Next time your building’s elevator goes down for maintenance, the technician responsible for repairing it might be wearing one of Microsoft’s slick HoloLens headsets. Announced today, Thyssen Krupp is teaming up with Microsoft to provide their elevator technicians with the mixed-reality headset, HoloLens.
Yes, this is a real thing that’s happening. Elevator technicians are using interactive Minority Report-style holograms to diagnose and repair the complex machinery under their care.
Thyssen Krupp technicians are using the HoloLens to identify problems with elevators and receive detailed technical analysis while keeping their hands free to work on the delicate internals of the elevator itself.
Right out of the box, technicians are able to use the included Skype app to connect with elevator experts from around the world to consult and share holographic instructions between users. MSPowerUser reports that Thyssen Krupp has already seen the HoloLens have a huge impact on its service calls.
Technicians using the HoloLens have been able to get repairs done about four times faster than before, thanks to the Skype app and the hands-free remote holographic guidance they’re able to receive.
Thyssen Krupp has partnered with Microsoft in the past to support the predictive maintenance service MAX, which uses Microsoft’s Azure internet-of-things framework to relay detailed diagnostic information to technicians and provide real-time data visualization during service calls.
The integration of MAX diagnostics into elevators, when paired with the HoloLens program, will reportedly allow technicians to receive detailed data streams directly via the holographic interface while they perform repairs.
In effect, the elevators will predict when they need to be repaired, tell Thyssen Krupp, and the technician on site will use holograms to identify problem areas and address them before they become problems.
There’s something uniquely exciting about seeing these technologies rolled out to the actual nuts-and-bolts aspects of our lives, making difficult and stressful jobs safer and more efficient. Then again, holograms seem to make everything much, much cooler.