The voice-activated wearable computers are keeping fish healthy by streamlining STIM’s entire inspections process through remote collaboration, whilst avoiding significant travel
RealWear, Inc, a global leader of hands-free head-mounted computers for digital transformation in industry, today announced that STIM, a leading provider of fish health services has ushered RealWear technological solutions into the booming aquaculture industry.
The popular voice-activated RealWear HMT-1 device has enabled STIM’s fish health teams to increase operational efficiency, reduce emissions and the inherent travel risks associated with COVID-19.
In Norway, fish farming sites and facilities span the long coastline, and are located in vast and remote locations. These sites and facilities are required by law to host fish-health inspections several times a year. For STIM, honouring this requirement means that its fish health teams are constantly on the road, traveling to and from production sites, all of which comes with both an economic and environmental cost. Furthermore, finding ways to restrict the number of people moving between sites makes sense for an industry obsessed with biocontrol; a dynamic further compounded by today´s continued travel restrictions.
To address these challenges, STIM researched remote inspection systems including handhelds, laptops, wearables and AR smart glasses. The company desired an easy-to-use system that could be easily implemented by its customers with limited instructions or training needed. Specifically, STIM was looking for a ruggedized design that operated effectively in wet, windy and typical rough offshore conditions. It preferred the device to run on the popular Android operating system so that its homegrown app, STIM PRO, could run on the system. Finally, STIM needed to make sure the system was hands-free and compliant with its many safety standards.
Following an in-depth consultation with RealWear partner and IT infrastructure specialists ATEA Norge, STIM opted to standardize on RealWear’s HMT-1 voice-activated wearable because it met all of its criteria.
Unlocking a New World of Innovation at STIM
Since its first deployment on August 9, 2019, STIM has unlocked additional capabilities of RealWear’s HMT-1 through its STIM PRO app, its system for seamless remote communication with well boats, service boats and aquaculture facilities. STIM PRO allows STIM’s customers to log in and book an appointment for a remote inspection. In the same portal, customers can upload documents that STIM’s fish health staff may need to review prior to the inspection. The system enables immediate access to STIM’s fish health personnel who, regardless of geographical distances, can overlook and assess sampling and test results, provide advice, and contribute with important assessments related to specific fish health-related problem solving. STIM involved the Lofoten-based tech company iotek AS to tailor the user experience and develop the cloud infrastructure for STIM PRO. This process was a close collaboration between the veterinarians and project managers from STIM, and the developers in iotek AS.
With real-time video and audio transmission, it is easy for the team to give visibility to any situation and ask for real-time advice on any identified issues. The HMT-1 significantly reduces response time in cases where important decisions have to be made quickly.
To date, STIM has deployed 75 HMT-1 headsets. The company initially rolled out RealWear devices for use in hygiene inspections that it conducts on wellboats used to transport live fish or to provide onboard treatments. These simple hygiene tests, which must be done to ensure that the boats are sufficiently cleaned between missions, have previously required on-site presence of an independent veterinarian or fish health biologist. RealWear’s hands-free wearable computers running STIM PRO have transformed this process. Crew members now perform tests themselves whilst STIM’s fish health professionals are able to remotely oversee the procedure and either approve of test results or decide that further cleaning is necessary.
“Since deploying RealWear’s solution, we have been able to provide the same quality to our customers with this method and even offer a discounted inspection. Whilst it’s a very different process to physically sending someone to a site, it has resulted in improved safety, efficiency and cost savings,” said Henrik Hareide, COO Knowledge Services, STIM Norway. “The hardware is excellent, and RealWear’s solution is perfectly tailored to our unique needs.”
STIM has plans to add a Learning System to STIM PRO to ensure quality and consistency across the teams.
“Yet again, we are witnessing further scope for RealWear’s solution to be used in multiple applications within another industry sector,” commented Jon Arnold, VP of Sales, EMEA, RealWear Inc. “Wearable technology is now widely accepted as a tool for efficient communication, offering efficiency benefits both for operations and environmentally.”