Fieldbit's Smart Glasses Prevent Oil Spills
The 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused grave ecological damage, killing and compromising the health of marine life, including whales, dolphins, and seabirds, and inflicting damage on the fishing and tourism industry in the region. The disaster was the result of a deadly explosion on Deepwater Horizon, an oil-drilling rig, which was then run by BP, the world’s third largest oil corporation with annual revenue of $300 billion. In the wake of the disaster, BP paid $20 billion in damages to the US administration and to five US states.
The disaster motivated BP to start searching for technologies that could improve its handling of issues and maintenance of oil wells. In addition to streamlining its operations, investing in such technologies would go a long way in strengthening BP’s relations with its investors, who would love to see it taking action to ensure similar disasters never recur. Indeed, BP’s most recent annual report for 2018 dedicated an entire page on augmented-reality (AR) glasses and the mobile platform that the company implemented to help its technicians do a better job.
“New technologies are helping us build intelligent operations throughout our business,” says the annual report. “We are using augmented reality (AR) devices such as ‘smart glasses’ across BPX Energy. Technicians can use the glasses to transmit real-time video to experts anywhere in the business and they can then return AR-enabled instruction back to the technician—all while keeping their hands free. We are now using the mobile platform to troubleshoot equipment, conduct safety verifications, and deliver remote training.”
The company that provides this technology, which is implemented across 13 thousand BP wells, is Israeli startup Fieldbit, which was founded in 2014.
Fieldbit has developed an AR platform that technicians use on smart glasses, tablets, and smartphones when fixing issues in the field. The platform consists of two parts. The first is Fieldbit's flagship product, a collaboration platform (Hero) that enables a technician to interact with an expert in real time and receive live visual guidance for faster issue resolution times. The second product is a knowledge-retention module.
Fieldbit’s products are designed to be used in critical facilities whose maintenance and repair involves specific expertise, both because they are intricate and because of the risks and high costs associated with every mistake.
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