Brief Reality: The Future of Augmented Reality Is Now for Businesses

The Future of Augmented Reality Is Now for Businesses

With the announcement of Google Glass Enterprise Edition last week, a literal behemoth entered the arena of companies serving augmented reality solutions to business customers. While Google Glass, with the backing of Alphabet, has the potential to be a disruptor, the field already has a number of players who have been in the game.

In fact, The Venture Reality Fund quarterly report on the AR landscape revealed that companies developing enterprise augmented reality applications increased in number by 60% between the first and second quarters. Two such companies have made moves in the past week to remind business customers that various options are available.

Of course, workforce productivity can mean different things depending on your business. This week, we have an example from the business of football.

VistaFinder Mx Extends Support to Vuzix M300

Smartglasses maker Vuzix has further expanded its roster of supported augmented reality workforce productivity solutions for its M300 Smart Glasses with the inclusion of VistaFinder Mx from KDDI.

VistaFinder Mx offers the standard array of features one would expect from an enterprise-focused augmented reality platform, including video transmission to remote support technicians and hands-free viewing of process documentation.

In addition to KDDI's offering, Vuzix's M300 Smart Glasses works with LogistiVIEW, iDisplay, Upskill's Skylight and newly-acquired Eyesight, and Ubimax's xPick, among others applications.

"The availability of M300 on VistaFinder Mx remote support application expands our geographical distribution capabilities of the M300 Smart Glasses worldwide through KDDI, a Vuzix VIP partner and M300 value added reseller," said Paul Travers, president and chief executive officer at Vuzix (and NR50 member), in a statement.

Astea Releases Workforce Solution for Mobile Devices

For companies who are not ready to invest in smartglasses, Astea International has released a new mobile solution for workforce management.

Alliance Mobile Edge offers augmented reality assistance to field technicians presented in a Material Design interface. The application also integrates into other operations support systems for workforce management.

Alliance Mobile Edge offers augmented reality field support among its workforce management features. Image via Astea International

"With Alliance Mobile Edge, we've consciously addressed the challenge that service-driven companies face today. To effectively compete, they require a mobile workforce application that is increasingly complex, capable and connected, and this can quickly overwhelm technicians who already have their hands full dealing with more diverse service offerings and highly demanding customers," said David F. Giannetto, chief operating officer for Astea International, in a statement. "We've created the most capable mobile application in the industry without sacrificing functionality, by accommodating multiple ways of working, and differing technician abilities and affinity for technology out of the box. Quicker user adoption and higher satisfaction directly equate to higher profitability and improved ROI."

Baltimore Ravens Practice in Mixed Reality with HoloLens

Last week, National Football League players began reporting to their teams' annual training camps in preparation for the 2017 season. When Baltimore Ravens veterans report to camp tomorrow, they will have a new tool at their disposal: Microsoft HoloLens.

The team recently signed a one-year deal with nearby developer Mixed River to use its Pre-Game Prep software.

Like VAR Football, Mixed River utilizes HoloLens to provide an augmented reality experience with computer-generated holograms, not unlike the player renderings found video games like Madden NFL. The developer can customize the players on both sides of the ball, who react based on plays entered into the software.

Several teams, including the New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, and San Francisco 49ers of the NFL, and the college football's Clemson Tigers, have opted for the virtual reality platform from STRIVR, which places players into the field with 360-degree practice footage. (VAR Football also offers a VR version of their software.)

Previous Brief Realities

Every Tuesday, Next Reality gives readers a rundown of the augmented and mixed reality news briefs from the preceding week that we didn't cover already. This way, you'll never miss anything of importance in the Next Reality landscape, and will always know what's going on with new augmented and mixed reality tech and applications. You can browse previous Brief Reality reports, too, if you'd like.

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Cover image via Vuzix

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