In an innovative partnership, SBB (Swiss railroads) and «augment IT» (by Netcetera) successfully tested the use of HoloLens. Various scenarios were investigated and tested. In the short- and medium-term, we see the greatest potential as being in the areas of maintenance and training.
One example is its application to train maintenance. The video shows how an untrained employee can view the interior workings of a rail car at the Bern railroad station. An application could give the employee enough assistance to be able to solve the problem more rapidly and with minimum effort. Alternatively, an expert could provide assistance over a video link.
- View of the interior workings of a rail car «on-site»
- Highlighting defective parts
- Assistance with maintenance, using a camera and remote connection
A more visionary application would be the automatic recognition of valid tickets. Currently, these are read manually using a scanner. In future, a pair of glasses like HoloLens could allow ticket inspectors to check the validity of the ticket and the person concerned. To do this, he would simply pick up the SwissPass and look at it through HoloLens. In addition, the number of passengers could be counted automatically, which would speed up controls and lead to more reliable passenger numbers. This case illustrates the potential of the new technology, but for a number of reasons it is not yet ready for further investigation.
At first, it was not clear which scenarios would provide benefit for SBB. The evaluation and test phase showed that initial uses already exist in maintenance and training. More business areas will open up as the devices are further developed. It is not a question of whether this will happen, but when.