« Back
  • The era of big data

    Smart documents
  • Navigating key information on the go

    Smart documents
  • Smart documents
  • Smart documents
  • Smart documents

Smart documents

HR Wallingford has conducted research on how new technology could be applied to produce ‘smart’ guidance documents and manuals for the Water sector. The result has been a pilot mobile application of a reservoir operation and maintenance manual that has completely transformed a valuable but unwieldy, underused paper document into an helpful, accessible and user-friendly interactive tool.

As infrastructure ages, financial and planning barriers constrain new infrastructure building and owners seek to operate their assets for longer, there will be increased need for asset management, inspection, operation and maintenance guidance and procedures. With these documents becoming mainly electronic, and the mobile devices (tablets and smart phones) to read them on and connect to the internet becoming ubiquitous, a new range of possibilities for faster, better, smarter, more efficient ways to access and interact with this data is emerging.

In this context, HR Wallingford has conducted research on how this new technology could be applied to produce ‘smart’ guidance documents and manuals for the Water sector. The result has been a pilot mobile application of a reservoir operation and maintenance manual that has completely transformed a valuable but unwieldy, underused paper document into an helpful, accessible and user-friendly interactive tool.

Smart Reservoir O&M Manual

The new smart manual adapts and extends the content of the original manual and makes use of the sensors available in mobile devices such as GPS, compass, accelerometer and camera to provide a more interactive experience to the user. Navigation through the smart manual is location and activity based, compared with the linear category-orientated approach that is forced by printed documents. It incorporates the latest augmented reality technology to provide location-based information to the user on site by just looking around with the rear camera of the mobile device. It also includes an interactive map of the site to visually navigate the content of the manual, with options for filtering the map elements by activity (e.g. operation, maintenance and monitoring) to suit each user needs. The app can also identify key assets on site and trigger relevant data to the mobile device from Near Field Communication (NFC) tags placed on them.

Complex procedures in the manual are graphically explained with how-to video clips or with augmented reality animations overlaid onto the assets to be operated. For inspection, surveillance and monitoring tasks, the app contains interactive forms that provide a quick and reliable data entry facility. Additional features include help buttons to guide the user in completing the form, an automatic, real-time validation of the inputs to reduce data errors, and picture attachments for richer reports.

The pilot smart manual is now available for demonstration and provides a benchmark from which to develop new smart documents. Manuals, procedures and guidance documents can now be transformed into interactive mobile applications with the potential to improve efficiency of staff resources using it. The technology can also be applied to public or private datasets to improve dissemination and use of the data.

Authors

Craig Goff; Olalla Gimeno; Mark Wetton

Keywords

AR; NFC; Smart; interactive; augmented reality; near field communication; mobile application; manual; guidance; document; asset management; inspection; operation; maintenance

Completed

2015

Contact

Caroline Hazlewood

Caroline Hazlewood

Group Manager, Floods and software

+44 (0)1491 822226

Send an email View profile
Craig Goff

Craig Goff

Technical Lead, Dams and Reservoirs

+44 (0)1491 822480

Send an email View profile

Project information

Related projects