The AREA Issues Call for Proposals for AR ROI Research Project

The AREA has issued a request for proposals for a funded research project that will develop a full set of best practices for performing analyses of the return on investment (ROI) of enterprise AR projects.

Organizations with relevant expertise in ROI analysis are invited to respond to the invitation by August 14th.

The goals of the AREA-directed research project are:

  • To define and answer common questions about how to measure ROI for enterprise AR projects. The AREA members will then be able to follow the best practices and guidelines when developing ROI estimates for their internal decision makers, or to assist their customers and partners in the development of ROI estimates for AR.
  • To increase understanding and demystify ROI for AR across the industry and ecosystem (members and non-members) through an information/awareness campaign.

The research project will produce:

  • A report that provides AREA members with a full set of best practices to prepare an ROI analysis for enterprise AR. This should be based on widely-accepted techniques and best practices for ROI of adjacent technologies, such as IoT and mobile.
  • An ROI calculator in the form of an annotated spreadsheet with sample formulas and instructions on how to fill in fields with which to begin preparation of an ROI estimate.
  • A case study (suitable for public release) with sample figures showing the use and interpretation of the ROI calculator tool in a fictional (or anonymized) organization.

All proposals will be evaluated by the AREA research committee co-chairs on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of ROI analysis methods
  • Clear qualifications of research organization and any partners in the domain of ROI in AR, if possible, or adjacent technologies
  • Review of prior research reports and calculator samples
  • Feedback of references

The AREA will provide detailed replies to submitters on or before August 18th. The research project is expected to be completed and finished deliverables produced by October 31st.

The AREA ROI research project was awarded to Strategy Analytics in August 2017.

The project produced the first and most definitive report on the topic of Measuring ROI of AR and the AREA AR ROI calculator. These are both AREA member exclusive results. The executive summary of the final report is made available to non-members and upon furnishing your name and contact details, can be downloaded from this page.

A Year of Enterprise AR

What I’ve Learnt as Executive Director of the AREA

I’ve had the most amazing year as Executive Director of the Augmented Reality Enterprise Alliance (AREA). Getting to really understand this new and amazing Enterprise AR ecosystem has been a fantastic journey.

I’ve spoken to many enterprise executives and innovation leaders who are looking to improve their companies’ performance and create efficiencies. There have been many conversations with providers of AR technology (including a growing number of startups focusing on AR) that are offering innovative solutions. I have also gained insight from numerous non-commercial organisations – from governments to universities and research institutes. All which has enabled me to gain a wide and comprehensive view of the Enterprise AR ecosystem.

So, what have I learnt in my first year?

When I started back in May 2016, I would have said that the Enterprise AR ecosystem was very “irregular” because of the following characteristics:

  • Enterprises were uncertain about which AR areas to invest in
  • Providers were unable to find customers
  • Technology readiness was unclear
  • Best use cases were still being defined
  • Efficiencies were difficult to achieve

What a difference a year has made. The ecosystem is moving forward rapidly, with more enterprises and providers understanding AR, developing focused solutions, providing more clarity on best practices and creating better tools.

Equally important, “AR language” is now being shared with key business decision makers (CEO, CIO, CTO). They are beginning to understand the benefits and challenges for the ecosystem.

But issues remain. Enterprise AR is still not a mainstream technology, performance improvements are not being realised across entire organisations, and many projects are stuck in the prototyping / testing phase.

With the help and insight of the AREA members, we have spent the past 12 months understanding what needs to be done to move from the “in prototype” phase to “full deployment” stage so that enterprises can gain the benefits and return on investment from AR.

The AREA Portal – your one-stop shop for neutral Enterprise AR information

The challenge is multi-layered and goes beyond just technology readiness! That’s why the AREA has continued to create initiatives to help enterprises. We are investing in updating the AREA portal and building a “one-stop shop” for Enterprise AR information – from AR use cases, case studies, and technology white papers, to the latest thought leadership articles, news stories, and events. It’s important to build a set of vendor-neutral information that can help executives make informed decisions. We are also working on creating more neutral ROI analysis and looking for enterprises and providers to help share any ROI information they have.

