Skilled technicians and engineers in field service, equipment inspection, maintenance and complex manufacturing assembly frequently consult technical documents and manuals. These often large documents show installation instructions, wiring diagrams, construction drawings, exploded assembly diagrams, safety procedures, cutaway drawings, graphs, tables and descriptive text. Most of the world’s technical documentation exists today in PDF and represents an enormous investment in information.
Some industrial companies have moved from large paper binders issued to field employees to providing documentation in electronic format on laptops or tablets to their field workers, stored locally or in a cloud. Documents become searchable and total weight is reduced, but the following challenges remain:
Challenges of field electronic documentation
- Devices unreliable in harsh field conditions
- Screen can’t be read outdoors
- Need to put down tools or remove gloves to operate device
- Power save mode constantly blanks the screen, interrupting work
- Not easy to zoom into a diagram to view details
- May be dependent on poor network connections
Document Navigator from RealWear
A hands-free solution to address these challenges using the HMT-1 Head Mounted Tablet
Local access, cloud-synced
PDF documents are stored locally in the HMT-1 on a microSD card with up to 256GB capacity and can be synced from the cloud whenever a Wi-Fi connection is available.
Hands-free voice navigation
Using a voice driven interface, users find their documents from a list, by searching for title keyword or from their recently viewed documents. Specific sections may be found with pre-configured bookmarks or keyword search and a page is turned by saying “next page” with a simple voice command.
Hands-free page display, zoom and pan
Pages are displayed in the 854×480 resolution micro-display – that appears like a 7” tablet at arm’s length, enough to clearly read text. Using a voice command such as “Zoom level 3” the page is instantly magnified and the user can pan the page using head movements. This patented user interface gives the effect of seeing through a window onto a larger document space behind. Five zoom levels are available. When the desired part of the page is in view, saying “Document Freeze” will lock the view in place.
Extraction of tables and diagrams
Frequently accessed tables and diagrams in a PDF document may be bookmarked for quick direct voice access in full screen view.