3 Things You Need to Know About the New Atheer/Toshiba AR Partnership
Last week, AREA member Atheer announced a new partnership with Toshiba -pairing Atheer’s AiR Enterprise solution with Toshiba’s new dynaEdge smart glasses. We checked in with Atheer’s Director of Marketing Communications, Geof Wheelwright, to get the story behind the story.
AREA: What was it about the Toshiba dynaEdge smart glasses that made Atheer want to pursue this partnership?
Wheelwright: We know from talking with customers that no one type of smart glasses will meet all the diverse needs of a given enterprise. It is inevitable that the average organization’s AR ecosystem will consist of a variety of smart glasses, devices and OS platforms. Atheer’s strategy is to be ubiquitous across this diversity of customer needs. So when Toshiba approached us last summer about being their software partner for a new range of smart glasses, we jumped at the opportunity to partner with them. Toshiba is, of course, one of the world’s mobile computing leaders and its entry into the Enterprise Augmented Reality market is a pivotal moment in validating the potential and promise of the technology. Toshiba’s vast experience in working with enterprise customers on mobile solutions – and its keen understanding of their needs – makes it a great partner in delivering our flagship AiR™ Enterprise solution to Windows 10 users on new Toshiba’s dynaEdge™ AR Smart Glasses. Together, we believe that we can bring a much stronger awareness of what AR solutions can achieve in industrial enterprise roles such as field service, dealer service, manufacturing and repair operations, assembly line management, technician and expert training, warehouse picking, asset inspection and repair as well as remote visualization and support.
AREA: What does the pairing of AiR Enterprise and DynaEdge smart glasses bring to the enterprise AR market that it didn’t have before?
Wheelwright: There’s a new set of capabilities represented in both the Toshiba dynaEdge AR Smart Glasses – and Atheer’s implementation of AiR Enterprise on them. To begin with, these are the first AR smart glasses designed for Windows 10. Then you have the fact that Toshiba’s innovative dynaEdge Mobile Mini PC – a fully functioning Windows 10 PC in a tiny form factor – is part of the solution and ensures that users have access to all their standard Windows enterprise applications while using the dynaEdge AR Smart Glasses. When you add AiR Enterprise to the mix, you get a fully-featured, Windows-based enterprise-grade AR solution that provides touchless, gesture-based interaction, remote subject matter calling, contextual documentation, barcode scanning and step-by-step task flows.
AREA: What are the plans for this partnership beyond this announcement?
Wheelwright: This announcement is just the first step of our partnership. The next step is that Toshiba and Atheer are taking this combined solution to a number of Early Access Partners (EAPs) that represent some of Toshiba’s most strategic industrial customers. These and other customer engagements will guide how we continue to work closely together to drive even greater integration with relevant, Windows-based infrastructure and key enterprise applications. As we see how customers use the solution, we will get – and be able to apply – essential insights into the specific needs of enterprise users who want a Windows 10-based AR solution to our development roadmap.