Well advised from the cloud – with chatbot and augmented reality

Those who can support customers remotely save time-consuming and expensive on-site visits. How two start-ups support companies with digital advice.

The CNC machine is defective and no specialist in-house to repair the device on site at short notice? Where else production standstill would result – experts are rare and on-site visits difficult due to Corona – new technologies can help.

Two of them: Augmented Reality (AR) and chatbots. According to the IT Trends 2020 from the consulting company Capgemini, almost every third company in the DACH region is relying on AR or is about to do so, with chatbots even almost 40 percent. BlinkIn and Kauz , two start-ups from Telekom’s TechBoost funding program, are now taking online consulting even further.

New ventilation for hospitals in Wuhan

BlinkIn , founded in 2018, relies on visual help – whether for questions about system maintenance or the documentation of claims in insurance operations. Thanks to augmented reality, no employee has to be on site for this: customers can use a smartphone rear camera to share, diagnose and solve the problem with an expert without any pre-training or special app.

A link to any smartphone is sufficient to start a live video call or to transfer photos and videos. With artificial intelligence, the interactive instructions and visual problem analyzes can even be partially automated.

The pandemic has shown that solutions like BlinkIn will become increasingly important in the future. At the beginning of the pandemic, for example, the ventilation systems in the temporary hospitals in Wuhan, China, could only be installed with the help of BlinkIn – the fitters from the manufacturer Huber & Ranner were simply not allowed to enter.

The Dortmund pump manufacturer Wilo uses BlinkIn worldwide during the lockdown period to analyze and rectify errors. And in the long term, BlinkIn can also be used in customer service for end users, for example to find technical problems with household appliances or in the event of a car breakdown.

One chatbot, 10,000 conversations a day

If on-site support is not required, chatbots can also help. You automatically answer simple inquiries on the homepage and thus keep personal contacts free for tricky cases. Because more complex queries often only confuse conventional chatbots, the Düsseldorf start-up Kauz has optimized the speech understanding of chatbots.

“Real understanding rates in the chatbot area are often 50 to 70 percent, with us they are closer to 70 to 90 percent,” says Kauz founder and CEO Dr. Thomas Rüdel.

Big data in companies: knowledge as an important resource

The key to Kauz’s success: programming based on linguistic analyzes helps the chatbot solution to react competently, even to unusual formulations. This ensures natural communication. Rüdels claim: “The chatbot should be able to solve most of the problems intelligently and without human intervention.”

The numbers prove him right: a person has to jump to the side of a Kauz-Bot in around every fourth chat. More and more customers appreciate this: For example, more than 100 savings banks, R + V and the drugstore chain dm already use a Kauz chatbot.

According to Rüdel, Kauz chatbots are also proving themselves more and more in internal company use, where they make knowledge quickly accessible to employees with the help of their own chat and search technology.

How TechBoost supports start-ups with innovative business ideas 

Both BlinkIn and Kauz rely on simple and secure hosting in the Open Telekom Cloud (OTC). The special software architecture of the cloud environment offers additional security and flexibility.

With the TechBoost funding program , the Bonn-based group now supports more than 450 start-ups with IT resources, access to the customer network, and sales and marketing measures.