No technology innovations have received as much coverage over the past year as virtual (VR) and augmented realities (AR). Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant have us all talking to our devices and interacting with non-humans on a regular basis.
As the water industry adapts to modern software technology, Water Talk caught up with Thomas Butler, Director of Business Development, to understand Mueller Water Products’ use of VR and AR. “We’re really excited about what we can do with virtual reality and augmented reality, to help our customers,” explained Butler.
Butler sees virtual reality well suited for immersing utility staff in a risk-free training environment. “Let’s say that we want to work on a product that is fully pressurized. With virtual reality, they can safely do all of the things that they would do, and they would need to train on, but you can actually put mistakes in there and you can put penalties for that mistake.”
Explaining the difference between virtual and augmented reality, Butler sees AR more suited for troubleshooting. Utilizing AR on an iPad, augmented reality can take you inside a given product in the field and identify the mechanisms, parts and potential issues inside.
For more on the use of VR and AR in supporting products, listen here: