[Webinar] Dream. Design. Deploy. All in XR with Byldr.

https://youtu.be/AFiqjze9-rw

Radiant, in partnership with Byldr, presents:

An engaging conversation on empowering staff and accelerating enterprise XR adoption by building XR PoCs internally with on-device, no code authoring. Featuring Director of AR and VR of Radiant Digital, Surya Prakash, and Inflexion Point CTO XR Thought Leader, Sean Ong.

This 30-minute fireside chat-style webinar features a demo and a live Q&A with the audience.

Highlights:

  • How on-device XR app building can reduce the development time by 5x by eliminating the 2D to 3D iteration cycle.
  • How the intuitive, no-code user interface can empower existing, non-coding creative staff to XR application development in hours with no training.
  • The integration of Azure Spatial Anchors, Bing Maps, and SketchFab integration create persistent AR/VR experiences.

Crafting your AR content strategy while scaling AR in your enterprise

Augmented Reality "Adds to your World" is a technology that overlays digital information on top of physical assets. This Digital Information can be in the form of schematics, instructions, annotations, and performance or condition status.

For anyone to experience AR, all they need is a digital display device like a smartphone, tablet, or wearable devices like the Microsoft HoloLens or the Magic Leap headset.

But how does AR work?

It's key to understand how AR works, and the various AR use cases before delving into crafting your AR content strategy. An AR system works as follows:

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The camera on your phone or AR HMD captures the users' environment. The AR software interprets the images from the camera in real-time and calculates the positioning of virtual content.

The appropriate Virtual content is fetched from local storage or cloud servers and sent to the display device.

Augmented content is superimposed in the camera frame in real-time. The AR technology recognizes the object that you see through the camera view and overlays relevant digital information on the device's screen.

You need AR authoring software to develop AR content, but let us save this a little later in this article.

AR use cases

A list of use cases that have been successfully deployed across several industries has been already discussed in our earlier published article "The Deployment stage of the AR maturity model."

Here is a shortlist of the use cases where AR has shown significant promise;

  • Healthcare: AR helps doctors, clinicians, and healthcare industry professionals to learn complex tasks.
  • Manufacturing: Manufacturing companies use AR for field service, maintenance of complex equipment, and product marketing.
  • Tourism: Travel and tourism companies use AR to provide immersive experiences of destinations to potential tourists, a "try before you buy" kind of experience to market the tourist destinations.
  • Retail, Interior design, Home décor': Retail businesses can allow their customers to experience their products using AR virtually.
  • Beauty products: Hairstyle and face makeover AR apps promoted by leading beauty care brands use AR to enable their products' virtual try-on.
  • Gaming: Pokémon Go demonstrated that a game developer could effectively use AR to create fun interactive experiences.

The significance of content in AR

While AR has tremendous potential to create substantial business benefits, enterprises face a few challenges while scaling AR. One key challenge is the lack of high-quality AR content. This can manifest in low visual fidelity of the content, improper functionality, lousy user interface, awful tracking, and recognition, leading to a break in immersion in the AR experiences.

This results in poor user experience; moreover, the experience is often not immersive enough for the users to appreciate the value it brings to them.

Analysts cite that the absence of high-quality 3D content compels AR users to create their objects and environments in their AR applications.

Crafting your AR content strategy

To rapidly develop and deploy high-quality AR content for your audience while being in the "Connecting stage of the AR maturity model," the following steps can be adopted by enterprises;

