Immersive technology and Mixed, Virtual and Augmented Reality are all terms that have analysts and industry visionaries excited, predicting that billions will be spent in the coming years. Virtual and Augmented Reality alone are forecast by IDC to grow to $162 billion in revenue by 2020.

One sector where actual performance, efficiency and bottom line improvements are already being made is Enterprise Augmented Reality (AR).

Mark Sage, the Executive Director of the Augmented Reality Enterprise Alliance (AREA) explains, “Enterprise AR solutions are providing real benefit to organisations right now.” Sage notes that there are many different business problems that can be solved or improved, including:

  • Relevant data – presenting only the latest, contextual and useful information to workers, when they need it
  • Better resource management – making experts available to the entire workforce
  • Real-time compliance – capturing, recording and certifying processes for policy compliance
  • Reduced time – improving the efficiency of infrequent and complex tasks
  • Minimised errors – preventing human error and miscalculation
  • Lower costs – lowering the impact of task interruption and errors

Any new technology requires the ecosystem players to come together. This includes Enterprises (benefiting from AR technology), Providers (developing service, software and hardware AR solutions) and Non-commercial supporting organisations (universities, public research institutes and agencies that deliver research and push the boundaries of AR technology).

Many organisations want and need a better understanding of the AR tools available, use cases, methods of implementation and return on investment (ROI) for Enterprise AR.

This is the goal of the AREA, according to Mark Sage.

About the Author

Mark Sage is the Executive Director of the Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance (AREA).  The AREA is a membership funded alliance, helping to accelerate the adoption of Augmented Reality (AR) through a comprehensive ecosystem. With a focus on creating value and ROI for its members, his goal is to develop a robust and active ecosystem for AR.  His background includes a strong interest in mobile, AR, VR, and IoT and he is excited to work with enterprises, providers and research organizations to the benefit and growth of the AR within the enterprise.
The AREA is the only global, membership-funded non-profit alliance dedicated to helping accelerate the adoption of Enterprise AR by supporting the growth of a comprehensive ecosystem.

At the highest level, AREA members focus on creating three key benefits:

  1. Providing the latest, relevant, neutral and useful information to help Enterprise executives make informed decisions on how to invest in AR
  2. Creating a network with opportunities to learn, co-innovate and build partnerships for the long-term adoption of AR technology
  3. Identifying barriers to Enterprise AR adoption and working together to find solutions for the benefit of all

As the enterprise AR ecosystem continues to develop, many enterprises are prototyping and delivering AR proofs of concept. However, these trials are not always being transferred into full deployments to benefit the wider organisation. AREA members are working on reducing the barriers to adoption by Identifying, classifying and prioritizing AR safety and security risks, developing risk reduction recommendations, and providing useful insight and tools to help deliver solutions that deliver real benefits.

AREA membership is growing as organisations understand the need to work together to gain tangible benefit.

AREA members include industry heavyweights, such as Boeing, Bosch, Lockheed Martin and Newport News Shipbuilding. To ensure all parts of the ecosystem can benefit from AREA initiatives, the AREA recently created a startup package to allow new companies to benefit from the networking, content and partnership opportunities.

With the ecosystem starting to thrive, the work of the AREA Research Committee is creating thought leadership and valuable content. All members can suggest research projects and all projects are then reviewed and voted upon. The proposal with the most votes is paid for and delivered by the AREA. So far, two member-exclusive research projects have been delivered;

  • Security risks and management in wearables
  • Enterprise AR ROI calculator, model and best practices report

The third research project is underway and will focus on defining best practices and a framework for wearable AR technology safety and human factors assessment for the Enterprise. Currently there is no consistent approach or methodology to assess or certify how safe a wearable AR system/platform is (or could be) for an operator in a specific use case or industry. This original and member-exclusive research will encourage confidence in the efficient and safe adoption of AR technology as well as aid wearable technology providers/developers in considering specific safety protocols when designing and delivering their AR technology solutions.

The AREA research program is a great way for members to gain exclusive and informative content that can be difficult to source without the AREA.

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