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Why it matters: Earlier this week, HP announced the launch of xRServices, its mixed reality-based support service to tackle printer problems for industrial customers. The virtual service aims to reduce downtime by connecting onsite technicians with HP engineers via HoloLens headsets. HP says it's a simpler, faster way of fixing issues over existing support methods like face-to-face meetings and lengthy service calls.
We've already seen Mercedes-Benz adopt HoloLens tech for automotive repairs, and it looks like the headset’s next major application is in the printing industry. The benefits and execution appear similar in practice, with a technician wearing Microsoft's futuristic (and bulky) headset to fix a complicated piece of machinery via virtual guidance, 3D overlays and gestures.
HP wants to use the hardware for troubleshooting industrial printers as part of its recently launched xRServices program.
Instead of having an engineer travel onsite to assist a technician, HP says the mixed reality experience enables faster repair times as onsite technicians are virtually guided and coached by the company's engineers that feel physically present.
The program is meant for HP's industrial-grade printers only, so don't expect a high-tech service for your home printer the next time it runs out of ink or gets a paper jam.
HP says it's prepared a step-by-step, live simulation process to help with faster onboarding of new employees. It's currently running xRServices in beta with select US and Japan-based customers.
It'll be interesting to see mixed reality's effectiveness in troubleshooting issues for the printing press. Using HoloLens headsets for customer support seems like yet another step in building towards the metaverse ecosystem, something which Microsoft is already focused on with its other business-focused services.