Tipping point for remote assistance with smart glasses
2020 has undoubtedly been the most unusual business year in recent memory. Since March, literally the whole world has been affected by the Covid19 pandemic.
As strict regulations regarding social distancing, travel bans and minimal crew on-site are still in place, our smart glasses have proven to be an efficient tool to empower deskless workers all around the world to collaborate remotely. With a working internet connection, on-site field workers can enable remote assistance with remote experts and colleagues in real-time, sharing instant information and finding a new way to collaborate without need to travel.
A grasp of our Covid19 success stories
Our client JBTC -a worldplayer in food processing equipment- kept their production operational during full lockdown in March. For the set up of a new production line in North Italy, they implemented our smart glasses technology so local maintenance teams got handsfree remote assistance from senior technicians based in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium). They also realized a remote Factory Acceptance Test for a client in Spain who was not allowed to travel.
On a similar note, Engie kept large energy facilities from clients on-site up and running with remote support from a senior expert based in HQ Holland. Engie’s main priority is ensuring technical problems get solved safely and efficiently so the capability to work with both hands free is slowly getting an essential part of their work method.
Furthermore, we were honored with the wonderful testimonial on our smart glasses of our client Bayer at the EWTS2020 online conference. Bayer has been working with us since the very beginning of their smart glasses journey and we are more than proud that multiple business units are using the Iristick Z1 smart glasses model for crop inspections outdoors and in greenhouses.
Besides in industrial settings, our smart glasses have taken the stage in medical context as well. With the pandemic at full force, we saw doctors in many hospitals trialing smart glasses to get support from medical device specialists who were no longer granted access to the Operating Theatre. In this regard, we’ve had vascular surgeons performing heart surgery aided by our smart glasses for the placement of a new cardiovascular device, rural nurses in Congo use remote assistance to get support from a doctor 400km away from the local healthcare facility and the Covid outbreak in Iran led to the composition of emergency teams using our smart glasses. From The Netherlands to the UK to rural parts of Congo, doctors are reaping the benefits of remote medical assistance.
With these Covid success stories in the back of our mind, we can agree on one thing: Covid19 has definitely put the use of smart glasses for remote assistance into acceleration. As the adoption of smart glasses became more of a necessity rather than a ‘nice to have’, companies swearing by this innovation are already turning tables within digital transformation. And we strongly believe, this new way of collaborating and connecting fieldworkers is here to stay.
Strong expansion of our partner ecosystem
Despite this year’s tangible obstacles, our ecosystem has been enriched with the establishment of fruitful partnerships. This year we were honored to partner with:
- Rods & Cones; as true pioneers in healthtech, our medical software partner Rods & Cones created a technology solution that revolutionizes real-time collaboration and assistance during surgeries between doctors and product experts
- XMreality; XMReality Remote Guidance is an AR-enabled knowledge sharing tool that lets you communicate with gestures, speech, chat and pointers with someone at a completely different place
- Acty; together with Acty, we make sure our smart glasses are now compatible with iOs devices for remote assistance
- Supportsquare; Belgian company SupportSquare developed the software 'Passerelle' that is being supported on our glasses. What’s unique is that the glasses wearer is fully in control of the features, controlled by voice
- Pepperl+Fuchs; market leader and innovator in electrical explosion protection and sensor technology, Pepperl+Fuchs and Iristick have liaged with eye on future collaborations, striving to establish ATEX type of smart glasses/device
- Kopin; since the beginning, we have been partnering with the world-leader in microdisplays, but this year our exponential growth has strengthened our relationship with Kopin
- Luxexcel; prescription lenses are no longer an issue for smart glasses users. With the 3D printed prescription lenses from our partner Luxexcel, operators can now see as clearly as with their regular glasses
Grounded on long-lasting relationships, our aim is to keep on improving our smart glasses technology for our customers. As we close the 2020 chapter, we’d like to thank our new and existing partners for these joint efforts in refining our smart glasses technology. On to the next year!
Quote of the year
A quote picked up from our colleagues at Google Glass on the EWTS2020 summit stated “Our industry shifted from “Barriers for Adoption” to “Barriers for Scaling”, which nicely represents the growth of our industry. The sole question of businesses on whether or not to adopt smart glasses blurs out and is being replaced by more concrete inquiries on how they should implement this in their daily operations. The Covid crisis has convinced enterprises of the strength and value of smart glasses. Stronger, it has put these businesses in acceleration for adoption. Decisions such as aligning this technology with existing IT ecosystems, security standards and device management have become prime in today’s business strategy.
From all presentations -whether given or attended- we can safely affirm that the digital transformation within industries that started in 2019 has been accelerated due to Covid19. Smart glasses have become an innovation that is able to tie loose ends through remote assistance, whether in industrial or medical contexts. Yet, one thing remains noteworthy; Covid19 has been the spark but not the fuel for this shift. Even after this crisis, this innovation will stay an essential and integral component of the deskless worker’s toolkit.
Our social impact success story of 2020
This year, we won the first prize in the national challenge ‘Digital4Development’ (D4D) in the main category ‘iStandOut’ for our social project in rural Congo on telemedicine. The award was acknowledged by the (new) Minister of Development Mrs. Kitir in Brussels.
D4D sheds light on social development by technological innovation in low-income countries. We are honored to receive such recognition for our efforts in rural health care facilities in DRCongo, where we connect remote doctors with local nurses thanks to our smart glasses.
As part of Iristick’s DNA, we hope to continue offering great value to projects like these to make a real impact on people's lives.
Larger size for the Iristick team
Businesses from all corners of the world piloted our smart glasses and rolled out company-wide projects, resulting in a growth of more than 500% in sales. With growth comes expansion and during full lockdown, quarantine and self-isolation, the Iristick team kept on growing.
Meet the Iristick ‘newbies’
- Johannes: our European business development manager, always up for hunting down new opportunities
- Jake: a tough American cookie (pun intended) in charge of strengthening our influence in the US
- Sybren: our project manager making sure pilots and scale-up projects are running smoothly
- Geeta: our marketing attaché putting Iristick on the smart glasses roadmap for once and for all
- Roman: a true sales veteran, fluent in (almost) all European languages and always down to give demos
- Han + Arno + Guillaume: three kick-ass interns putting their theoretical knowledge into practice
- Baby Elvis: clearly, our youngest asset and already a smart glasses advocate
Zooming through 2020
What to do when the whole country is in lockdown, offices are closed and you are not allowed to leave your house? You relax, take a seat and… zoom call your colleagues. While we reflect on the past year, here’s a pic of the Antwerp team zooming their way through 2020.
Dear 2020, it’s been a pleasure, but now it’s time to put you on mute!