RealWear Launches Cloud Offering

RealWear Cloud is a new multi-purpose software offering for IT and business operations. Through the new dashboard, IT and Business Operations can remotely and securely streamline control of their RealWear device fleet. As companies grow their fleet of RealWear devices, RealWear Cloud allows for convenient low-touch, over-the-air firmware updates, keeping the devices secure and company data protected. Working alongside organizations’ existing EMM or MDM software such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager (InTune), the offering further provides teams more real-time data and metrics to optimize operational efficiency. RealWear Cloud complements existing EMM/MDM solutions and enables device-specific control and configuration capabilities. Also, it is the only way to gain trusted and secure access to certified third-party apps designed for our product portfolio.

In addition, RealWear is introducing RealWear Cloud Assistance as part of the offering.  RealWear Cloud Assistance provides real-time remote technical support and troubleshooting to frontline workers to quickly identify, diagnose and fix device issues. Reducing device downtime through remote troubleshooting will have a growing impact on company bottom lines. According to VDC research, individual incidences of device failure result in 72 minutes of lost or disrupted productivity for frontline workers. Remote support, firmware updates, and data analytics will not only increase productivity but will be necessary as businesses face ongoing talent shortages, the scarcity of which Gartner notes was exacerbated in 2021.

“As a deployment of RealWear devices grows across sites and countries, it’s critical that we provide great IT tools and real-time metrics for those ultimately responsible for the successful deployment of the devices in the field,” said Andrew Chrostowski, Chairman and CEO of RealWear. “We’re capturing data that will drive better decisions. It’s exciting to see RealWear transitioning from a device-centric company to a platform solution company with the introduction of our first software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.”

RealWear’s previous lightweight device management tool, will transition to RealWear Cloud. Current Cloud customers will automatically be enrolled in the Basic plan.

“Wearable technologies are becoming more and more mainstream in the enterprise, and making deployments simple and frictionless is one of our key goals,” continued Chrostowski. “Wearables are no longer viewed as a novelty but are now trusted by enterprises to bring value and solve real-world problems.”

About RealWear

As the pioneer of assisted reality wearable solutions, RealWear® works to engage, empower, and elevate the modern frontline industrial worker to perform work tasks more safely, efficiently, and precisely. Supporting over 65,000 devices, RealWear gives workers real-time access to information and expertise while keeping their hands and field of view free for work. Headquartered in Vancouver, Washington and used by 41 of the Fortune 100 companies, RealWear is field-proven in a wide range of industries with thousands of world-class customers, including Shell, Goodyear, Mars, Colgate-Palmolive, and BMW.

Taqtile Completes AR Programme for IAG Airports

Manifest, AR Remote Guidance

The AR technology firm provided direct onboarding during a trial with British Airways, which introduced Taqtile’s products to onsite workers.

Dirck Schou, the CEO of Taqtile, added,

“This unique accelerator program has been a great way to introduce airlines to cutting-edge technologies like Manifest which can help them improve the performance of technicians and engineers immediately”

Additionally, the 10-week programme taught staff how to utilize the Manifest platform. Taqtile’s service operates on spatial devices such as Magic Leap and Microsft’s Hololens 2; the product also works across multiple devices, including tablets and smartphones.

An onsite worker can access guidance resources such as digital manuals, video guides, holograms, and 3D models, all presented as detailed AR visualizations. Manifest displays digital resources in the field of view (FoV) of a worker’s headset, and the wearer can navigate a spatial interface hands-free.

Schou continued, stating,

“Through demonstrations of our AR-enabled work instruction platform over the 10-week program, airline industry leaders have gained a better understanding of the tangible benefits Manifest is capable of delivering”

For frontline airport staff, Taqtile’s solution helps workers learn invaluable company-centric knowledge and enhance their efficiency when performing maintenance tasks.

Taqtile explained how airports could leverage its Manifest solution by dispersed teams providing live guidance from an operations centre to frontline employees.

Manifest supports several file types, including photos, videos, real-time 3D (RT3D) content, computer-aided designs, and PDFs. Taqtile recently teamed up with Microsoft this month to integrate the Azure Remote Rendering platform into Manifest.

The move enables firms to perform large-scale onboarding, training, and operational duties with increased efficiency and engagement. Taqtile and Microsoft achieve this by integrating Azure-powered streaming to enhance RT3D content distribution across Manifest-ready devices.

Magic Leap 2 – Pricing Released

Magic Leap 2 Base

$3,299 (US only)

Magic Leap 2 Base targets professionals and developers that wish to access one of the most advanced augmented reality devices available. Use in full commercial deployments and production environments is permitted. The device starts at an MSRP $3,299 USD (US only) and includes a 1-year limited warranty.

Magic Leap 2 Developer Pro

$4,099 (US only)

Magic Leap 2 Developer Pro provides access to developer tools, sample projects, enterprise-grade features, and monthly early releases for development and test purposes. Recommended only for internal use in the development and testing of applications. Use in full commercial deployments and production environments is not permitted. Magic Leap 2 Developer Pro will start at an MSRP $4,099 USD (US only) and includes a 1-year limited warranty.

Magic Leap 2 Enterprise

$4,999 (US only)

Magic Leap 2 Enterprise is targeted for environments that require flexible, large scale IT deployments and robust enterprise features. This tier includes quarterly software releases fully manageable via enterprise UEM/MDM solutions. Use in fully commercial deployments and production environments is permitted. Magic Leap 2 Enterprise comes with 2 years of access to enterprise features and updates and will start at an MSRP $4,999 USD (US only) and includes an extended 2-year limited warranty.

