ARUtility is transforming an industry and improving worker safety with AR and Agora’s interactive video.
Joe Eastman was installing a water main when he noticed an underground gas line being cut—by mistake. The gas line was severed because of missing ground markings, forcing project delays and losing stakeholders money. Joe recognized the need for immediate change, igniting the idea for ARUtility.
Joe and co-founder Alando Chappell created ARUtility with the goal of ensuring safety and efficiency on construction sites using a combination of real-time video, augmented reality (AR), and geographical data.
Besides being the leading augmented-reality utility-locating app, ARUtility also provides Building Information Modeling (BIM) visualization. This unique industry tool is designed to reduce underground damage, make excavation more cost effective, help engineers identify conflicts before they happen, and assist utilities with asset management. Now utilities can see where their assets are located in the ground in real time.
"The way to reduce the amount of accidents and damages in the utilities industry is by creating immediate responses to critical problems. Real-time engagement with video and AR takes the place of rolling a truck."
Joe Eastman, CEO and Founder
The Power of Real-Time Engagement
The traditional way of dealing with a potential utility line problem at a job site is to identify the issue, contact the office while pausing work, and wait for someone to drive all the way to the site for an in-person evaluation. While the on-site evaluation may only take 2 minutes, the time and money wasted on travel adds up fast. And that only works out if the potential problem gets identified before an accident happens.
Joe and Alando knew technology could provide a quicker and safer process by blending real-time engagement and AR. ARUtility allows for digital transformation of this outdated process through remote consultation over a shared 3D view of a job site and its hidden utilities—like buried cables, water pipes, and gas lines.
On the mobile app, workers view the job site in real time using the device’s camera; information about buried utilities is overlaid directly on top of the live camera display as they pan. This innovative approach gives workers “3D x-ray vision” of underground utility assets in their actual geographic locations, allowing field crews to get quick and accurate information that can prevent potentially costly and dangerous mistakes before they happen.
A rapid-response solution for a safer work environment
When creating ARUtility, the founders knew they wanted to find a way to overlay AR with real-time voice, video, and messaging. They knew about Unity’s AR platform for gaming and decided to look into it for their unique use case, but had concerns around setting up their own real-time communication network to work with AR. Once they found out that Agora had SDKs for Unity, it was an easy choice. Agora’s simple integration with Unity made it possible to create an AR drawing tool that lets both field staff and office staff draw on the screen with annotations and notes that stick to real-world objects.
Ultimately, ARUtility chose Agora to power real-time engagement because of the robust real-time voice, video, and messaging platform and excellent customer support. Agora’s turnkey platform allowed them to focus on their core AR innovations while leaving the network to the experts. Agora’s reliable, scalable, low-latency network meets all of ARUtility’s needs to power their game-changing AR-based communication and keep job sites safe.
“We needed a turnkey platform that would allow us to focus on our core AR functionality while leaving the RTE network to the experts. Agora’s easy-to-use Unity SDK and great customer support made the choice crystal-clear."
Joe Eastman, CEO and Founder, ARUtility
"Agora not only allows us to seamlessly integrate interactive voice and video with our proprietary AR, but provides a reliable, robust, and low-latency network for engagement."JOE EASTMAN, CEO AND FOUNDER, ARUTILITY
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