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Wearable Tech: The Future of HVAC or Just a Fad?

Nick B

Technology is constantly evolving and becoming more and more integrated in our daily lives.  Right now you are reading this on a computer or smart phone, we drive cars that we can talk to, and even if we don’t like to admit it, everyone plays on their phone while on the toilet.  One of those technologies that we cannot get away from are cameras.  Even professionally; drones are being used on construction sites, body cams are becoming part of the police officer’s uniform, and GoPros are all over the sports world.  Now smart glasses are finding their way into the HVAC industry.

 

Picture this, but with an HVAC technician.

 

HVAC companies across the country are starting to integrate smart glasses into their field technicians’ workflow.  Two of those companies, the Seattle company MacDonald-Miller and the North Carolina based Brady, have already outfitted 85 and 150 field techs respectively.  MacDonald-Miller and Brady both saw this technology as a way to improve their service and eagerly became early adopters.

The smart glasses allow techs to take pictures, record video, and stream video with just the push of a button.  This allows them to create a video log of their work, cite specific situations after the project is done, and live stream any troubleshooting.  Creating a video of their work gives customers an easier to understand alternative to written reports, allows techs working on the same unit in the future see what has already been done, and can be used to train new technicians using real world examples.

While the video recording feature is a useful tool, the real competitive advantage of smart glasses comes from their video streaming.  This tool turns a single HVAC tech, alone on a job site, into the combined knowledge of every tech in their network.  When someone gets stuck or wants a second opinion they can show other techs exactly what they are looking at and get advice directly applicable to their situation.  This not only helps the new comers, but the seasoned veterans of HVAC as well.  Aging techs now have an additional option when the physical demands of the job become too cumbersome.  Instead of retiring, they can become on call experts, ready to dish out advice without having to leave their chair.  There already is a shortage of quality HVAC workers, so this will make sending out new tech a more viable option and keeps the knowledge of older techs in the field longer.  Sounds like a win-win to me, plus it means we are one step closer to Star Trek technology.

So what do you think?  Is smart glasses streaming video to a network of knowledgeable gurus the future for every industry, or is this just a fad that will die out soon?  Do you see your company adopting this technology?  Would you want to become an on call expert instead of retiring?  Let me know in the comments section below.

Be sure to visit SupplyHouse.com for all of your HVAC, heating, and plumbing needs.  You might not have smart glasses and a team or experts yet, but you do have our team of friendly customer service reps, ready to help.

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