Most Immersive

Magic Leap 2 is the most immersive AR device on the market. It features industry leading optics with up to 70° diagonal FOV; the world’s first dynamic dimming capability; and powerful computing in a lightweight ergonomic design to elevate enterprise AR solutions.

Built for Enterprise

Magic Leap 2 delivers a full array of capabilities and features that enable rapid and secure enterprise deployment. With platform-level support for complete cloud autonomy, data privacy, and device management through leading MDM providers, Magic Leap 2 offers the security and flexibility that businesses demand.

Empowering Developers

Magic Leap 2’s open platform provides choice and ease-of-use with our AOSP-based OS and support for leading open software standards, including OpenGL and Vulkan, with OpenXR and WebXR coming in 2H 2022. Our platform also supports your choice of engines and tools and is cloud agnostic. Magic Leap 2’s robust developer portal provides the resources and tools needed to learn, build, and publish innovative solutions.

Starting the Enterprise Augmented Reality Conversation

Have you asked any IT professionals or business managers what they’re doing with Augmented Reality? A small fraction can share how they’ve considered using AR for improving their workplace processes, but most inquiries about how companies are using AR begin with a blank stare and end in frustration.  

The AREA and its members are developing high-quality content that can be the basis of more precise and fruitful dialog than we often have today. Once there is a shared conceptual foundation, we’ll be able to discuss the concrete benefits as well as the risks of introducing Augmented Reality in the enterprise with our audiences.

Explore the Audience Knowledge Level

Casual discussion between acquaintances or between a supplier and a potential customer can’t evolve gracefully if they must begin with deep explanations or clarifications of confusing terminologies. Don’t start with a dry definition. Focus first on either a known or shared challenge or potential benefit and make sure you can squeeze a few terms in casually in the first minutes.

“Isn’t it frustrating that we can’t significantly increase our productivity?” you can inquire. Be specific about the use case, if you can. You can substitute “increasing productivity” with other metrics such as reduce errors, reduce risk or increase safety. Drop in some keywords to make sure they understand that you feel new technologies could help. Avoid buzzwords such as wearables, IoT, Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality in the first five minutes. Try to avoid bringing up Hollywood movies or popular science fiction books that have Augmented Reality.

Then you can say that you’ve heard or that you’re exploring how this new technology could play a role by overlaying digital information on the real world. Let your prospective customer or partner, or whomever you’re speaking to, be the first to mention wearables or AR.

When asked if they’ve heard of it and what they’re doing or planning to do with Augmented Reality, an IT professional will respond in one of two ways. The younger the person, the more likely they are to have heard and understood the potential. That said, they may not have thought to apply it to their job.

“That’s technology for your smartphone. I’ve seen it used in a museum, once” they might say. Then they either describe how the AR experience failed or just didn’t bring value to them.  Such conversations often conclude with the person dismissing the whole idea.

“It’s probably good for entertainment, but we’re not that kind of company,” is not an uncommon conclusion.

A more knowledgeable audience may remember Virtual Reality and the promises it held but didn’t deliver. Then you will need to reprogram them to understand the differences. 

Others will have had no exposure at all to Augmented Reality.

Light Bulb Moment

Once you’ve decided if the conversation is worthy of continuing investment, you’re going to aim for a “light bulb” moment: a look in their eye that shows that the person with whom you’re meeting has had a breakthrough in understanding.

To get to that moment of realization may take several steps. As already suggested, if you’re in conversation with an IT professional or line manager with a lot of engineering experience, you will get there more quickly.

Begin by building upon something very familiar. Everyone has seen and almost all have personally used video conferencing. AREA member David Doral, Director of AERTEC Solutions begins his education process by suggesting that when trying to understand a problem at a remote location, it would be valuable to be able to see things as if from another’s eyes.

“We suggest to the customer that we support the technician in the field or on the shop floor with an expert who is somewhere else,” explains Doral. He doesn’t say where that expert is, but makes it perfectly clear that they are the key to solving a problem and there’s not time for that expert to personally fly to the location. In AR, this use case is known as the “remote expert,” but this term doesn’t need to be introduced.

“Then, if they like this concept, we can suggest that the expert could draw arrows, point or otherwise indicate steps with animations,” continues Doral. “Imagine that the person who is in the field or on the shop floor is providing the remote hands, performing tasks as directed and under the supervision of the expert.”

AR Overlay Usability Study

Up Close and Personal

Another approach to reach a light bulb moment is to demonstrate an Augmented Reality experience right away. Sometimes, this can be performed using a tablet and an object that you’ve brought with you. Choose an object that is likely to be professional and slightly complex in nature but with a very simple user interface, such as a pocket projector. A virtual interface can appear with Augmented Reality to help the user with configuration and operation.

Three-dimensional objects are nice and have a big “wow” factor but a photo will also work well and may have higher performance. Lighting, and reflections on a glossy surface, may have a big impact on your ability to track the target, so test your sample photo or object well before using it. Be sure to give the other person the device to hold and move around, to interact with the content in the experience.

Often people try to simulate this effect, and reduce the risk of failure, by showing a video of an AR experience recording, but your audience will assign lower credibility to a video because they understand that special effects as seen in the movies are now commonplace.  Hasn’t everyone seen Minority Report and Iron Man?

From a shared understanding of the benefits of Augmented Reality, you might be able to progress to talking about a project and the potential of implementing AR in a few use cases.

What techniques have you used to successfully start a conversation about enterprise Augmented Reality?  Share your methods with others in the comments below.