Design Interactive’s XRMentor™ was selected as one of 20 participants in the EPRI Incubatenergy Labs  program.  DI’s host utility, Con Edison has been training on XRMentor™’s instructor led training feature ClassroomXR™ and the content creation tool and is planning to  run a field test of the technology September 10th in Manhattan.

XRMentor™ is an instructor led and self-guided training platform enhanced by augmented reality.  It represents the lowest barrier to adoption for firms interesting in exploring augmented reality(AR)  technology  because it requires no special skills to create content and only one headset is required to use the instructor led feature, ClassroomXR™ . This technology allows  a firm to  train across facilities therefore impacting their entire workforce with only one headset in a very short period of time.  With the impact on Covid for the future of work, large companies such as Con Edison have turned to AR to help train their workforce. .

Con Edison operates one of the world’s largest energy delivery systems. Founded in 1823 as the New York Gas Light company, Con Edison provides electric, gas, and steam energy for the 10 million people who live in New York City and Westchester County.  It requires a significant number of utility workers to maintain such a critical energy system and it can be difficult to maintain training throughput even for a firm with an advanced learning and development program such as ConEdison.

ClassroomXR™ is an opportunity for firms like ConEdison to expand their learning and development program beyond a centralized learning center or traditional e-learning to empower their experts in the field to share their knowledge.   An expert using ClassroomXR™ can live stream a training session from anywhere while wearing the Microsoft HoloLens .  Unlike a GoPro,  ClassroomXR™ lets a Con Edison expert not only livestream a video feed, but also display augmented reality content like 3D holograms of equipment and parts they use to complete their work or even pictures or schematics for reference that remain heads up and hands free.  Utility worker trainees can watch the training on their windows device from their truck or worksite while in the field. Or trainees can join from a PC in their office or training center. 

This demonstration has already dispelled two commonly held misperceptions about augmented reality training.  First, Con Edison has proven that content creation is not particularly laborious and using XRMentor™’s cloud based authoring program, veteran utility workers with no previous AR experience can create effective content and use the HoloLens to run instructor led classes.  Secondly, a company can make a significant impact investing in just one headset.  It is often assumed that augmented reality software provides heads up, hands free self -guided training where a trainee or worker would require a headset.  This is not the case with XRMentor™.  One instructor wearing the Hololens can live stream to hundreds if not thousands of employees simultaneously.  Therefore, Con Edison’s demonstration will prove the contention that AR is ready now, and XRMentor™ lowers the barrier to adoption of augmented reality for any firm interested in exploring the technology.

The results of the demonstration will be presented at a the EPRI incubatenergy labs program demo days to be held this October.  DI, Con Edison and subject matter experts from EPRI will be on hand to discuss the experience of the instructors, trainees and the process that went into making the demonstration a success.  Lessons learned will also be shared so other firms can evaluate their approach to using XRMentor™.