Events are Beginning to Focus on Enterprise Augmented Reality
Look out! Your travel schedule is already overloaded but there are new events where the topic of enterprise Augmented Reality is front and center. There are also events that in previous years have not treated the topic at all but are now sitting up and paying attention. How do you choose where to put your resources?
In the long run, Augmented Reality will be part of all industries. In the AREA, our mandate is to make sure that this prediction will come true and the projects of our member organizations, regardless of their industry, are successful and bear fruit.
Customers—the buyers and those who will deploy Augmented Reality in their workflows—are already “in” their industry. They know their suppliers and customers. They also have some use cases where they’re thinking AR will be valuable.
Providers of technologies to be deployed in industrial and enterprise environments, on the other hand, are scattered. Under the guise of trying to be responsive, many companies offering AR-enabling systems fail to become experts in the problems and opportunities of a specific industry.
Automotive. Aviation. Construction. Engineering. Aerospace. Defense. Energy. Utilities. AR introduction and adoption won’t happen at the same speed in all industries. Automotive is probably ahead of all the others, but will it hold that lead? For how long?
Which industries are going to embrace AR in a really serious way soonest?
If you’re a provider of AR-enabling systems and have not already developed a sales force affiliated with an industry or just a few related industries, it’s time to do the soul searching you’ve been putting off. This doesn’t mean just looking at the total size of the industry or flipping through your contacts on LinkedIn to find someone that’s prepared to introduce you to the five top CTOs in an industry.
Take the time and in the first half of 2015, invest your resources to better understand industries and domains that you already know as well as those out of your comfort zone. One way to do this is to attend conferences to which an AR topic has recently added to the agenda. For example, the AREA’s calendar of events includes the World Air Traffic Management Congress in Madrid, the Bosch ConnectedWorld conference in Berlin and the CeBIT exhibition in Hannover.
We’re going to meet people who are gathering in these places. They’ve probably got some major questions about what to expect, some fuzzy areas between AR and VR, and they’re looking for experts. If you are there as well, they may very well find you.
Some companies with a new product to showcase, like AREA member DAQRI, are organizing their own event and inviting their prospects to visit them. This strategy has real benefits because the host can control the message and those to whom the latest developments are revealed. On the other hand, it is unlikely to reach people who aren’t already on your list of prospects. The vendor-hosted event also has the drawback that the conversation isn’t focused on an industry’s pressing needs and greatest opportunities. Finally, those prospects you’ve gathered also sense that they are not sampling the full range of options. By attending one vendor’s event, like Metaio’s InsideAR or DAQRI 4D Expo, customers know that they are only getting what their host wants to put on the menu.
So, before you rush out to the airport to yet another conference or tradeshow, consider the year as a whole and develop a balanced approach: a mixture of horizontal “AR-specific” events and those domain- or industry-specific events. Also consider mixing small events with very big ones. They will yield different types of relationships and your business is likely to benefit from having both.