“Since April 2020, it’s been like drinking from a fire hose,” commented CraneMorley President, Thomas Pratt. “Adoption of Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality headset was the long-term challenge you might expect until the April start of the pandemic travel restrictions. COVID has changed that.”
Global companies like Varian Medical Systems stood ready to send an engineer to keep their radiation cancer treatment machines running for their healthcare customers. With travel constraints, an engineer flying to Brazil for example, must be quarantined for 14 days prior to the needed service call. So, potentially no cancer treatment for two whole weeks. Any company with a field technical workforce faces the same problem.
On a Wednesday, Varian approached Microsoft and its mixed reality partner, CraneMorley with the problem. The CraneMorley team sent HoloLens headsets to Varian field engineers, at that time working at home and by Friday had developed a virtual workshop to get them trained up on the device and Microsoft’s Remote Assist application, which allows the engineer to “see-through” the distant technician’s eyes and guide them through a difficult repair. Monday morning, they were up and running.
“That’s when word must have got out through Microsoft’s global sales team, because we have been working with companies such as Kraft Heinz, Thermo Fisher, Intel, BNSF Rail, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Sempra Energy in support of their adoption of the HoloLens and Remote Assist as a COVID countermeasure,” stated CraneMorley’s president. “We discovered we are able to use the same HoloLens tool to teach remotely, basically ‘walking the talk’ as instructor as well as student work learn at home. Because of the travel time and cost savings, we believe the adoption of this method of support will continue long after the pandemic.
Another discovery during the pandemic is that our team works well at home writing and developing learning and performance solutions, so we do not plan to return to an office any time soon. Instead, we have leased studio space from which we will originate live mixed reality and streaming video training written and developed by our creative team working at home.
It is like the quotation from Abraham Lincoln, “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” That is exactly what we aim to do.
CraneMorley has been developing learning and performing solutions for enterprise for more than 28 years.
Microsoft Remote Assist Application Overview
CraneMorley Mixed Reality Journey Microsite