How real-time video streaming will change industrial processes
Ever since Real-time eXtended Reality Multimedia was announced to the world at the end of 2022, the feedback from customers has been exciting and inspiring. Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona marks the latest opportunity to experience this groundbreaking new technology for yourself—and discover the true potential for 360° video and 3D audio in industrial environments.
In a previous blog post, my colleague Emre B. Aksu explained the technology behind RXRM, and in another post I spoke broadly about its industrial application. Now I want to take a deeper look at the four main areas where we’re working with customers to deliver the business value of RXRM: Quality control, Remote Steering/Teleoperation, Safety & Security, and Remote Expert Assistance.
Many enterprises, such as those in manufacturing, use IoT sensors on their production lines. These are mainly for monitoring equipment and to provide quality-control data—two areas where RXRM can bring operational improvements.
Today, information on system performance is often displayed in a list view, or as a technical diagram. In both cases, the data is visually separate from the component or process being monitored. RXRM changes this by enabling sensor data to be overlayed on top of video, so that operators can immediately understand the context. It’s a much more human and intuitive way to interact with data and is one of the many ways in which RXRM provides an improved user experience.
When it comes to quality assurance, RXRM enables this to be performed remotely or even be fully automated. Either way, video-based quality assurance reduces the need for physical human involvement in what is often a tedious process.
We’ve spoken previously about how RXRM enables teleoperation for mining, bringing both safety and cost benefits. It also brings these benefits to warehouse operations, specifically in the area of remotely operating fork-lift trucks and other order-picking equipment.
Logistics centers are busy places with lots of vehicles moving around. The more people you have on the ground, the greater the risk of an accident. By remotely operating vehicles through RXRM, logistics companies can keep people out of harm’s way.
Reducing the need for on-the-ground human operation also helps to solve another problem that logistics operators are facing: a labor shortage. With sensor data automating the activities of warehouse vehicles while they’re monitored over video, RXRM means more can be done with fewer people.
Safety & Security
In our discussions with customers, we’ve seen significant interest in the benefits of RXRM to enhance surveillance aimed at keeping people safe.
For example, the technology can be used at railway stations to monitor and proactively respond to any threats. In addition to providing a more thorough and accurate view of a given location, high definition 360° video also reduces operating costs. A single 360° camera can replace up to eight traditional video cameras.
RXRM brings similar benefits to logistics and manufacturing operations. As discussed earlier, these environments are often filled with autonomous or teleoperated vehicles, as well as with fixed robotic equipment. Video monitoring can be used to protect workers from hazards in these highly automated settings.
Remote Expert Assistance
Specialist equipment needs to be maintained by experts, who have historically had to travel to different locations to perform service and repair operations. RXRM is changing this.
RXRM uses an open API which can be readily adapted to customers’ systems for easy integration and analytics. Analytics can play a crucial role in helping, for example, port authorities handle complex tasks, such as vehicle traffic control and people identification, quickly and efficiently. These are key criteria when sites often mark international border entry points.
There are RXRM-based solutions available across industries, such as energy, manufacturing, and heavy industry, that will also allow repair operations to be performed remotely. Technicians can remain at their home base and communicate visually with local partners to get the job done. The service can be enhanced using of Virtual Reality headsets that show the equipment in detail. Furthermore, 3D spatial audio provides remote operators with a level of immersion that was hitherto unachievable. By identifying the direction of sound, experts can more easily get to the root of the issue and get things up and running in a matter of minutes.
This improves productivity, as it means skilled technicians can serve more customers in a shorter period. The technology can be used for remote training too. Removing the need for travel brings additional sustainability benefits, contributing to the wider cause of reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
Keeping ahead of cyber threats
Ever-increasing connectivity and digitalization continue to normalize processes and applications that seemed fanciful not long ago. This rapid pace of growth regarding IoT devices also increases the threat of cybercrime. It is important to note the importance that Nokia places on cybersecurity and data privacy. This focus is central to RXRM’s product offering. We take responsibility to ensure end-to-end security works on our networks, and that security defaults are strong.
It is important to recognize that we are not talking about a concept for ‘tomorrow’ here—RXRM is a ready product that can be integrated into your business today. Ensuring it is best fitted to your needs involves planning and design phases, but the product is mature and market ready. With this in mind, come and try out our new and extensive demonstration at MWC 2023—visit the Nokia booth to experience it for yourself and discuss with my colleagues and I how we can integrate the next chapter in live streaming into your business.