AREA research capability

We are also building up the AREA research capability. We have asked members what should be researched to help the growth of the Enterprise AR ecosystem and in 2016 we commissioned research on security in wearables. The report(s) are just about to be realised and will provide the AREA members with the following insightful and useful research:

Report 1 – Wearable Enterprise AR Data Security Risks and Management

This report will allow AREA members to better understand data security risks, communicate using a common vocabulary, characterize threats via a structured framework, assess major vulnerabilities against that framework, and identify key metrics to measure risks in the real world.

Report 2 – Wearable Enterprise AR Security – Framework and Test Protocol

This report proposes a security framework for AR developers and enterprise practitioners. It explains how to create a three-phase test protocol for evaluation of AR headset solutions:

  • Identify appropriate security requirements for the AR device in an enterprise project
  • Evaluate the security design of the AR device using vendor and third-party data
  • Test the AR device security as part of the enterprise project

These reports are only available to AREA members. If you are not a member yet, please contact me if you are interested in joining.

We have also kicked off the next phase of research proposals to find out what the members would like to research next!

Global AR requirements

Another identified gap is a lack of Enterprise AR requirements. Having those requirements would help enterprises create standard RFP / RFI’s for AR solutions. For their part, providers would find the requirements useful to helping them develop their product roadmaps, as well as encouraging interoperability of software and hardware.

It was exciting and inspiring to run the first global AR requirements meeting with the DMDII in Chicago (1st / 2nd March) with 65 companies and 90 people discussing the draft AR enterprise requirements (created by Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar and Procter and Gamble). The AREA is planning to run another session in Oct ’17. I’m looking forward to again engaging directly with the ecosystem.

AR Safety Committee

Safety is a concern for all enterprises and the use of AR (particularly with wearables) is one area that needs to be carefully considered when rolling out an AR solution to the wider workforce.

A new AREA charter is being created to bring together interested members to help define and provide insight into the potential problem. More to follow in H2 2017.

Much more to come – together

It’s been an amazing first year for me at the AREA – engaging with practitioners from all over the world who want to drive change, improve performance, and deliver valuable Enterprise AR services.

But it’s clear that work still needs to be done. The AREA will continue to help drive the ecosystem, to provide a place to discuss and solve the wider problems, to help enterprises and providers to work together, to make a difference, and to accelerate the adoption of Enterprise AR.

There is an African proverb I often like to cite:  “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Please join me and over 30 organisations in working to ensure that AR technology creates lasting benefits for the world.

Calling all AR Startups: Now There’s an AREA Membership Just for You

Are you an AR startup that would like to join the AREA but has lacked the resources for a full Contributor membership? Now you can take advantage of all the advantages of belonging to the AREA through our new Startup Membership.

The time-limited Startup membership offers you the full benefits of an AREA Contributor member:

  • Create awareness of your startup
  • Gain access to AREA thought leadership content
  • Attend AREA member events
  • Network with enterprises that are looking for AR solutions
  • Participate in AREA committees and help define the ecosystem
  • Get discounts to events negotiated by the AREA
  • Receive synopses of AREA research
  • Gain entry into the AREA marketplace (in development)
  • Contribute thought leadership content to the AREA blog
  • Get Contributor member voting rights
  • Be part of the only alliance focusing on AR in the Enterprise!

It’s a great way to develop your AR network and gain visibility with prospective enterprise customers. You get all this for $1500 per year – that’s $3500 less than the lowest annual fee for Contributor membership.

AREA Startup membership is limited to organizations that meet the following criteria:

  • Your total annual revenue is under $1 million.
  • Your staff size is 10 or fewer full-time and/or freelance employees.
  • Your organization has been trading for less than three years.

