Whether a printer is out of ink or the paper is jammed, printer troubleshooting can be a pain. Now, with the “metaverse” just a head-mounted display away, printer repair can be easier. At least that’s what HP is claiming with xRServices, a printer repair and support feature that uses Microsoft HoloLens 2 mixed-reality headsets.
Businesses that have a HoloLens 2 and buy HP’s xRServices will be able to instantly connect to an HP engineer and ask about printer problems during “any point of their print production,” HP’s Monday announcement said.
The service targets companies that use HP’s Industrial line of printers, the massive pieces of equipment you’ll find in everything from standard offices to large warehouses. They can do things your printer at home can’t, like print 6,000 sheets an hour.
HP claims that by taking printer troubleshooting into mixed reality, companies will spend less time trying to figure out why their printers aren’t working. The company did not clarify why putting a 1.2-pound piece of hardware on your head and entering mixed reality will yield faster results than hopping on a phone or video call.
With xRServices providing a “single point of contact” for HP printers, HP pointed to the virtual service eliminating the need to travel for face-to-face meetings, including for onboarding, which can happen via what HP called “a ‘live’ simulation.” Presumably, the HoloLens 2’s 1080p resolution video camera could allow a technician to take a look at the actual printer, but, again, this could be handled by simple video call. Besides that, xRServices simply adds another person you can nag when things aren’t working properly.
xRServices is currently in beta with “select” HP customers, including Benson Integrated Marketing Solutions and Japanese Fujiplus Inc, a company whose services include calendar-making and printouts of large ads. In a statement, Fujiplus CEO and President Takeshi Ido said the company is using xRServices for “self-maintenance and replacing parts on our own, giving us great confidence about the predictability of our print operations.”
The xRServices announcement comes shortly after the reveal of another Microsoft-related virtual-world push. Last week, Microsoft announced plans to release a 3D platform for virtual meetings, called Mesh for Teams.