AR Smart Glasses For MRO Moving Ahead with Atheer
An article on MRO-network by Lindsay Bjerregaard reveals how Atheer (AREA member) is dominating the AR software space by integrating with as much technology as possible, with their Atheer Air Enterprise edition.
Atheer has recently announced a range of collaborations with technology and hardware providers aimed at making AiR Enterprise one of the most hardware-agnostic AR software on the market. In addition to working with Cisco to integrate AiR Enterprise with the company’s Spark communications and collaborations tool and a joint project with Design Interactive to create an AR troubleshooting application for the Microsoft HoloLens called Augmentor, Atheer is working with major manufacturers releasing new AR glasses.
Toshiba, which just launched its DynaEdge AR smart glasses in March, approached Atheer about making AiR Enterprise available on the new product. “We believe that this relationship will provide a huge boost for enterprise customers who have been waiting for exactly this kind of Windows 10-based enterprise AR solution from a world-class hardware manufacturer,” says Soulaiman Itani, co-founder and CEO of Atheer.
Meanwhile, Flex has licensed Atheer’s technology for its new Flex AR platform, which was shown at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show. The platform is set to launch this summer and will ship with a 30-day trial of AiR Enterprise.
According to Amar Dhaliwal, Atheer’s senior vice president for sales and marketing, all of this collaborative activity is to ensure that the company’s AR software is largely supported on all devices on the market.
“What we have found is that there is no one piece of AR hardware that is going to be ideal for every use case, even in a moderately complex enterprise organization,” says Dhaliwal. “If there are going to be lots of glasses out there and companies are using more than one type of smart glasses in their business, it’s important for us to be able to have the same single piece of software running across all of these different platforms.”
He adds that there are many options available now because the market is young, but Atheer expects that in a couple years’ time it will be able to zero in on the companies that will become dominant providers.
Dhaliwal says the focus on AR platform ubiquity is part of what sets Atheer apart from competitors and, in an increasingly crowded market, a focus on the interaction approach is also important. “We don’t believe there is one interaction model that is perfect,” says Dhaliwal, pointing to examples such as shop-floor noise interfering with voice commands or tools in hand interfering with gesture suggestion and device touchpads.
These real-world concerns are something that is not always easily tested in a Silicon Valley tech environment, but Atheer recently had the chance to put AiR Enterprise through the paces at this year’s Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) at MRO Americas. American Airlines, which co-sponsored an AR event at the competition with Atheer, approached the AR provider about putting together an event at the competition. Dhaliwal says Atheer jumped at the chance to get its software in front of end users—especially workers with a very low tolerance for any technology that gets in the way of their job.