RAIN Technology Inc. announced at AAPEX the public launch of “Ortho,” a voice assistant purpose-built to drive efficiency in auto repair. After 18 months of development and co-creation alongside forward-thinking shop owners and technicians, Ortho has been piloted in more than a dozen shops across the U.S. and Canada in recent months. On average, technicians using Ortho estimate saving as much as 10 minutes per job across a wide range of repair and maintenance procedures.
Powered by MOTOR’s OEM database and housed inside a ruggedized tablet, Ortho offers a hands-free, lightning-fast data lookup experience, delivering concise and accurate answers in just seconds, the company said. Simply by saying “Hey Ortho” and asking a question, users get instant access to hundreds of specs (e.g., torques, measurements), fluid details (e.g., capacities, types), diagrams (e.g., mounting points) and maintenance intervals, all specific to the vehicle being worked on. Vehicles can be loaded easily by leveraging select shop management system integrations, scanning a VIN or manually selecting year/make/model.
“We built Ortho with a laser focus on saving meaningful time in the shop, tapping into voice technology’s inherent advantages — speed of input, hands-free use and a distraction-free interface,” said Nithya Thadani, CEO of RAIN Technology, Inc., the parent company of Ortho and a renowned voice technology innovator. “With an aging fleet of vehicles on the road and an enduring technician shortage, auto repair pros are some of the most in-demand professionals in any industry — they deserve well-designed, tech-forward solutions to maximize their productivity on the job.”
Extracting information from traditional repair databases can take many minutes, even if a technician is looking for a single datapoint; it requires setting down tools, walking across the shop to a computer terminal, cleaning hands, typing a search query and scanning results pages to find the data in question. In contrast, Ortho allows technicians to stay right in the bay, moving from question to answer in under five seconds. “In co-creating Ortho alongside technicians and shop owners, we designed an experience that keeps technicians in flow, limits task-switching that can result in lost productivity, and presents only the information requested to minimize distraction,” said Kim Conti, Ortho vice president of product.
Answers are displayed clearly on-screen for ease of glancing, and read aloud through text-to-speech. Ortho’s intelligence in the automotive repair domain enables intuitive clarifications (e.g., if a user asks for a brake pad discard thickness, Ortho will confirm: “did you mean front or rear?”) and natural, conversational language from users.
“As soon as we started using Ortho in our shop, the benefits were clear — for my techs and the overall output of the shop,” said Tom Ham, owner of AutoCentric Repair in Grand Rapids, MI. “Keeping technicians happy often requires trying out the latest, greatest technologies — but they have to be fast, easy to use and work reliably to stick around, and that’s exactly what Ortho has done.”
Ortho’s capabilities are applicable to a number of different aftermarket service segments, from independent mechanical repair facilities to quick lube and tire shops to service franchises, all of which are already using the product. Ortho includes a 30-day free trial, offers flexible pricing models for individuals and shops, and comes with a voice-optimized tablet and accessories.
“As someone who has been a shop owner and now coaches shop owners for a living, I can say Ortho is exactly the type of product that punches well above its weight in terms of value and utility,” said Vic Tarasik, founder of ShopOwnerCoach. “Some technicians can be set in their ways, but with Ortho, seeing is believing, and it quickly shifts from a curiosity to a go-to tool.”
To sign up for a demo or a trial today, visit www.heyortho.com.