Porsche's AR glasses help us fix a car in cyberspace
Augmented reality is going mainstream in a big way in 2018.
Whether it's taking selfies with virtual stormtroopers or furniture shopping without having to worry about getting lost in IKEA, the technology is gonna touch your life a lot of different ways.
But Porsche wants to do something a little bit more practical, and it starts with a pair of glasses.
The technology is called Tech Live Look, and by the end of next year, you'll be seeing these in every Porsche dealership nationwide.
Built on a pair of augmented reality glasses from ODG, and combined with some software from a company called Atheer.
Porsche's technology allows technicians to wirelessly connect back to Porsche experts who have a wealth of service manuals and bulletins at their disposal.
Via augmented reality the remote technicians can see everything the on location technician can see, even drawing on the screen to highlight parts and sending over files like wiring diagrams or even complex workflows.
Alright, I'm having some flashbacks to my time with Google glass.
But the interface is actually quite a bit different here.
You've got two displays instead of just one like glass and they're much larger and right in the center of my field of view, so things can actually be projected on what I'm looking at.
Now, I've got a little touch pad up here, a little bit like Google glass, but there's an on screen menu interface.
Through here I can load a document, or I can look at PDFs, and service manuals, and that kind of thing.
And I'll bring up my phone book, and I'll call for a little help on how to fix this poor Panamara.
Okay, this is another tool I never seen before.
This is interesting.
This is a release tool Okay.
On the remote side the interface is pretty simple and a little bit like Skype on steroids.
Here the technician can watch the video feed in real time and send information over drawing directly when needed and of course having the power of the internet at their fingertips.
Before the glasses service technicians would be sending cellphone pictures back and forth, and waiting hours or even days for a response.
Having this direct communication Porshia says has a 40% average reduction time in the amount of time it actually takes to fix their cars.
Not only making the fix cheaper but getting those cars back in their owners garages quicker.
This is why Porsche isn't too bothered that each of these pairs of glasses costs $2,750.
So I just figured that out, and I used two tools that I had never even seen before to diagnose what sounded like a pretty nuanced problem here.
That was pretty cool.
Now I've done a fair bit of shade tree mechanic work in the past, but starting with an error code like that, it probably would have taken me over an hour of digging through service manuals just to know where to begin, never mind learning how to use a tool like this that I've never even seen before.
And that's the genius of a headset like this.
A technician can get all the information they need beamed right into their eye, and that's exactly why Porsche wants to put these in every one of their dealerships.
By the end of next year.
So, the next time you take your car in to the service station, don't be surprised if the technician starts by entering the oasis.