MBTA commuter rail train at North Station

Can smart glasses help rail workers make repairs in the field?

In September, Keolis Commuter Services, which operates commuter rail for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, will equip field mechanics with smart glasses so they can communicate with technicians in a maintenance facility.

Software links the smart glasses with a web-based interface so that an individual in the field can stream video and communicate in real time with an office-based colleague.

The goal for Keolis is to reduce service disruptions by speeding up train repairs, and the operator plans to test the smart glasses in three locations: tracks near the MBTA’s main commuter rail maintenance facility, a smaller maintenance facility in a Boston neighborhood, and a layover facility at the end of a train line. Introducing smart glasses at the first location would save mechanics a 30-minute walk, while the other locations would obviate the need to transport trains to the main maintenance facility for minor repairs.

Keolis will use software from AMA XpertEye and test glasses from ODG and Vuzix.  Link to full story in MIT Technology Review

Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman

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