Teleconferencing has for many years been an important method for saving time and costs in most industries. Recent travel restrictions and social distancing caused by the coronavirus pandemic have made video calls a crucial tool to ensure continuous operation.
This is especially true for hazardous areas, which are often in remote locations and require specially trained personnel. Should an outbreak occur in e.g. an oil-rig, it would likely lead to a shut-down and financial loss. In this post we’ll show how BARTEC devices will enable you to do remote assistance in hazardous areas. We will consider a variety of use cases combined with standard and widely-used enterprise level teleconferencing applications.
When selecting the appropriate hardware for any use case in hazardous areas, the first priority should always be safety. What are the EX requirements? Which zone will the device be used in? BARTEC’s first and foremost priority is the safety and integrity of our devices, and we set the highest possible standards to our certifications. A BARTEC device will always be a safe choice, no matter the environment.
PS. Unfamiliar with EX requirements and the importance of explosion protection? Read this post to understand more about hazardous areas and the need for intrinsically safe and non-incendive devices.
BARTEC offers intrinsically safe and non-incendive devices in multiple form-factors and operating systems. The following use cases range from ‘hands-on’ where field workers need to perform tasks while receiving instructions, to ‘hands-off’ scenarios not requiring physical action to be taken by the field worker.
A field worker in a hazardous area needs expert technical assistance and need to use both hands to operate. He or she could for example need their hands for maneuvering in difficult places, operating heavy machinery, or using tools requiring both hands.
Solution: Orbit X + SIP based teleconferencing application
The Orbit X is a small and light-weight helmet-mounted camera that can both record and store video and photos locally, as well as livestream video. By mounting it to a helmet, a field worker can record or live-stream their field of view, and can choose to toggle a laser indicator to see exactly where the camera is pointed. When paired with intrinsically safe headphones, a field worker may simultaneously communicate and receive instructions from the viewer.
In order to livestream video, the Orbit X must be used with a teleconferencing solution that supports SIP, which many widely used applications do. We’ve tested and confirmed compatibility with Zoom (with Cloud-Room Connector, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Lifesize, and Pexip (please get in touch with us if you want to check compatibility with a different teleconferencing application). Orbit X can be configured with a standard Android smartphone or tablet through the Orbit X app. If configurations are required while the user is in a hazardous area, an intrinsically safe smartphone may be used.
Simple, small operations
Any situation where a field worker may carry and use an intrinsically safe smartphone (or android based camera), without needing the use of both hands to operate (e.g. tools, machinery). This can be true for a variety of use cases, but perhaps especially for inspection and documentation.
Solution: Impact X / Gravity X + video collaboration applications
Impact X and Gravity X are both intrinsically safe Android devices, and support most applications found on Google Play store. If WiFi is available on-site, Gravity X will suffice, while if only LTE is available, a smartphone (Impact X) will be required.
If the field worker only needs to stream video to one recipient, any Android application that supports video calls may be used. However, most enterprises operating in hazardous areas will have strict requirements on which applications may be used. Microsoft Teams is one such widely adopted application, and also supports calls across platforms and group calls. The personnel required to view the live stream, e.g. engineers or project managers, will normally be logged in to their Microsoft Teams account and can easily be invited to a call.
There are several situations in which a worker needs a larger screen than on smaller handheld devices when in the field. Tablets are often used for routine inspections, asset management, and other use cases requiring either more screen real-estate or heavier applications than what is possible on small handhelds.
Solution: Agile tablet series + any Windows based teleconferencing application
Running fully fledged Windows 10, BARTEC’s Agile tablet series supports a wide range of typical enterprise applications used for inspection and asset management. Should there be an ad hoc need for remote assistance during, for instance, a worker-round or routine inspection, the Agile tablets offers both front and rear cameras. Virtually all teleconferencing applications are supported on Windows, including Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, which are widely used applications among large enterprises. The ability to quickly switch between data input and teleconferencing applications while in the field may increase field workers’ efficiency, since the alternative may be to initiate calls when returning from the hazardous environment.
For detailed user instructions, or any other questions related to any of these use cases, please get in touch with us through this contact form.