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Control: Keith Larson – April 8, 2020

Enterprise Augmented Reality Platforms: COVID-19 Ushers in a New Era

We agree with Contol’s assessment: Technology for enabling remote interactions such as virtual conferences, online collaboration tools, and remote workflows have been gaining traction in recent years. But as Keith Larson points out in this incisive article from CONTROL, it’s nothing compared to the transformation that has occurred, in an incredibly rapid space of time, due to the onset of COVID-19.

We all know about the disruptive effects of social distancing as well as the unfortunate damage wrought on industries of all sorts: hospitality, retail, and travel, just to name a few. But what’s also happened is that enterprises have begun to face the reality that their slow, careful adoption of augmented reality platforms needs to suddenly speed up and become a clear, decisive strategy.

Larson points out that areas of society exist that have already done this — there are well-known and successful companies that have already allowed remote workers and virtual conferences to be the name of the game; in-person meetings and office workers are a far less important component of their culture. But for many companies, remote workforce strategies are new. No longer. For example, Cisco Webex has seen an exponential increase in adoption of its virtual meeting platform in countries around the world. And Cisco is by no means alone.

The Slow Traction of Enterprise Augmented Reality Platforms and Other Remote Tools Suddenly Accelerates in the COVID Era

Another company that has seen increased adoption of its technology is Scope AR; its Augmented Reality Platform has experienced a swarm of new users as a result of the current crisis. The WorkLink enterprise augmented reality platform is in heavy use by a company based in China — which manufactures food and drinks — and it leverages the technology to keep important processes going smoothly during a highly critical moment in the company’s history. According to David Nedohin, the Chief Customer Officer and Co-Founder of Scope AR, knowledge is scarce — and it simply takes too long (and costs too much) to share knowledge by forcing someone to physically fly from country to country. Rather, knowledge can be communicated and spread much more quickly using a virtual solution.

The bottom line is that a rapidly changing international environment means that companies need to find new approaches to age-old problems. To that end, enterprise augmented reality platforms are a key strategy for organizations that need to support employees and ensure that business initiatives are completed without violating social distancing rules or putting people in danger. Larson concludes by pointing out that in a matter of months, we’ll know the true adoption rate of these enterprise augmented reality platforms and similar tools: the strong implication is that they will continue to skyrocket.

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