In this the final week of the first edition of our new series "The Big Discussion" we've now looked at three key questions on the important topic of Augmented Reality.
The idea behind this new series is that we take one topic, bring together three leading area experts and put four key questions to them across four weeks, to help us better understand its potential impact on the field service sector...
So far we've asked our panel:
and now onto our final question in our Augmented Reality Big Discussion...
Question Four: How closely tied to the development of smart glasses is augmented reality – are the two co-dependent or are tools on smartphones/tablets sufficient?
Many visualise the ability to have a hands-free environment, where AR information shows up in front of them through smart glasses. However, very few enterprises have yet to adopt and deploy smart glasses, including devices such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, ODG’s R7 or RealWear, at scale. Although these glasses are advancing quickly. adoption of wearables in today’s market can be hindered by price, production and specific product limitations depending on the environment and user.
While hardware manufacturers continue to address these challenges, field workers are starting to reap the benefits of augmented reality using the hardware (smartphones/tablets) currently available to them, and most importantly, that they are comfortable with, while exploring glasses.
With so many AR tools available on today’s smartphones and tablets, enterprises are already realising success without having to make an additional investment in new hardware. With the addition of depth cameras and new computer vision techniques, handheld devices are becoming more and more practical.
Smart glasses are poised to take the world by storm. Leading smart glasses companies (including Microsoft) have already invested billions of dollars in design and development. Clearly, augmented reality is a key driver behind the development of smart glasses.
With respect to field services, it’s important to remember that we’re still at a very early stage. Most smart glasses on the market today cannot support all field service needs. The decision on whether to use smart glasses or a smartphone depends on the industry segment and the use case. For example, when working with ink-filled printing systems or in high-voltage environments, smart glasses are critical for enabling hands-free collaboration.
Another key advantage of smart glasses is that they enable both augmented reality and mixed reality. A hybrid of augmented and virtual reality, mixed reality enables users to overlay digital content onto a realtime physical space in 3D mode for highly realistic interactions.
Development of smart glasses are important but not crucial. For XMReality with core focus on customers within industrial field service, hands-free options, like glasses working in rough environment is something there is a demand for.
However our customers struggle a bite on how to use glasses, there are also so many different preferences on what you like, monocular, binocular so smartphones/tablets are sufficient in most cases and also something one in general carries.
For us it is important to get an understanding on the customers use cases, to recommend what would be their best choice to use.
The next instalment of The Big Discussion will be focussed on the topic of IoT and Servitization is coming soon...