IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Magazine - January 2018 - 28

limitations, ergonomics, environmental noise (e.g., light)
interference, battery duration, and lack of ubiquitous highspeed Internet connection. Thus, to support service operations, these technologies need to become cost effective,
scalable, and easily reproducible [59]. Although coming
down in both price and size, smart glasses remain expensive and bulky.
We conducted a small user evaluation with telecommunications engineers from Ipswich and Newcastle in the
United Kingdom in different sessions between December
2016 and February 2017 on the perceived effectiveness and
usability of one-to-one real-time support using intelligent
wearables. The sample consisted of five males and two
females ranging in age from 20 to 56 (mean = 32). All of the
participants were familiar with computers. We used a
Microsoft HoloLens device, which is a full AR-enabled
untethered wearable computer with transparent holographic lenses combined with spatial mapping, voice, speaking,
and gesture recognition [60]. The focus was to evaluate the
way people perceive, accept, and adopt technology for the
tasks it is designed to support. The results from the evaluation showed that participants thought that the equipment
was generally easy to use and helpful in completing their
assigned tasks (Figure 6). Disadvantages of the hardware
were related to the reduced field of view and the device's
weight and cost. Initiatives such as the IEEE Smart Glasses
Roadmap Group [61] are working to promote and facilitate
the adoption of smart glasses in several markets and applications, and it is likely that technology developments will
soon address the limitations.
Another reason that the implementation of intelligent
immersive systems remains limited is in large part due to the
expense associated with creating and changing content to
improve procedures in everyday business operations [62],
[63]. Content creation software is limited, as content is

usually not generated in real time, and it lacks flexibility and
ease of integration. For example, AR authoring is a time-consuming procedure that involves creating 3-D models, adding
texture, and positioning to create overlays. Creating or modifying AR content requires expertise in graphics and 3-D modeling, adding an extra layer of difficulty for authoring and
modifying content. Moreover, content designers are typically
not engineering experts. To be relevant, the content needs to
be designed on a model focused on a system's core domain
and domain logic. Domain-driven design [64] is an approach
to developing software for complex needs by deeply connecting the implementation to an evolving model of the core business concepts. Intelligent immersive systems could collect
initial data to be used by automatic or semiautomatic content
generation, allowing technical and domain experts to iteratively validate the content avoid oversimplification and nonrelevant information. For example, in [65], the authors
presented a context-aware AR system for maintenance tasks
that allowed users to author content. A preliminary qualitative evaluation of this bidirectional-authoring AR system
showed its usability in supporting maintenance technicians
on the job, reflecting the value of user-generated content.
Another challenge for intelligent immersive systems is
to allow field service technicians to work not only reactively but proactively. An anticipatory system would be
one that 1) uses knowledge about future states to decide
what action to take at the moment and 2) contains a
model of itself and the relevant part of its environment
and is able to use this model to anticipate the future. The
system would then determine its behavior according to its
predictions (i.e., it allows an expected future state to
affect its present state). This implies that an intelligent
system must be equipped with a simulation component.
As discussed in previous sections, intelligent immersive systems can be used as a cost-effective training
platform, providing attractive
content and giving new life to
traditional methods. Because
some technologies use unfamiliar concepts, additional training
21%
time is usually required. To be
effective in an industrial setting,
43%
50%
intelligent immersive systems
57%
for training need to be easy to
29%
use, based on users' vocabulary,
compatible with existing technologies, and of reasonable cost
[66]. With many attractive benefits, one potential disadvantage
of training using immersive
Very Easy
Easy
Strongly Agree
Disagree
Agree
technologies is the risk of train(a)
(b)
ees developing an overdependence on the technology. To
Figure 6. The results from the Microsoft HoloLens user evaluation. (a) Answers
compensate, training should
to the question,"How easy or difficult did you find it to complete the activity
scaffold learning and check for
assigned using the equipment?" (b) Reactions to the statement,"It was helpful
to use the equipment in my assigned tasks."
understanding to prevent an
28

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