2019 H1 AR Event Season Reveals Growing Interest and Momentum

Mark Sage, Executive Director offers his thoughts and experiences of the 2019 H1 event season 

The months of May and June bring a flurry of AR events that the AREA and its members support. So, with my travel bag in hand and a list of industry experts with whom I would like to meet and discuss the work of the AREA, panels to chair and talks about the growth of the enterprise AR ecosystem, I say goodbye to my family and travel to the US.

VRX Immersive Enterprise – Unleash the Full Potential of XR in Enterprise – 21/22 May, Boston

I’m always excited to attend enterprise-focused events like VRX. This was my second year and it continues to grow. The speakers were excellent, albeit perhaps focusing more on VR than AR. This year I moderated a panel titled – AR for enterprise – What’s happening now and what does the future hold?

I was joined by:

  • Rich Rabbitz, Lockheed Martin – I’ve been lucky to chair a number of panels with Rich, he is an expert and practitioner in the AR space.
  • Doug House, Porsche Cars of North America – Doug and his team have pioneered the use of remote assistance to make service at its dealerships hugely more efficient.
  • Caroline McManus, PTC – Caroline is a Senior Market Strategy Analyst, Augmented Reality and was able to provide real insight and experience to the panel.

 We covered the key use cases being implemented in the industry, the benefits / ROI (both tangible and intangible) that the companies deploying AR have received, and the challenges they have had to overcome (including convincing stakeholders to invest, safety, security and technology issues). A great panel and engaged audience!

As part of the AREA’s media agreement with VRX, I offered and ran a mini-master class on Enterprise AR. This intimate, interactive workshop was a great way to present the work of the AREA. The focus is on highlighting its members thought leadership, explaining the key use cases (problems being solved), case studies (examples of companies deploying use cases) and how to overcome potential barriers to adoption. A good session with lots of positive feedback!

AWE US – 29– 31 May, Santa Clara

After a few days back in the UK, I once again boarded a plane to the US – this time, Santa Clara. This was my fourth time at AWE US, an event that is always well-attended with the expo floor growing year over year. The number of speaker tracks has also increased.

The AREA was unable to secure a speaking slot this year but did run a very successful AREA meetup. With an 8 am start on Thursday morning, coffee and doughnuts fuelled the conversation. Our thanks to AREA member PISON for allowing us to use their meeting room. Over 50 earlier birds attended and heard from AREA sponsor / board members. Brian Vogelsang from Qualcomm, Marc Schuetz from PTC, Christine Perey from PEREY Research and Consulting, Jay Kim from Upskill, and Peter Tortorici from Medtronic all discussed the experiences, insights, and benefits they have gained from AREA membership.

We also heard from a few of the AREA Committee chairs (the AREA runs monthly calls focusing on working together to reduce barriers to AR adoption including Research, Safety, Security, Human Factors, Marketing and Requirements). Tony Hodgson from Brainwaive (Security Committee Chair) and Christine Perey (Research Committee Chair) spoke about the objectives and deliverables from their respective groups.

Back home for a few days, bags packed and I’m excited to attend…

LiveWorx 2019 – 11 – 13 June, Boston

It was my first visit to LiveWorx and really enjoyed the experience! The event is focused on helping companies digitally transform. PTC CEO (and AREA member) Jim Heppelmann delivered a keynote that covered a wide range of solutions including the latest PTC AR technology, featuring live demos of many of PTC solutions. There were also many speaking tracks, including one dedicated to AR.

I was delighted to present the work of the AREA in a 45-minute session titled “The State of Enterprise AR.” We drew a sizeable audience, and I was able to cover many subjects including: the history of AR (using Gartner’s hype cycle); the key use cases being deployed; and the how the AREA’s research work – including the AREA ROI Calculator,  Research in AR Wearable Security and AR Human Factors and Safety framework – are helping to overcome barriers to adoption.

The AREA members wanted to offer an in-depth, insightful and comprehensive workshop, so I was honoured to be joined by Shelley Peterson (Lockheed Martin), Mary Claire McLaughlin and Rachel Boykin (Newport News Shipbuilding) and Chris Ambrose (Strategy Analytics) in running a 90-minute workshop.

With a focus on interaction, the attendees were able to ask any questions to the team. We covered a wide range of topics on enterprise AR, from detailed questions on use cases to ROI and benefits. We also addressed a wide range of barriers and how these companies had successfully deployed AR. It was a great session and the feedback was amazing, with everyone who attended thanking the team for their honest insight and feedback. It was a great way to finish the event season!

Thank you to the event producers, the companies sponsoring and the attendees. Our industry continues to grow and with more real-world case studies and enterprises deploying AR solutions, I look forward to kicking off the 2019 second-half event season!

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