  1. Define your objective? – You will need to define the goals of your AR application clearly. Is it a product showcase for retail customers? Or is it a sophisticated training solution for employees, or is it a marketing solution intended to excite your users about your product? The objective will provide clear direction as to the type of content and authoring platforms needed to develop the AR content.
  • Determine the type of source content – Several source content types that can be utilized for AR content authoring;
    • 3D CAD – CAD models from various CAD software like Catia, Solid works, etc., can be imported into AR content authoring platforms to create AR applications.
    • 3D point cloud generated by scanning including the latest Lidar scanners available on the newest iPhone and iPad – 3D point cloud can be generated using scanners that can then be converted to 3D polygonal mesh models imported AR content authoring platforms.
    • 3D polygonal models from DCC tools like 3DS Max, Blender, Maya – Artists and designers in your enterprise can create 3D polygonal models from DCC tools that can then be imported into the AR content authoring platforms.
    • 3D polygonal models downloaded from various asset stores like Unity Assets store (assetstore.unity.com), Unreal marketplace (unrealengine.com/marketplace), Reallusion marketplace (marketplace.reallusion.com), Sketchup 3D warehouse (3dwarehouse.sketchup.com) – several high fidelity free and paid models are available in these stores for immediate purchase and use. Always check licensing terms and conditions when using assets from these market places.
    • 360 deg images and video, 2D images, videos and documents – any images, videos, and documents that are needed to be shown in the AR experience you are creating can be imported into the AR content authoring platforms.
    • Volumetric video – some AR content authoring platforms allow importing volumetric video content for AR content authoring.
  • Determine the AR content authoring platform - Given the importance of high fidelity AR content and the amount of work it requires to create such content, robust tools/authoring platforms are needed for creating augmented reality content.
    • One of the best AR authoring platforms we work with for various enterprise AR use cases from training, field service, equipment maintenance, and marketing is the Worklink Create tool from Scope AR.

Worklink lets you create AR content that's customizable. It is compatible with ARKit and ARCore and allows one-click publishing to any AR device of your choice, including AR HMD's. It supports image tracking, object tracking, source content like direct 3D CAD, 3D polygonal models, images, animation, scripting using a visual programming interface, videos, 360 deg videos, and a 3D point cloud from reality capture systems, etc. These features make Worklink a suitable AR content creation tool for a wide range of AR use cases.

  • Another platform that is easy to use and worth mentioning is the Vuforia Studio. Vuforia Studio is part of the Vuforia AR platform from PTC. It is a powerful AR platform with a drag-and-drop AR content authoring environment that is scalable and allows easy viewing of AR content. Its IoT and analytics capabilities make Vuforia highly suitable for industrial AR use cases.
  • Determine which devices you will deploy your AR content to – It is crucial to determine the display device used by all your users within the enterprise. Some AR features may need the latest mobile devices with depth sensors; it may not work on legacy devices. Mobile AR is cumbersome to use as the user may find it difficult to hold the mobile device in their hand while experiencing the AR content. AR HMD's are very expensive to buy and hence costly to scale. After careful consideration and exploring various devices in the "explore stage," you may have the right knowledge to make this critical decision while scaling AR in your enterprise.

Conclusion

Augmented reality content authoring platforms for content creation can undoubtedly help you to build your augmented reality application. However, exciting content is only one part of AR app development, although an essential factor. Developing an AR application involves much more, e.g., finding AR developers, procuring the right infrastructure, formulating a practical development approach, and managing the project well.

AR application development can be complicated in the beginning. We always recommend organizations follow all the stages in the AR maturity model to allow the best chance for AR to succeed in your enterprise.

The Radiant Digital AR team has built a large number of AR applications. Our team features many expert AR and VR developers who have used all the above tools and platforms and others such as Unity, Unreal, and most important, AR hardware and software technologies.

Contact us to learn more.


Innovating Enterprise Soft Skills Training with Volumetric Videos

Companies need to continually train and upskill their workforce for better performance and results.

Many of them use a gamut of upgraded tools and a mash-up of training styles to make their employee training sessions productive and engaging. People learn best when they can view and relate to the shared material or the trainer. This promotes student-focused and process-oriented learning.

Each training method has its place, but with technology rapidly changing the business landscape, it is vital to leverage interactive environments, monitor real-time teamwork, and improve employees' learning flexibility.

A technology like volumetric video or virtual reality simulations allows for all of the above requirements, making it a big runner in the mixed-reality experience space.

In the current pandemic situation, experiencing something in 3D from multiple viewpoints, where a real-life physical movement improves knowledge retention, is an excellent value-addition.  Volumetric videos provide a virtual presence, where a person feels like they're actually in an environment or situation. This makes the experience real though the events are virtual.

WHAT IS A VOLUMETRIC VIDEO?

Volumetric video is a technique implemented to capture moving images of real people and objects viewed from different angles. Unlike any regular video, it allows users to move naturally around the subject: to lean in, move away or sideways, etc. (known as "six degrees of freedom").

This creates a sharp sense of presence in the virtual environment. When an employee is virtually present with the subject, real-life natural interaction movements can be recreated, thus enhancing the immersion tremendously.

Since a volumetric video records a person in their actual dimensions and shape, they can be viewed from each of those angles as if they are present. This makes trainer interactions natural and credible for learners.

The information fed to 3D models is captured from different viewpoints around a person or an object, fused, and transformed into a consistent, natural, and dynamic 3D representation. Volumetric video implements a motion-sensing technique, which analyzes the images of 2D or 3D objects in depth and scans directly through 360-degree cameras.

Why volumetric video?

It is the only immersive experience that duplicates 100% of human movements and emotions in 3D. Furthermore, a volumetric video is way more efficient than animating a moving person. Where a few seconds of high-quality animation could take up to a week of work, one-minute volumetric video production renders in 10 hours. This, of course, leads to saving money along with time.

Volumetric video captures the scene from multiple viewpoints. This information creates a depth map of the space that could be reused to enhance training.

When paired with positional tracking systems, a volumetric video enables viewers to navigate new worlds independently.

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Volumetric Video and Soft Skills Training

The Need to Rethink Soft Skills Training Delivery

As new workforce trends take hold, many organizations are scrambling to fill vacancies and anticipate workforce gaps. Communication, adaptability, collaboration, persuasion, creativity, and time-management are becoming the main currency.

Much like money for sustenance, however, the currency of skills is often broken down into two units of measure—hard skills relating to technical expertise and soft skills for more interpersonal or “human” skills.

This thinking line could guide some organizations to place too much value on hard skills over soft skills, only by merit of connotation.

“Soft” in this context may infer something less than or unimportant, whereas “hard” might appear more tangible and, thus, more valuable. This potential conclusion could lead to diminished results for businesses.

Businesses should consider imparting both on-the-job training and soft skills training to avoid diminishing the value of an employee’s contribution to the organization. With volumetric video, observable human attributes can be exercised to adapt our technical and functional skills across multiple contexts.

The Benefits of Volumetric Video for Soft Skills Training

Democratizes Learning

Volumetric videos remove physical boundaries and give trainees equal view access and immersive experience for the content being delivered. The trainee can navigate through a maze of volumetric videos of trainer interactions and 3D models of course content or human interaction for a near-real experience.

Better Knowledge Retention

Volumetric videos improve trainee engagement, which aids in better knowledge retention. Since trainees are more focused, they get better prepared for real-world situations.

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Provides Increased Flexibility

When with extended reality (XR) training software, volumetric video allows trainers to create immersive presentations (remotely). Immersive courses can be executed in real-time or pre-recorded sessions, making them a futuristic employee training tool.

Needs Minimal Setup

Minimal requirements like 3D cameras, software, and headsets are enough for implementing training sessions using volumetric video. The audience needs only compatible headsets.

Supports Scenario-based Learning

Instead of a trainer talking through a soft-skills lesson, employees can be immersed in a scenario that mimics a real-life situation. This includes reactions, practices, seeing, hearing, and walking around the scenario to better understand a session practically.

Merging with VR

VR training can be used with volumetric video to immerse the learner in interactions and provoke responses, rather than allowing merely passive observation, especially for interpersonal skills training. Speaking or just deciding what to say when looking at a person’s face is a more value-adding experience than selecting a menu response on a web page.

Simulation VR technology typically portrays fictitious people in the scenario and triggers natural conversational responses from employees. It depicts how the participants look, emote, speak, and move. Thus the effectiveness of the training can be improved by making this portrayal believable. If the VR is created using volumetric video, the scenarios are often more convincing than video or even simulated VR. Pre-recorded sessions may reduce the range of responses to the learners’ reactions but reduces the overall costs than simulated VR.

Using Immersive Technologies to Build Human Learning Capabilities

Immersive learning technology has shown significant benefits in helping people gain skills and learn through interactions and reactions in diverse virtual environments.

Whether it is communicating with distant clients about projects remotely or performing remote operations, training in the real world may be too expensive. At the same time, it may make sense to do it in a virtual world.

Today, as VR is becoming known more widely as “the ultimate empathy machine,” many organizations have also started to acknowledge its potential to develop human capabilities. Like physically risky scenarios, immersive learning for human capabilities can help workers practice difficult interpersonal situations without risking the potential emotional fallout that can be detrimental to both customer and workplace relationships.

For Example, when Best Western identified that its front-desk staff’s ability to resolve problems was critical to improving customer relationships, it realized the importance of its workers practicing customer service skills. This was crucial, especially when working with tired and frustrated travelers.

The company decided to try an avatar-based training simulation focusing on problem resolution. In the initial phase, Best Western offered front-desk personnel at 380 locations the opportunity to participate in two live-virtual simulations. In the sessions, staff could interact with characters that present challenges similar to those encountered in real life. Afterward, they discussed scenarios with managers to improve decision-making strategies in the future. The average cost was less than US$165 per hotel.

The results reported were promising; participating locations showed measurable gains in guest satisfaction than non-participating locations.

Vice president of operations Bruce Weinberg stated, “Hotels that received the training experienced the highest short-term gains in customer satisfaction that Best Western has ever measured in such a short period.”

Measurable improvements are emerging across a vast range of use cases for human capabilities, including;

  • De-escalation,
  • Public speaking,
  • Managing difficult conversations,
  • Improving workplace diversity and inclusion
  • Interviewing and
  • Sales communications

In these scenarios, learners seem to benefit from complete immersion into a virtual scene, without the distraction of phones or email. Their actions and behavior affect the outcome in real-time—at shallow risk to real-life relationships. The individual’s sense of physical presence, managing their emotional reaction to events in a dynamic environment, and the opportunity to practice can help learners better incorporate skills into their everyday lives.

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The Uncanny Valley Hypothesis

A field of theory and research revolving around the question is highlighted in the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis. How does high realism in anthropomorphic design influence human experience and behavior? The Uncanny Valley hypothesis posits that a very humanlike character or object (e.g., robot, prosthetic limb, Avatar) can evoke a negative (i.e., uncanny) effect.

Since empathy influences, human capability development, high-quality design, and effective technology implementation become incredibly important, perhaps even more important than technical skill training. In part, this may reflect on what is known as the "uncanny valley hypothesis." As a robot or Avatar's appearance seems more human, many onlookers' emotional responses become increasingly empathetic up to a point, then drop into a staggering revulsion.

In other words, participants start by empathizing with cartoonish figures. Still, as the robot or virtual model becomes more realistic but not real enough to be convincing, there is a feeling of discomfort. However, once it crosses that "valley," and the robot becomes more identical to a human being, the emotional response starts to become positive once again and reaches human-to-human empathy levels.

Creating successful immersive learning at scale - Cost and Quality

Compared to other media, immersive learning experiences may require a higher-quality design to achieve training goals.

Any bad implementations in volumetric content about sound, visuals, or the timing of events, can significantly alter outcomes and impact costs.

If the scenarios are simulated in real-time with computer graphics, they also need to be represented by digital humans. These "actors" are controlled by a combination of scripts performed by live humans, programmed responses, and AI. This requires considerable animation work that is cost-driven.

The exact point of cost-benefit achievement for an enterprise can be challenging to calculate because it depends on variables ranging from the training scenario complexities to the trainee's average hourly wage and how quickly the learners absorb the material.

Factors contributing to cost benefits, retention, confidence, learner satisfaction, and decision-making accuracy include reduced time to proficiency and decreased training time because learners grasp content much faster. Volumetric video allows you to spend less of each employee's time and get increased results in multiple dimensions.

These systems have become self-contained, portable, and simple to assemble in just a few minutes with advancements.

These newer and affordable systems often deliver higher-quality experiences, including a wider field of views that allow for an increased sense of realism. Additionally, the new hand tracking devices and haptics involve the sense of touch and take immersion to the next level. More modern hardware can also integrate biometric sensors for eye tracking, tone of voice measurement, heart rate, etc.

Wrapping up

The pandemic has fast-tracked the need for virtual training and communication for many companies. Volumetric video is one solution to overcome the pain-points of remote work.

Companies can record employees, projects, or scenarios with volumetric video, instead of digitally rebuilding them from scratch.

Immersive learning offers companies the potential to provide quality development opportunities in communication, management, customer service, and beyond. Adding biometric information into trainee feedback can deliver more personalized and actionable improvement areas.

Connect with one of our experts at Radiant today to learn more.

by Surya Prakash, Radiant Director | Digital Communication

All rights reserved. © 2020 Radiant Digital Solutions


The Leading Stage of the AR Maturity Model: Leading in Enterprise AR for Competitive Market Advantage

One of the exciting developments in technology was when Augmented Reality (AR) enhanced the convergence of IoT, AI, and Cloud Computing.

AR's true potential is evident in niche use cases like monitoring performance in a manufacturing unit or creating next-generation ADAS systems to contextualize real-time digital content dissemination. This potential is leveraged for enterprise growth in stage four of the AR maturity model called Leading or Lead (Best-in-Class).

In this stage, the organization's people and processes would have established themselves in the AR industry or contributed to transformational AR projects. The company would have successfully transitioned from the Explore stage to the Deploy Stage and already championed AR Connection & Scaling to gain a significant position in the AR growth ladder.

The five areas that could give your business the competitive edge in Augmented Reality are:

AR applications for smartphones and tablets are a crucial area of business investment today. This is because the AR hardware is available, and the usage is widespread and intuitive. Additionally, AR content for mobility is currently in high demand.

According to Randall L., the chairman of AT&T, the arrival of 5G technology was swift and steady. This arrival could be an excellent enabler for increased AR adoption because of the demand for near real-time operations.

AR is predicted to grow with new hardware, 5G, and Edge Computing, many companies, are bracing with innovation in-hand.

Here are the critical areas where AR will play a crucial role in revenue generation for mobility and hardware.

Mobile AR could significantly spike up mobile network data usage, with developers taking advantage of new features and leveraging the cloud to keep things lightweight and fast.

AR's role in an organization becomes very fundamental, considering similar AR applications can give an organization the leading edge.

This reshapes the C-suite's AR responsibility, where a new position like a Chief AR officer can be allocated.

The leading stage makes the AR platform's capabilities available throughout the enterprise and extends them to suppliers and customers. This phase includes leveraging the data from IIoT devices within indigenous and external AR environments.

Roles and the % of their AR experience may be distributed within the enterprise or externally, as shown below. This experience could contribute to an enterprise's digital transformation through AR.

Designing a productive ecosystem where every 3D professional can create excellent applications is key to making AR a dominant platform. However, the augmented reality branch of any industry still requires significant investment.

Not every company is ready to provide this. To create special applications, skilled developers need specialized hardware with an impressive set of features. To attract AR investments, you need unique apps (cannot be designed yet because AR technology is just evolving).

Another area of consideration lies in democratizing AR through crowdfunding, like in the case of LUCYD. This AR start-up released its blockchain-powered AR smartglasses' for the mass market. Building on a decentralized, blockchain-enabled open innovation. This led to collaboration with AR giants for their formidable expertise and recognition of LUCYD's leading-edge technology.

Democratization can also include the launch of a free app and a simple evolutionary SaaS model to build the solution and the brand name. Features like QR code for app access to an AR experience drive engagement and unlock brand value.

Another aspect of AR technology leading could mean introducing the real-world platform of a brand for AR communications, security, mapping, and functionality, which could become mainstream.

Here's the growth chart trend for the leading companies (Google, Facebook, Snap, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent) that have invested in AR's core areas from 2016-2021. The reality of AR growth becomes more visible in the Leading stage of AR Maturity.

The crucial aspects of this stage in the AR Maturity Model include:

Activities
  • All people and processes are in the course of being augmented.
  • The reinvention of business processes.
  • Availability of the AR software platform to the extended enterprise (customers + supply chain).
  • ROI maximization strategy implementation.
  • The Chief AR officer role is considered/in place.
  • The establishment is regarded as an Augmented enterprise.
Strategies
  • A predictive strategy is designed to cater to different business use cases from a well-integrated and successful AR implementation.
  • Data from AR implementation used to drive continuous improvements in processes, workflow, and team collaborations.
Technology
  • The emphasis laid on interconnected glasses, devices, machines, and sensors.
  • AR is adopting Edge computing as 5G is gaining momentum.
  • Predictive AR experiences leveraged.
  • Intelligent and self-adjusting task flows are streamlined and optimized.
Content
  • Different AR content is made more personalized and adaptive.
  • Enterprise AR standards emerge, allowing for systematic content reuse and improved cost-efficiency.
Budget
  • AR software and hardware investments would have become a part of the core operating infrastructural cost plan.
IT Role
  • IT teams align entirely with the enterprise IT and leadership strategy of AR.
  • Digital agility builds into the AR technical, non-technical, and business workforce.

Multiple success stories in AR for a brand would elevate industry recognition and encourage innovation that catalyzes broad adoption.

