By | December 28, 2023
HP xRServices Review - Customer Support in Mixed Reality

The innovative HP xRServices solution was first introduced by Hewlett-Packard in 2021. Back then, companies were still in the early stages of widespread adoption of XR. While other tech brands started developing AR and VR tools, HP decided to take a different approach. It wanted to leverage XR to serve its existing customer base.

Together with Microsoft, HP built the xRServices offering to provide users worldwide with instant access to comprehensive troubleshooting tools, remote assistance and fast onboarding experiences. According to HP, the solution was the first mixed reality service specifically aimed at the print industry, and since its launch, the brand has received lots of positive feedback.

But how beneficial is a mixed reality service for the printing industry? Here’s our behind-the-scenes look at the features and benefits of HP xRServices.

What is HP xRServices? The functions

While HP’s xRServices solution may be one of the first mixed reality support offerings to focus on the print landscape, the concept is not entirely new. Since the adoption of augmented reality tools began to skyrocket, especially in the industrial landscape, countless companies have introduced their own versions of “remote support” apps and software.

These apps give users access to expertise and guidance alongside three-dimensional content using an AR app, mixed reality headset or a set of smart glasses. HP’s xRServices is a similar “remote guidance” solution designed to help businesses and consumers maximize their next-generation printers.

The offer revolves around a convenient app in the Microsoft Store for the HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality headset. The app allows users to:

  • Run maintenance procedures on HP printers and presses using self-directed workflows.
  • Troubleshoot problems and get step-by-step instructions on how to replace parts.
  • Participate in immersive training sessions in virtual environments.

Additionally, whenever users need further guidance, they can contact the HP support team and receive instructions from a virtual coach. Video chat and document visualization support extensive collaboration between team members, experts and engineers.

HP has not detailed what software is used to run its technology, but it is likely that the company is leveraging Microsoft’s existing XR Remote Assistance (Dynamics 365 Remote Assist) platform. This includes support for most of the features that HP showed off in its “concept video” for the new solution.

The benefits of HP xRServices for business users

At first glance, the HP xRServices solution may not seem very innovative. Many other companies offer “remote support apps” in the world today.

However, the offer provides several benefits for HP customers who want to unlock the full potential of their technology and minimize downtime. HP xRServices is compatible with all HP industrial printer hardware and can:

  • Increase machine and system availability: Instead of calling a contact center or waiting for a technician to come out and fix a problem, users across a business ecosystem can simply wear a HoloLens headset and start troubleshooting problems right away. Instructors can guide team members through extensive repair and part replacement processes, minimizing unnecessary downtime and ensuring operations run smoothly.
  • Improved customer experience: The main focus of the service is to elevate customer experiences, turning standard conversations with technicians and engineers into augmented reality interactions. HP’s app gives HoloLens users instant access to virtual experts who can quickly diagnose problems you can’t fix yourself. The result is faster, more convenient customer service journeys and quicker resolutions.
  • Improved induction and training: HP xRServices doesn’t just help companies quickly solve printer problems. They also ensure that new employees can learn to use, optimize and troubleshoot devices more quickly. The HoloLens app includes access to simulated on-the-job training sessions. Additionally, team members can collaborate through the app to coach their new employees through processes such as installation and repair.
  • Reduced costs: The ability to fix problems faster, reduce downtime, and increase production isn’t the only thing that makes HP xRServices a cost-saving opportunity for businesses. The augmented reality solution also reduces the need for travel by coordinating experts and users in a virtual world. This can even help businesses.
  • Increased productivity: With the HP xRServices app, team members can run maintenance procedures on HP processes on autopilot, minimizing the need to align teams around large projects. Step-by-step guidance and virtual content presented through the HoloLens headset empowers all employees to accomplish more with less support.

HP xRServices: Availability and Pricing

Interestingly, while HP has its own collection of XR headsets in the “Reverb” portfolio, the xRServices solution is not intended for this hardware. This may be something HP changes in the future if it continues to invest in XR device manufacturing.

In the meantime, xRServices remains exclusively tied to the HoloLens 2 headset from Microsoft. This means you need a HoloLens device and the xRServices app available in Microsoft’s app store to take advantage of the service. The app is free to use, but the entire service is not.

Unfortunately, HP has not shared transparent pricing information since the solution was released in “beta” in 2021. However, businesses can contact the HP team to schedule a demo and learn more about pricing options. In addition, it is worth remembering that this service is specifically aimed at HP customers with industrial printers, such as HP 3D, Indigo and PageWide printers.

Is HP xRServices the future of support for the printing industry?

HP’s xRServices solution, offered in partnership with Microsoft, highlights the growing potential for augmented reality in the business landscape.

Not only can companies use XR technology to improve collaboration, training, and team creativity, but they can also access these tools for advanced customer support. HP’s xRServices offering responds to the growing need for remote guidance and workflow solutions to minimize travel, downtime and unnecessary business costs.

For members of the printing industry, this immersive service can be an excellent investment to improve team productivity and technical uptime.

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