Here’s why BMW mechanics now carry smartglasses in their tool chest

bmw mechanics using smart glasses to fix cars faster

BMW mechanics are going high-tech. The Munich, Germany-based automaker announced it has added RealWear HMT-1 smartglasses to the tool kit its technicians use in order to reduce the time a car spends in the shop, and make its service centers more efficient. The technology will be fully implemented at all participating dealerships by the end of June 2019.

No, the mechanics at your nearest BMW dealership aren’t shooting aliens in outer space between oil changes. Ubimax’s augmented reality technology lets them access service manuals on the spot without needing to open a thick repair volume or spend time booting up a laptop — which also means no more greasy keyboards. For example, a technician changing the water pump on a 3 Series can access a diagram showing how to install the part using the smartglasses. BMW noted the software is intuitive and user-friendly.

The technology also puts mechanics in contact with engineers if they need to diagnose or solve a more enigmatic problem, which isn’t unheard of considering how advanced new cars are. Using the smartglasses, a mechanic can remotely work with a member of the engineering team via a hands-free video link. The engineer sees what the mechanic see, and can send an image, a diagram, or voice instructions directly to the smartglasses.

Voice recognition lets mechanics open files while keeping both hands in the engine bay. BMW’s research showed that using augmented reality technology is more efficient than sending an email, waiting for a reply, or receiving instructions over the phone. That’s why all 347 BMW centers in the United States and select Mini dealers will use smartglasses by the end of 2019.

The technology is costly to implement, but BMW explained its dealers are doing it in the name of customer satisfaction. Solving problems more quickly means cars spend less time in the shop, and more time on the road.

BMW isn’t the first high-end German brand to introduce smartglasses into its workshops. In 2018, Porsche dealerships across the United States began using augmented reality technology to diagnose and repair cars that come in for service. Like BMW, Porsche explained the technology saves its service centers a tremendous amount of time, especially when technicians need to fix complex issues.

Cars

How the furious pace of innovation has sculpted the world’s fastest motorcycles

The technology that powers modern MotoGP race bikes isn't just inside of them -- it's everywhere. Literally every single part of the bike, from the brake pad coating to the shape of the gas tank, is painstakingly designed to make the rider…
Cars

Think hybrids can’t be sporty? BMW’s Vision M Next is here to prove you wrong

BMW unveiled a concept named Vision M Next that shows what sports cars could look like in the not-too-distant future. It is a plug-in hybrid model with 600-hp, and a driver-focused interior packed with futuristic tech features.
Product Review

2020 Mercedes GLS shows what happens when unstoppable force meets immovable luxury

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS is more than a luxury family-hauler. Yes, it’s got all the luxury features and all the bells and whistles of modern technology, but this three-row Teutonic tank has some serious off-road chops as well.
Small Business

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

June may be coming to an end, but the bonanza of tech jobs just keeps coming. High-paying jobs abound at companies where people love to work. If you’re ready to make a change, this is a great time to look for something more fulfilling…
Computing

MacBook Pro catching fire? Apple issues safety recall for overheating batteries

Apple issued a safety recall for a specific older model of MacBook Pros that may contain a battery that could overheat. Here's how to claim your free replacement battery if your MacBook Pro is affected.
Cars

What is Apple CarPlay? Here's all you need to know about iOS in your dashboard

CarPlay is one of two major infotainment systems currently vying for your car's dash. Here's everything you need to know about the system, including its feature set and host of third-party apps.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Illuminated keyboards and a retro gaming console

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

What is Android Auto? Pull over and we'll tell you everything you need to know

What is Android Auto? Google's app overrides native infotainment systems to reduce distractions while driving. Here's everything you need to know about it, including the feature set and compatible car models.
Cars

The hottest of all Mini hatches is coming with a Batman-approved design

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the Mini Cooper.
Cars

Airbus-backed Voom could take on Uber’s on-demand flying taxi service

Airbus-backed Voom says it's planning to take its on-demand helicopter taxi to more U.S. cities this fall, a move that could put it in direct competition with Uber's app-based air taxi service launching soon in New York City.
Cars

Volvo invented the three-point seat belt, and it might be the company that kills it

Volvo didn't invent the seat belt, but the firm patented the three-point configuration found in every new car in 2019. Autonomous technology will force automakers to rethink how they keep motorists pinned to their seats, and Volvo is…
Cars

Airstream inspiration Road Chief puts an off-grid luxury camper on the road

Updated for off-grid camping for four people, the Bowlus Road Chief Endless Highways awaits your tow hitch and your wallet. Bowlus design, build quality, and technology in a world-class trailer towable by most mid-sized SUVs.
Cars

Ford promises exciting GT supercar news at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Ford will make an announcement regarding its GT supercar at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The GT's racing career is winding down, but could Ford be planning a hotter road-going version?
Cars

This ’60s Ford Mustang EV has Tesla-like specs and a Rolls-Royce-like price

British startup Charge Cars planted its flag where electric cars and muscle cars meet when it unveiled a battery-powered 1960s Ford Mustang. Starting with a reproduction shell, the firm added an electric powertrain and modern electronics.