Wear this headset for on-the-job training

HoloLens, which blends digital imagery with real world, caters to firstline workers
When Toby Bouska Jr. started assembling cabs for Kenworth semitrucks last year, he learned the ropes by observing longtime workers at the factory. But it wasn’t exactly engaging, and he didn’t get much practice doing the job himself.
“It’s them doing the job, and you just have to watch,” said Mr. Bouska, 21, who works at Kenworth’s plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, U.S. “I’m not really good at just sitting there watching.” But then his managers had him train in a new way: with a high-tech headset. They gave him a Microsoft HoloLens, a device that blends digital imagery with the real world. When he wore the headset, it overlaid digital arrows and diagrams over the parts he was looking at, helping to guide his work.
New opportunity
After the success with Mr. Bouska’s training, Kenworth’s parent company, Paccar, has ordered 50 of the devices. Five will be coming to the Chillicothe plant, which employs more than 2,000 workers, and the manager plans to use them to train employees on at least two dozen tasks. High-tech devices have played a central role in white-collar workplaces for decades, with a screen in front of nearly every face. Now, companies like Microsoft see a multibillion-dollar opportunity to get more personal technology, including the HoloLens, in the hands of workers who don’t sit behind a desk.
The new push goes beyond tools to perform a particular task, like a clerk ringing up a customer with a tablet or a robot moving materials around a factory. It is meant to integrate the tools into the corporate life of a company, like training, scheduling and regular communications. The efforts are enabled by cloud computing, which makes it easier to deliver information via a smartphone app or a mixed-reality headset.
Google is going after the market, as is Salesforce, with its acquisition of Quip.
Perhaps no tech company, though, is more aggressive than Microsoft at pursuing so-called frontline or firstline workers, who do the actual production, sales and service work for customers Open playing field
Emma Williams, a Microsoft executive who develops productivity tools for various industries, like health care and retail, said there was a big, open playing field. Technology already surrounds many frontline workers, but many of these workers do not even have a corporate email account, so they create workarounds to communicate. Team Inc., a company that performs maintenance and repairs at industrial sites, realised last year that almost half of its field technicians used personal email accounts and cellphones to communicate, said Tracy Terrell, Team’s chief information officer. The company’s leaders decided that was too risky.
“We don’t want to be emailing to Yahoo accounts or sending information via text, because that’s kind of our trade secret,” Ms. Terrell said.Ny Time

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/wear-this-headset-for-on-the-job-training/article28365659.ece

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