Energy and utilities sector to comprise 17% of AR glasses shipments globally in 2018

According to estimates put forward by ABI Research, the energy and utilities sector will comprise 17% of augmented reality (AR) glasses shipments throughout the world in 2018 as the industry emphasises on the importance of workers’ safety provided by these smart glasses.

According to the company’s “Augmented Reality in Energy and Utilities” report, total AR market revenues for the energy and utilities sector are anticipated to reach $18 billion by 2022 - with platform and licensing, and smart glasses hardware taking the lead.

Marina Lu, Senior Analyst at ABI Research, said: “AR enables better visualization of underground assets, pipelines in concrete, or complex components, which help avoid breaks while digging, detect dangerous leaks, and reduce accidents. Accordingly, employee safety will be maintained along with a decline in errors and total downtime.

“As the industry faces a lack of skilled workers and an aging workforce that will result in knowledge loss, AR will aid field workers by connecting them with remote experts who can provide real-time guidance and highlight where extra caution should be taken,” added Lu. “A subsequent benefit is that the information obtained from AR solutions can be stored as a guideline for future work, thus facilitating business decisions and workflow. With AR, employees become more proficient more quickly.”

Elsewhere, General Electric’s aviation unit has successfully piloted video streaming product Vuzix Basics Video and Vuzix M300 smart glasses supplied by AR hardware manufacturer Vuzix. The products help establish a connection between field technicians and remote experts for real-time collaboration.

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