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Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- iQuest, Inc. announced the issuance of their first US patent covering iQagent's holistic display and recording technology. Released in 2012, iQagent is an award-winning iOS app that displays data and resources associated with equipment it 'recognizes' on the plant floor.
The Macmillan Dictionary defines augmented reality as "
the technology of combining real world images, video, etc. with computer-generated information and/or imagery." Invention 8,358,903 makes claims about a mobile augmented reality display which identifies equipment and processes (called Points Of Interest, or POIs) and then integrates relevant process data and resource links into the video displayed on the screen. The device camera identifies POIs using QR codes or other machine readable indicia.
"The problem is that resources are scattered all over the plant; workers waste time searching for information rather than completing tasks," explained iQuest president
Bob Meads. "Our invention solves that problem by associating data and resources with equipment; workers simply view the process through their tablet or smart phone to access information they need to do their job. For instance, users can scan a motor to track its speed, or chart a production line's efficiency. They can check maintenance histories, consult schematics, report issues, or contact staff assigned to the area."
iQuest VP Patrick Meere notes that their invention also addresses one of the costliest problems in production environments: unplanned downtime. Often measured in thousands of dollars per hour, downtime costs multiply when key support personnel are offsite. Phone and email are often ineffective when trying to convey the right information to the remote technician, and resolution then must wait for help to arrive onsite.
iQagent records the device display so video, audio, process data, and written notes are compiled into a movie which is emailed to offsite support. As a result, downtime issues are communicated more effectively, allowing quick resolution and a huge cost savings for the plant.