Monday, April 04, 2005

Augmented Reality and Auto Repair

Business Week's Olga Kharif article on developments in wearable computers shows how far this technology has come in the last few years. However, the final paragraphs aren't really about wearable computers, but augmented reality.

Wearables are also slowly making their way into the auto-repair market. A company called Microvision (MVIS) recently introduced its Nomad head-mounted display. It covers one eye, but it's see-through, allowing auto technicians to examine the innards of a car and check them against on-screen computer drawings at the same time. It comes as a baseball cap clip-on, to be more unobtrusive.

So far, it's a hit: At Jim Fisher Volvo dealership in Portland, Ore., which has been testing the system for about seven months, productivity of technicians went up 10% to 20%, says Service Manager John Prosser. Better yet, customers talking to technicians who are wearing these contraptions also are more likely to agree to repairs, pushing revenue up 15% to 18%. Says Prosser: "This makes [technicians] want to get involved and to cross this bridge of reluctance" in using a new technology. |Link|

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