The Beeline Business unit of Russian operator Beeline has started testing industrial Augmented Reality (AR) glasses across 4G/LTE and 5G networks in Russia. The tests use JSC Inline Group’s IKSAR industrial operations software to show how high-resolution AR video can be provided to field workers to improve safety and efficiency.
The 5G Beeline laboratory has tested data speeds when making AR video calls and transferring large amounts of data in Russia across both 4G and 5G networks. During testing, the Beeline team also compared the performance parameters of AR glasses and smartphones with 5G support across both 4G and 5G networks.
AR glasses and AR networks provide field workers with high-resolution video calls from remote experts, allowing employees to be briefed on new tasks without having to be in the office physically. This will also allow field workers to exchange relevant information for a task’s execution, in real time.
With the tests, the AR glasses were shown to operate successfully across 4G and 5G Beeline networks. The speed of data download on a 5G network was almost 20 times higher than with 4G, with data upload comparable to uploading information from a smartphone with 5G support.
As Meta, formerly Facebook, gets ready to sell augmented reality to the consumer masses, Beeline’s test points toward ways in which AR can actually be of practical use rather than an entertainment and lifestyle product.
AR allows employees of industrial firms working on-site to receive instructions from supervisors or experts in real time and in an interactive manner. This can help them solve technical problems, provide feedback to the home office and maintain safety in their working conditions. The superimposition of instructional video or other optical input onto the visual field that the employee naturally sees is a unique and effective way of providing assistance during work tasks.
The enhanced ability of 5G to transmit large amounts of data, especially for video, is key to realizing the potential of a system such as the one Beeline is currently testing. However, it is an excellent idea to make it possible for the system to work over 4G (though perhaps not as effectively or with all features enabled), given that 5G networks may not always be available. In either case, the fact that the glasses have their own SIM card is important in that it allows the field worker to maintain connectivity in the field regardless of the quality of the cellular or Wi-Fi signal available at a site. The Beeline connectivity will also have security protection built in, which will be desirable for businesses using the technology.
The AR glasses are being tested, and if the tests translate, as expected, into a finished product that can be offered to business clients, Beeline will likely have a winner on its hands—a winner that indicates the future of AR in the enterprise space.