A Scottish housing association is the first to use new technology to help tenants fix routine repairs without stepping foot in their homes.
Kingdom Housing Association, based in Fife and with properties across East Central Scotland, introduced augmented reality just before the government’s coronavirus lockdown. Little did it know it would become so useful during this time.
The technology allows a trades operative to be virtually present in a tenant’s home, to see the issue in real time using video technology on a mobile phone or tablet and to offer support and advice by having their hand superimposed on the scene in the tenant’s home. All without ever stepping foot inside the property.
Many simple repairs and problems can be fixed remotely in this way, from fixing a door to connecting a washing machine, and all the time maintaining public health guidance on social distancing.
It’s one of the first times this kind of technology has been used by a housing association in the UK and has been introduced through a partnership between housing consultancy DtL Creative and Swedish-based XMReality.
Gary Haldane, Interim Digital Director at Kingdom Housing Association said: “This technology has the potential to be a game-changer. I knew when I first saw it that it would prove very useful. I just hadn’t realised how useful until we went into lockdown and operatives were unable to attend routine repairs because of isolation.”
“Our tenants have been amazed at how simple it is to use, and we’ve already had really positive feedback from tenants who have used the service. Our main priority during the coronavirus pandemic remains the health and wellbeing of our tenants and staff.
“Using augmented reality, we’re not only able to deliver the level of service our customers expect in a highly efficient manner, but we’re also able to do our best to minimise the transmission of the virus too.”
Dave Loudon, Founder of DtL Creative, said: “When the coronavirus hit a few weeks ago, we decided to help housing associations as much as we could. We’re working with several tech companies to offer free support to help them manage.
“The remote guidance from XMReality is amazing, and is just one of many innovations we’re offering to housing associations to help during this difficult time.
“As a company, we want to ensure technology and innovation is at the forefront of thinking in housing, so we’re pleased to be working with Kingdom who are embracing technology to improve tenants’ lives.”