The AREA Startup membership package is only available for a two-year period. After the two years have elapsed, your company must choose a Contributor or Sponsor membership to continue as an AREA member.

Click here to take advantage of this exciting offer.

5 Reasons Why the DMDII/AREA Requirements Workshop Was a Milestone Event

At first glance, the two-day event promised to be a worthwhile exchange among parties with shared interests. On one side was the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), which had invested considerable time and effort into creating a detailed set of requirements for enterprise AR with the assistance of American industry heavyweights Lockheed Martin, Procter & Gamble, and Caterpillar. On the other side was the AREA, the organization leading global efforts to drive adoption of AR in the enterprise. The AREA is to take over responsibility for the requirements document and its future.

But when the parties gathered in Chicago, the event proved to be more significant than anyone could have expected. Here’s why:

  1. It demonstrated the burgeoning interest in enterprise AR throughout the developing ecosystem. The event attracted 90 attendees from 45 companies – all deeply committed to AR and eager to share their thoughts with one another.
  2. It provided an unprecedented opportunity for AR hardware and software providers to engage directly with enterprise AR users. With the detailed requirements to refer to, participants were able to engage with each other substantively and specifically.
  3. It signified the beginning of a global effort to make the process of implementing AR projects simpler and more orderly. With a set of requirements that will grow, become more defined and use case-specific over time under the aegis of the AREA, enterprises will have the power to define their AR solution needs clearly and confidently. Our goal at the AREA is to make the requirements accessible and usable to the wider AR ecosystem.
  4. It gives AR solutions providers a vital resource for developing their product development roadmaps. The direct feedback of the user community made it clear to hardware and software providers where they need to invest their R&D budgets in the near and medium term.
  5. It created the basis for a more open, vibrant, and participatory AR ecosystem. As the AREA makes the requirements a “living document” to which all organizations can contribute, they will become an increasingly useful resource to a wider range of organizations and will accelerate the adoption of successful AR projects in the enterprise.

More information on how to review and participate in activities around the requirements will be announced soon at www.theAREA.org.

AREA Members Featured in IndustryWeek Article on AR in Manufacturing

AREA members Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), DAQRI, and Upskill and AREA Executive Director Mark Sage are featured in an article on AR at IndustryWeek, the long-running manufacturing industry publication. The article explores the state of AR adoption in manufacturing, weaving in the experiences and insights of NNS’ Patrick Ryan, DAQRI’s Matt Kammerait, and Upskill’s Jay Kim, along with observations from executives of GE Digital and Plex Systems. Find the article here.

The 1st AREA Ecosystem Survey is Here!

The Augmented Reality (AR) marketplace is evolving so rapidly, it’s a challenge to gauge the current state of market education, enterprise adoption, provider investment, and more. What are the greatest barriers to growth? How quickly are companies taking pilots into production? Where should the industry be focusing its efforts? To answer these and other questions and create a baseline to measure trends and momentum, we at the AREA are pleased to announce the launch of our first annual ecosystem survey.

Please click here to take the survey. It won’t take more than five minutes to complete. Submissions will be accepted through February 8, 2017. We’ll compile the responses and share the results as soon as they’re available.

Make sure your thoughts and observations are captured so our survey will be as comprehensive and meaningful as possible. Thank you!

The AREA Issues Call for Proposals for an AR Research Project

The AREA has issued a request for proposals for a funded research project that its members will use to better understand relevant data security risks associated with wearable enterprise AR and mitigation approaches.

Organizations with expertise in the field of data security risks and mitigation and adjacent topics are invited to respond to the invitation by January 30, 2017.

The goals of the AREA-directed research project are:

  • To clarify questions about enterprise data security risks when introducing enterprise AR using wearables
  • To define and perform preliminary validation of protocols that companies can use to conduct tests and assess risks to data security when introducing wearable enterprise AR systems

The research project will produce:

  • An AREA-branded in-depth report that: details the types of data security risks that may be of concern to IT managers managing AR delivery devices and assets; classifies the known and potential threat to data security according to potential severity levels; and proposes risk mitigation measures
  • An AREA-branded protocol for testing wearable enterprise AR devices for their hackability or data exposure threat levels
  • An AREA-branded report documenting the use of the proposed protocol to test devices for their security exposure threat levels.

