More expertise thanks to digital aids

It sounds like a dream. You can analyze network cabinets or entire data centers from inside and out, without actually being on-site. You can carry out complex assembly or lay building cabling without ever having read the manual or seen the plan. In the future, augmented reality (AR) is going to make this possible.

AR supports users with digital aids. These could be spectacles, helmets, tablets or gloves. These aids extend three-dimensional perception during work. They can guide technicians onsite or explain things to them. Digital and real perception even become intermingled.

Here is a specific example: On a construction site, an installer touches an R&M patch panel. At the same time, the assembly instructions appear on his tablet or portable display, including a three-dimensional CAD drawing which can be looked at from all sides.

One example of the possible application of augmented reality (AR) is during installation work: The smartphone films the situation on the construction site and displays relevant information, for example, assembly instructions. At the same time, the installation can be monitored remotely.

An instructor or network administrator at some distant location observes the scene via a camera in the display. He sends the installer tips and patching commands by radio. Once the assembly is completed, the instructor can examine and certify the result immediately from afar. Besides, the freshly equipped patch panel can be included in the automated infrastructure management system with just a few clicks because all the information about the location, ports and links is already available digitally.

This is all still science fiction. But R&M can already see these and similar application possibilities in the Data Center and LAN Cabling segments as well as in the Public Networks segment. As soon as benefit and value-added become perceptible for installation technology, R&M will provide the appropriate solutions.