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      4 min read

      Five Apple iOS 11 capabilities to enhance Field Service

      Featured Image

      Apple iOS 11 release this week on the 10th anniversary of the iPhone is a major leap forward and includes many features to enhance user experience further. These five capabilities will have the most impact on how businesses deliver field service and support the customers. 


      1. Augmented Reality 
      2. Machine Learning on the device
      3. Siri extensions for Apps
      4. Business Chat using iMessage
      5. Direct QR and Bar Code scanning

      Augmented Reality  

      Apple has introduced Augmented Reality to over a billion users of iPhones and iPads.  The Apple ARKit allows mapping digital objects into physical space on your screen. Technicians will now be able to have Knowledge, Diagnostic or Repair procedures, Part Illustrations, Enhanced Schematics, and training on physical products seen through the camera.

      The easy access to all the information at the point of service will enable technicians to apply right procedures leading to higher first-time fix rates.

      By not requiring costly full-on virtual reality headsets and making AR capabilities available on existing and new phones, you can take Augmented Reality from just a novelty to a real capability in the hands of your field service technicians.

      Machine Learning on the Device

      Apple also introduced Machine learning through CoreML in iOS11 making the vision, natural language processing, and other AI capabilities readily available for the apps.

      Field Service App now can become more intelligent by performing image analysis, process natural language, and detect text or barcodes. Technicians can perform many tasks on the app hands-free and minimize the data entry freeing them to focus on service tasks at hand. 

      The machine learning and AI capabilities will also soon help with diagnostics and finding answers faster which will lead to fewer support calls and higher productivity.

      Siri extensions for the app and your domain

      Apple also opened up Siri for the app with SiriKit enabling iOS app users to get things done with your content and services using just their voice. The Siri extension registers with specific domains and intents that it can handle allowing your product knowledge and support services available through Siri voice commands.

      Technicians or Customers can now get answers from searching your knowledge base or call your support using Siri improving ease of access and the user experience.  

      Business Chat

      Business Chat within iOS 11 is a powerful and convenient way for you to connect with customers and users directly in Messages. Messaging is probably the most used feature on the mobile phones, and now Business Chat allows customers to connect to businesses in addition to peer-to-peer messaging.

      You can now provide answers to questions, resolve issues, and complete transactions on any of the iOS devices. Customers can also find your business and start conversations from other Apple apps such as Safari, Maps, and Siri.

      The Business Chat capability will be especially useful to customers as your mobile app does not have to be installed and most message responses can be automated.  You can allow customers to register your products, initiate support requests with your contact center, and get status by using the messages.

      Scan QR and Barcodes

      Even though QR codes were introduced long time ago, the need to download an app and going through occasional advertising to get to the target content have been barriers in adapting the QR codes more broadly.

      In iOS 11, when you point the iPhone camera at a QR code, it is now smart enough to detect that it’s a QR code and take to the link. This direct QR code recognition can be used to take to product registration, customer self-service portal, and transactional pages.

      By Deep Linking the mobile app to specific URLs with parameters like a model or a product serial number, the users can jump to not just a URL but to a specific function within the field service mobile app. The QR code capability can make service tags on products to be more intelligent and save time for the Technicians. 

      Oh, One more thing.

      Record your screen from your device

      You can now easily record the screens on the device which makes supporting your technicians lot better on the mobile apps. You can now add a custom shortcut to Control Center to record your screen. The iOS device records everything with the short-cut command and saves the movie file in photo library making it easy to share.

      With Technicians in the field, it was difficult to see what they experience with the app. The video clip from screen recording makes it easier to support the field service app and improve the user experience.

      The new iOS 11 and iPhones make the service experience even better while improving the technician productivity. You can take advantage of these features in the upcoming release of Mize Channel Connect app for Field Service Technicians.

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      Eric Arnum