Augmented Reality is key to bringing transformation in utility operations, says GlobalData

Augmented reality (AR) and its variants; virtual reality, assisted reality and mixed reality, are set to take off in a big way and offers to bring in new value to the energy sector.

Amit Sharma, Power Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the role of AR in bringing efficiency in utilities operations in the future:

“A number of disruptive transformations are taking place in the utility space, with data analytics providing actionable insights, and AR making the data available to the right person at the right time and place for making business decisions.

“AR may benefit utilities in improving business processes such as helping to restore power faster. It can also help them manage the aging workforce, and help in knowledge management. The technology helps utilities to bring in proficiency in employee training, conduct faster maintenance activities and offer operational safety. 

“The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is working with large utilities such as Duke Energy, Consolidated Edison, EDF, Korea Electric Power Corporation and others on how AR can fit into the industry’s workforce. Many AR devices manufacturing firms are also making huge investments in AR such as Atheer, DAQRI, Google, Microsoft, ODG, Magic Leap among others with AR sunglasses, helmets and other devices being largely developed and experimented for various applications. There are developments on different AR devices from Heads up displays (HUD), Holographic displays, and smart glasses to handheld/smartphone based.

“AR systems are flexible to operate with mobile devices, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)/unmanned aerial system (UAS) along with UAV’s sensors, communication capabilities and on-the-ground or remote pilots. Internet of Things (IoT) will also play its role by putting together disparate devices, networks and databases to provide data-driven insights. Asset management, outage management systems, distribution management systems, geographic information systems and other existing utility applications will improve with new data sources by integrating the existing and new utility systems.” 

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