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Keeping an eye on everything in the field

Jan. 11, 2017
Field technicians are equipped with smart, safety-certified industrial grade eyewear devices that capture and communicate visual and audio intelligence The device streams high fidelity audio and first person point-of-view (POV) video The program includes training and support for managers and technicians

Now playing on eyewear near you: wearable computing (smart glass) technology for field service industries by XOEye Technologies, www.xoeye.com, offers companies active in field service a communications platform designed around wearable computing technology.

Field technicians are equipped with smart, safety-certified industrial grade eyewear devices that capture and communicate visual and audio intelligence for real-time visibility. The company’s web-based software allows users to organize and manage the content created from the device, for purposes of enhancing technician productivity and improving the customer experience.   

The device streams high fidelity audio and first person point-of-view (POV) video, enabling technicians on the job to communicate with others in real time to ensure they initiate and execute the correct service. 

In addition to availability of real-time support, technicians using the eyewear are able to deliver photos and videos to customers, which can provide validation of site conditions and work completed, as well as visual intelligence that can help the contractor’s customers make more timely and educated decisions about repairs and replacement needs and, perhaps because of this type of value-added benefits, renewal of service contracts.   

Contractors can leverage XOEye’s platform for other needs, as well, including documentation and archiving of components and systems; point-of view training videos; internal testing videos, documenting of work environment safety conditions; videoing of safety inspections for audit and policy purposes; and teleconferencing safety inspections in real-time.

To help companies evaluate the system and maximize its benefits, XOEye Technologies offers a 60-day pilot program as a trial. Designed to integrate seamlessly into existing operations and be turnkey, the program includes training and support for managers and technicians and in-depth analysis of workflow and begins the process of managing scale to the rest of the company.

Data entry screens can be configured to include daily journal and field notes, including voice activated notes for Android and iOS.

PowerTrack, www.powetrackmobile.com, is flexible mobile software for mobile resource management. The solution, which supports use with Android, iOS and Windows Mobile devices as well Web-based and Windows-based laptops, can enable employee time entry, tool and equipment tracking, jobsite data collection and note taking.  

Time tracking capabilities include Clock-in and Clock-out for an individual tech or an entire crew at once, using either existing mobile devices or optional upgraded biometric (fingerprint reading) or badging solutions, and Start Time/End Time for each job or cost code work, with the ability to calculate the time duration of each work segment. Optionally, the system can work in conjunction with clock-in/out to guide the user to allocate the remaining time to jobs and cost codes.

In low coverage areas, the software can gather and store input that is then submitted when network connectivity is re-established.

Without any programming, users can use admin tools within a mobile forms builder to create up to 100 new forms (data entry screens) to source data for select and validation lists and assign them to one or more permission groups. All Android, iOS and web users with proper permission will see the new form on their device menus. An iPad user in the field can access reports within the PowerTrack application and print to an AirPrint compatible printer or email the PDF report using the default email application. (AirPrint is an Apple technology that enables printing from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac without having to install additional software. It is built into many current popular printer models.) 

Data entry screens can be configured to include daily journal and field notes, including voice activated notes for Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad) users. The solution also supports image capture, which could be useful for showing job progress, damage on site, or the condition of delivered materials. 

Management can, through the web portal, review, edit and approve input generated from any PowerTrack mobile client.

The optional PowerTrack Tool Management module, for companies that do not have a tool/equipment management solution within their accounting/ERP system, tracks equipment and tool movements, equipment usage on jobs for accountability and inventory control. The module, utilizing drop down selection lists or barcode scanning to select equipment, can record usage on jobs and job codes and track movements between locations and jobsites. (Today’s Android and iOS devices are able to read most barcode symbologies with free third party applications.) PowerTrack users at companies with a solution for tool management within their existing ERP systems can use PowerTrack mobile devices to capture the tool movements in the field, rather than entering them on the ERP’s desktop application.  

The module, which consists of a SQL database and desktop application for entering tool, equipment and materials information, can search by jobsite/location, assignment, department and other criteria, such as tool model number, manufacturer, description or condition. For added flexibility, it enables handheld support in connected or disconnected modes and allows tools to be transferred with or without an employee/contractor assignment. Activity reports can show management areas of heavy tool use or light tool use, which could be helpful in future tool purchasing.

The PowerTrack mobile platform integrates with several construction accounting and ERP systems and will automatically sync with the accounting system’s database to keep all data current.

Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. They can be reached at [email protected]

About the Author

William and Patti Feldman

Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products.

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