ThyssenKrupp recently launched its use of Microsoft HoloLens technology in its elevator service operations worldwide. Currently, the global elevator service industry is valued at over $44 billion per year and more than 12 million elevators transport over 1 billion people each day.
The special mixed reality device is set to empower more than 24,000 of the company’s service technicians to do their jobs more safely and efficiently, and keep people and cities moving better than ever before.
Microsoft HoloLens is the first fully self-contained wearable holographic computer running Windows 10. It is completely self-contained–no wires, phones, or connection to a PC needed. Microsoft HoloLens allows you to place holograms in your physical environment and provides a new way to see the world.
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Using HoloLens, service technicians will be able to visualize and identify problems with elevators ahead of a job, and have remote, hands-free access to technical and expert information when onsite – all resulting in significant savings in time and stress. Initial field trials have already shown that a service maintenance intervention can be done up to four times faster.
This solution follows the successful launch of MAX, the industry’s first predictive maintenance solution which is already connected with thousands of elevators. MAX collects and sends real-time data from connected elevators to the intelligent cloud.
Intricate algorithms calculate the remaining lifetime of each elevator’s key components and systems, determining which parts will require maintenance and when. Through the use of MAX, global service engineers and technicians receive real-time alerts for pre-issue repairs, enabling them to be more proactive with customers. This includes scheduling maintenance tasks ahead of elevator breakdowns and at times of minimal disruption within the building. In this way, engineers help building managers and users avoid the frustration and inconvenience of out-of-service elevators.
Sam George, Partner Director at Microsoft’s Azure IoT, added:
“The successful launch of IoT-enabled MAX was the first step in ThyssenKrupp’s journey to not only transform their business but also its 100-year-old industry. Predictive maintenance, powered by Microsoft Azure IoT, enabled thyssenkrupp to offer time savings to worldwide elevator passengers equivalent to 95 million hours of new availability per year of operation. Today, we are proud to have once again collaborated with thyssenkrupp to bring another game-changing solution to market together.”
Iconic buildings whose elevators are already cloud-connected through MAX include the One World Trade Center. The building has elevators that travel faster than Usain Bolt, capable of moving from the ground floor to the 102nd floor in just 60 seconds, and regenerative drives that convert energy produced when elevators decelerate into electricity that can be used to significantly reduce the building’s energy consumption. Now equipped with MAX and HoloLens, the tower is setting new standards for sustainability and building efficiency.
Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevator, said:
“With elevators transporting over one billion people each day, the service industry has a critical role to play in keeping cities moving. We remain focused on leading the transformation in this industry; introducing the latest technologies, processes and training to enable technicians to do a better job with less stress and more fun. Our goal is to increase efficiency, raise elevator up times and speed up service interventions to ensure mobility equipment is always running as it should, providing each passenger with the safest and most comfortable travel experience possible.”
GeekWire reports that enterprise interest for HoloLens turned out to be a bit of a surprise, according to Chris Capossela, Microsoft chief marketing officer:
“We totally underestimated the commercial interest in this thing,” Capossela said. “The team who built it, a lot of them had their roots in Xbox. Alex Kipman and Kudo [Tsunoda]. And so they originally envisioned it as something more along those lines, but as we started to show it to people, we were blown away by the commercial interest.”
Indeed, the commercial applications for HoloLens are seemingly endless are are limited only by how fast companies can get their hands on the device. This is set to change industries such as construction, manufacturing and design.