Knowledge Sharing with Augmented Reality - A Single Case Study of Remote Assistance in a Chemical Production Plant
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The goal of this master thesis is to determine in what ways Augmented Reality (AR) is valuable for knowledge sharing in remote assistance scenarios. No person can know everything or be everywhere at the same time. Thus, sharing knowledge remotely is of importance to any knowledge-driven organization. Currently, most organizations share knowledge remotely through mobile phones, constrained to oral communication. Moreover, it is estimated that at least $31.5 billion is lost each year by Fortune 500 companies as a result of failing to share knowledge. Thus, we believe investigating new and innovative ways to share knowledge remotely can be valuable. AR is a technology that superimposes digital objects on top of the real world, introducing a new layer of communication. Our findings indicate that AR can reduce uncertainty between an expert and a non-expert in a remote assistance scenario as they can share a visual representation of what the non-expert sees. This makes it easier for the non-expert to explain the problem as the need for a common language is reduced when he does not need to be as precise in his oral communication. The same yields for the expert, as he can directly guide with visual markers instead of using complex explanations the non-expert might not understand. This also makes the communication more effective. Furthermore, it also reduces the competency level requirements of a non-expert. Lastly, the use of AR can reduce cognitive load both for the non-expert and the expert as they can more quickly reach a common ground, also making it easier to get to the root of a problem. The most significant challenge identified was using a handheld AR device. For the non-expert, having to film with one hand, perceive the expert s guidance through visual markers on the handheld device, listen to the expert s guidance, perform actions on a system and troubleshoot at the same time resulted in cognitive overload. Therefore, we suggest future research to use a head-mounted display which would give the non-expert the freedom to focus on receiving guidance as well as performing actions based on this guidance. This would also provide the expert with a continuous and more stable view of the work, enabling the expert to more accurately see what the non-expert sees.