All proposals will be evaluated by the AREA research committee co-chairs on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and use of industry best practices for research methodology
  • Clear qualifications of research organization and any partners in the domain of data security threats and mitigation, and AR, if possible
  • Review of prior research report and testing protocol samples
  • Feedback of references

The AREA will provide detailed replies to submitters on or before February 13, 2017. The research project is expected to be completed and finished deliverables produced by May 1, 2017.

Full information on the request for proposals, including a submission form, can be found here.


New Editor Joins the AREA

The AREA has a new editor. Jim Cassidy joined the organization in October and is tasked with supporting the research and preparation of the AREA’s content by developing content strategy, authoring original and thought leadership content, editing content from members and third parties, and producing newsletters. We sat down with Jim recently to learn more about him and his work with the AREA.

Welcome to the AREA, Jim. Tell us about your background.

Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve been a freelance marketing communications writer for more than 25 years, working with a wide variety of clients across many industries, from consumer packaged goods to healthcare to analytical laboratory instruments. Living and working in eastern Massachusetts, much of my work has been for information technology companies, such as NTT DATA and PTC, so I have a good foundation in both the enterprise technology environment surrounding AR and the vertical markets where it’s making an impact.

What interested you in joining the AREA?

This is a very exciting time for AR. When you look at the most promising applications – take field service, for example – much of the work processes still revolve around printed manuals and parts diagrams, even as products have become more complex and intelligent. AR will have massive impact on productivity in just that one area. In an interview earlier this year, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt said that by helping field engineers fix machinery better the first time, AR could be worth billions of dollars to industrial companies like GE.

The potential is great, new innovations are coming to market on a daily basis, and there’s a lot of interest and anticipation in the market. At the same time, we’re still struggling with how to get from the pilot stage to widespread adoption. There’s a lot of AR information out there, but before people can really use it, it needs to be put into context and disseminated. The AREA can play a central role in that process, and as a professional communicator, I saw that as a great opportunity.

What sorts of content are you hoping to bring to the AREA?

From the enterprise perspective, we need to continue to deliver specific, practical information that helps accelerate adoption – technical dos and don’ts, but also business-focused content that identifies AR opportunities and supports organizations in arguing a business case for adoption. I’d also like to see more case studies of successful AR deployments, and more forward-looking, visionary content from the strategic thought leaders among our members. The more we can foster an open forum for sharing ideas, the more vibrant the AREA community will be – and that will benefit everyone.

Is there anything you would like to say to AREA members?

I’d like everyone – AR providers and enterprises – to know that I’m here to support them in bringing their ideas and experiences to the AREA. I’m available to explore story ideas, do interviews, and act as an editor to help them shape and deliver the content they’d like to share with other AREA members. I’d also like their feedback on what they value most about our content and what we can do better.

Augmented World Expo Europe 2016: A Review

The inaugural Augmented World Expo (AWE) Europe is now history. The big conference and exhibition that for seven years has served as a showcase for all the emerging realities in the AR community in the US is now an international affair, having held its second Asian edition in China last month, followed by AWE Europe October 18 – 19.


The event took place at the Berlin Congress Centre, in the heart of the city in Alexanderplatz. The beautiful venue was a fantastic match for the exhibition with its two floors and the large convention hall that hosted two full days of speakers. The main stage saw a number of inspiring talks by names that have made history in both AR and VR like Bruce Sterling. The speakers’ agenda also included an impressive developers track; many providers took advantage of the event to create tutorials and demonstrations of their authoring technologies. One couldn’t help noticing the growing impact that Unity3D is having as authoring tool for AR experiences. In fact, many of the major software vendors showcased their Unity3D plugins to the developers attending.