Leading is the final stage in the AR Maturity model. It may include the integration of technologies like IIoT with ARMP and also moving from prototyping to production.

Radiant Digital has been instrumental in helping clients move from being AR adopters to leading AR enterprises. Connect with us today to learn more.


The Connecting Stage of the AR Maturity Model: Connecting AR to the Enterprise Ecosystem

Augmented Reality's value to an organizational setup can only be realized by connecting it to the real enterprise ecosystem.

Augmented Reality or AR involves overlaying digital information from integrated enterprise systems over the users' environment in real-time, usually through photographic or map overlays.

At this stage in the AR maturity model, the company would have successfully transitioned from the Explore stage to the Deploy Stage, and the following should have been achieved:

  1. Your R&D and engineering teams would've already evaluated AR concerning various use cases.
  2. Measurement of the initial ROI banked in initial deployments.
  3. Application of change management lessons are gained in AR exploration work and formalized change management processes.
  4. Engagement of the content teams, hardware, and software engineering teams to work on your top use cases.
  5. IT team(s) have been aligned to a well-articulated AR enterprise strategy and familiar with Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance for enterprise systems integration (PLM, ERP, WMS, LMS, 3D, and AR Content Development).
  6. Budget approvals for AR hardware and software resources that have been rolled out proactively.

The Connecting stage lays the ground for the leading stage that helps capitalize on AR's ability to deliver improved business outcomes in the enterprise reality ecosystem.

In this stage, many essential ingredients for AR enterprise success are already in place and additional tools for implementing the AR business value chain.

According to a Cognizant survey, nearly 60% of respondents (enterprises that have recently adopted AR) believed that AR is a mature technology that will be accepted, established, and widely used in 18 months to three years of implementation. The others thought it would happen in three to five years.

Of 300 respondents, one-third (a total of 106) have already implemented an AR initiative at an enterprise scale, which meant they are at stage three of the AR maturity model. Of that group, 80% (a total of 85) have implemented AR and expect to be ahead, or far ahead, of their competitors in three years. This meant these respondents are in the leading stage.

The three key elements that will make AR the focal point of integration and connection include:

Content

The information revolution has led to the inundation of digital data. The spectrum of data that may be suitable for AR-assisted viewing spans small databases of enterprise assets or resources to massive, continually expanding information repositories, often referred to as "Big Data." A sophisticated analysis of Big Data would help extract benefits to AREA.

Enterprise information systems use digital information assets with metadata that associate them with real-world people, businesses, places, or objects.

Stage three involves learning about different content influencing AR and streamlining disparate types, including 3D and codified AR content.

Hardware

Producing an AR experience requires capturing the user's context, performing transformations, associating triggers in a database with user contexts, and generating signals and patterns that present digital data, also known as "augmentations," to the user's senses.

The user context is captured by (hardware) sensors integrated into many enterprise objects, including local device processors or network-connected servers.

In the connecting stage, the hardware that produces signals detected by the user's auditory, tactile or visual senses, tactile senses, and light waves are integrated with the core AR enterprise system.

These devices may include mass-market, consumer-grade smartphones or tablets, and smart glasses that may be consumer-based, enterprise-grade, or custom-built hardware.

Software

Software is used at different levels of sophistication during the design and publishing of experiences. It is also used for different ways of presentation during an AR experience.

During the connecting stage, delivering AR experiences is performed by systems controlled by software across internal and external enterprise networks. The functions of the software in AR include:

  • Detect patterns in sensor observations.
  • Interpret user context.
  • Track user changes concerning the target and various triggers.
  • Produce hardware-generated sounds, tactile signals, or visible augmentations.
  • Capture and log interactions with physical and digital assets.
  • Generation of timestamps from readings captured by sensors and stored for multiple secondary applications.

Aspects to Consider for the Connecting Stage

Activities
  1. Invitation and management of executive sponsorship.
  1.  AR strategy alignment that is relevant to each use case to the enterprise IT ecosystem.
  1. The AR Steering committee's formation involves taking expert-level individuals onboard to provide advice, ensuring delivery of the project outputs, and achieving project outcomes.

