How Smart Glasses Will Help Porsche Technicians Fix Customers' Cars

Image: Porsche

Technicians at Porsche dealerships will soon be using “high-tech spectacles” to receive instructions, and to send real-time wrenching footage to the company’s U.S. headquarters in Atlanta. Here’s how the “Tech Live Look” system works.

Porsche dropped a press release yesterday introducing a new Augmented Reality technology aimed at helping mechanics diagnose and repair cars. The system requires technicians to wear projection screen-equipped glasses with a built-in flashlight and an auto focus camera that “shows even fine details such as threading on screws.”

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In its press release, Porsche breaks down how the glasses let technicians from around the continent communicate with the company’s support staff in Atlanta, saying:

When a service technician at a dealership in Los Angeles dons this specialized eyewear and connects through the software with the Atlanta-based Porsche technical support team 2,200 miles away, it allows the support team to see exactly what he is seeing, in real time. This “see what I see” video-conferencing capability with instant access to remote experts allows both parties to quickly identify and resolve technical issues.

Not only does the support team in Atlanta receive information from the technician via the camera, but data can also be transferred the other direction. That is, the team can send technical service bulletins or other instructions to the person holding the wrench by projecting it onto their glasses.

Image: Porsche
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Porsche says the system is significantly more efficient than sending data via email or phone call. How much more efficient? The German automaker’s U.S. arm launched a pilot program this past summer at eight dealers in California, Florida, Indiana, New Jersey, Washington and Canada, and noticed a decrease in “service resolution time” by up to 40 percent.

As someone who regularly has to upload videos of faults, call friends for advice, and look online for service instructions, I can see how this “Tech Live Look (which will roll out to dealers in 2018) could be a huge help to technicians. And who knows, maybe it can double as safety goggles. You know, to prevent rusty shards from getting in your eyes when you’re working under your car. That’s no fun.

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David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio