just use my smartphone? You can. The problem with using a mobile device that’s not classified as a wearable is that you have to hold the device.  That means either tucking it under your chin and hoping you’re getting the image or video you need, or working with one hand. Considering that there are already times when you need three hands and you’re not holding a smartphone, it doesn’t feel like the best option. That’s not to say that a smartphone doesn’t have value. In fact, when sharing knowledge, it’s probably the best way to go. But if you’re capturing images and video, why not have a wearable device that allows you to capture the content you need and still have your hands free to do the job necessary?
  4. Is this really a thing? I mean, why do I need to have wearable technology anyway? The short answer is, you don’t have to have it. You can continue to do the job the way you’ve always done it. But make no mistake about it. Your competition is looking at wearable technology and the applications that go along with it. They’re adopting it. And it’s changing the way they do business. Those companies now have transparency with their customers that results in much deeper relationships. They’re realizing cost savings simply because techs can share information even when they’re not working together at the same site. Those companies are also increasing their sales because technicians that have the right tools do a better quality job, and they have the time and information to show customers how small changes can result in big savings. This is a thing. But you don’t have to have wearable technology. However, if you don’t have it and you don’t plan to get it, then you can probably expect to see your business grow stagnant going forward.

Wearable technology is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s part of a complete solution that field service organizations can use to create transparency both inside the company and with customers. It also helps build sales and bottom line profits, and it improves the knowledge your company shares. It’s no wonder so many people have stopped by the Data-Basics booth to speak with Matt and Steve. Leveraging this technology is your best option for putting your best tech on every site.