Vinci’s geotechnical arm adopts head-mounted AR devices

Vinci’s global geotechnical arm Soletanche Bachy is equipping field staff with RealWear assisted reality headsets from SimplyVideo, allowing its office-based specialists and field staff to collaborate.

With covid-related restrictions limiting Soletanche Bachy’s ability to carry out site inspections, it needed a solution that would allow virtual site visits to take place.

Stuart Brooks, health, safety, security and environmental manager for Soletanche Bachy International Major Projects, explained: “With global travel restrictions being imposed last year, the pandemic exacerbated the issues related to health and safety. Ultimately, SimplyVideo was the only platform that offered what we considered to be a workable solution – we needed more than just a remote expert tool; we needed a cross-reality collaboration platform and that’s what SimplyVideo does so well.”

In the field, Soletanche Bachy uses head-mounted devices that incorporate a microphone, display and speakers for hands-free working. Specifically, the business is using the RealWear HMT-1 head-mounted Android tablet. The rugged unit can survive drops onto concrete and provides easy voice-based operation in noisy environments. The display in the boom appears to the eye as a 7-inch screen, offering multi-language speech recognition and 4G connectivity. 

SimplyVideo also gives Soletanche Bachy a virtual mentoring tool, allowing onsite training of less experienced workers. Those with greater expertise can join in virtually, rather than in person, to offer their knowledge and experience. “The beauty of the SimplyVideo solution is that we can bring more expertise together, something we simply couldn’t do before. The platform gives us a clear visual representation of what’s really happening on site,” Brooks said.

The Soletanche Bachy system was delivered in partnership with independent IT supplier SystemActive, a SimplyVideo and RealWear reseller.

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