The exhibition hall featured more than 45 companies showcasing software solutions, optics, devices and applications. Interestingly, a large percentage of the exhibiting companies were those that focus their business models around enterprise solutions and industry-related technologies. This strengthens the belief that enterprise AR is a major driver for the success of the technology. A side hall hosted a number of startup companies promoting their innovative ideas (one of which, PuttView, won the “Best in Show” award for its golf practice solution).

Several European AREA members were represented:

  • Bosch showcased a number of solutions for AR-enabled automotive maintenance and servicing at one the largest booths in the show.
  • Catchoom brought in their image recognition and AR platforms demonstrating use cases for both enterprise and marketing use cases .
  • Joinpad centered their demos around industrial use cases, focusing especially on smart glasses solutions for MRO scenarios of complex equipment, developed using their Arrakis SDK for AR applications authoring.


The audience attending the exhibition was a mix of tech enthusiasts and industrial customers interested in the benefits of AR and VR for their businesses. Although mostly European, many ticket holders travelled from Canada and the US to participate.


All in all, AWE Europe felt like a promising first edition for the AR-focused conference that has set trends for AR development in the States. Even compared to the US edition in June, many demos had evolved to a more mature stage, especially with the proliferation of innovative devices like the Hololens, showing the rapidly development of the market. While AWE Europe is somewhat smaller than its American counterpart, we at the AREA are convinced that it is here to stay and will become a “must go” event for those interested in the potential of this technology.

The AWE organizing committee will share many of the talks on the main stage and the developers track on the AWE YouTube Channel.

What Pokémon Go Means for Enterprise Augmented Reality

Since its release on July 6th, Pokémon Go has become a global phenomenon—with downloads of the mobile app exceeding 75 million within the first three weeks. Many reviewers credit the game’s meteoric success to its innovative use of “Augmented Reality.”

To those of us in the enterprise AR community, of course, Pokémon Go is no more augmented reality than Atari’s 1972 “Pong” arcade game was table tennis. In Pokémon Go, the merging of the virtual and real worlds is confined to the projection of 2D monsters on real-life backgrounds. While it’s a novel effect for a mobile game, it barely scratches the surface of what Augmented Reality can do—or its tremendous potential for enterprises to achieve greater operational efficiencies.

Still, we at the AREA have to view the success of Pokémon Go as an important milestone in the development and adoption of AR for the following reasons:

  • Pokémon Go is familiarizing the world with the basic concept of Augmented Rreality. Hopefully our members can spend less time having to explain what Augmented Reality is—or how it differs from Virtual Reality. Potential customers will already understand the basic concepts and be ready to learn more.
  • Pokémon Go is proving that AR is no longer a futuristic concept. If an AR game is already a commercial success, can widespread enterprise AR solutions be far behind? Companies that had previously taken a wait-and-see approach to AR may now be more motivated to explore the possibilities for their businesses.
  • Pokémon Go is proving that people are engaged and excited by the technology. The game makes it vividly clear that AR is a powerful and compelling tool people enjoy using. That enthusiasm can only help fuel the growth and development of the AR market.

Many media outlets and bloggers agree and are driving the conversation in our direction. Just look at some of these recent headlines:

  • “Is Pokémon Go Really Augmented Reality?”
  • “How Pokémon Go Took Augmented Reality Mainstream”
  • “Why Pokémon Go is a Game Changer for Augmented Reality and Marketers”
  • “Pokémon Go is Nice, But Here’s What *Real* Augmented Reality Will Look Like”

Our challenge now is to leverage the Pokémon Go phenomenon to accelerate the adoption of AR in the enterprise. That means taking the opportunity—as the AREA members Gaia Dempsey of DAQRI and Scott Montgomerie of Scope AR have done recently—to make sure inquiring media outlets understand that the impact of enterprise AR will be even more significant and lasting than the current Pokémon Go craze.

To find out more about the AREA contact Mark Sage, Executive Director.