The essential tasks include:

  • Provide input to the integration and connection of AR to enterprise systems, including the evaluation strategy.
  • Budgeting advice.
  • Defining and helping to achieve the project milestones and outcomes.
  • Identify project priorities, potential risks, and timelines.
  • Consider ideas and issues raised and guide the project engineering and testing teams.
  • Help balance conflicting priorities and resources.
  • Foster positive communication outside of the Committee regarding the project's development.
  • Quality monitoring of the project as it evolves.
  • Providing advice and making decisions about (technical and business) changes to the evolving project.
  1. Coordinate the deployment of multiple connected and unconnected use cases.
  1. Organization-wide communication of a universal enterprise AR operating structure.
  1. Systematic evaluation of AR business value and the investment-revenues relationship.

Here is a sector-wise AR revenue outline from 2017-2022 from Digi-Capital.

Strategies
  1. Assess, plan, modify, and implement AR deployment strategies by looping in the steering committee.
  1. Implement the principles of ITIL and other fundamental change management principles, put other processes and mandates in place, and make the workforce familiar with the formal change management process. Also, get change management experts onboard.
Technology
  1. The AR tech stack is industry-specific or industrialized.
  1. AR Platform integration processes using tools and frameworks with enterprise systems.
  1. IIoT display of data within the AR system is enabled after analyzing the rewards and risks.

  1. Product data and log information/history flow both ways.
  1. End-to-end product integration and performance testing.
  1. Move IIoT into production and integrate it into ARMP.

The following image shows the level of AR implementation with IIoT today.

Content Management

The emergence of AR content management systems has created innovative ways of interaction that combine real-world environments with computer-generated virtual objects. AR content can manage and create AR advertising campaigns, authoring, better user experiences, research, or enhancing employees' technical understanding to perform better in their AR tasks.

In this activity,

  1. Enterprise AR content is strategized based on imported, utilized, and exported using the general AR Architecture (shown below).
  1. The coding of content for 3D and other AR functionalities is done.
  2. Third-party and OEM experts are connected with content enhancements.
  3. Learning content (LMS) is integrated into the core system for employees and interested parties.
Budgeting

This activity includes micromanaging the budget for software, hardware, workforce, and other AR enterprise integration requirements from multiple departments.

The steering committee is involved with the core management in making critical financial decisions based on intelligence-based reports and inputs from the IT teams.

IT Involvement
  1. This involves advanced monitoring and integration support.
  2. Dedicated Staff is allocated to the AR enterprise initiatives.

The benefits of the Connecting stage in the AR Maturity model, as suggested by Cognizant.

Radiant has extensive experience integrating AR with diverse enterprise systems to make it a genuine game-changer for business. Contact us to learn more.


The Deployment Stage of the AR Maturity Model: When AR Research and Ideas Gain Momentum

Augmented Reality is expected to hit $61.39 billion by 2023, growing at a 55.71% CAGR. The ever-advancing capabilities of AR technology drive this explosive growth and shape its deployment for various business cases.

Before you start deploying your AR use cases, it’s essential to set the IT infrastructure to ensure complete support after the Exploring Stage in the AR Maturity Model. You also need to establish your budget for hardware (smart glasses), wireless network coverage, software, etc.

The deploying stage is exciting because organizations gain momentum and focus on using AR solutions to meet business challenges. When total value emerges, it enables organizations to optimize use cases. The deployment stage defines facts that were previously assumptions in the Exploration phase.

AR use cases at this stage respond to business needs in one or more specific departments across the organization. Simple AR solutions incorporate visual work instructions, video, initial collection & analysis of data collected. Solutions may also include advanced documentation work relating to various deployments.

According to Capgemini’s recent study, these are the percentages of AR Deployment being done currently in various industries.

Agile Processes leading to AR Deployment

The transition steps between the Exploring Stage to the Deploying Stage are summarized below.

  1. The Roadmap for the deployment stage is backed by the research done in the exploring stage. The Roadmap specifies which areas the enterprise wants to explore, the budget and costs, and the feasibility study for each step.
  2. Interested departments can jointly plan use case implementations and identify funding sources for AR work.

The different types of AR implementations considered during deployment are:

    • Marker-based AR or Image Recognition-based AR provides more information about a scanned object after the user focuses on a pre-defined marker or sticker.
    • pre-defined room-scale AR application allows the user to walk into a room that has been pre-scanned and overlay a visual aesthetic showcasing various objects laid out in the scene.
    • Plane projection / Gyroscopic augmented reality allows the user to detect a flat surface and scans that surface to use a pivot point or origin for projecting the user’s 3D model or object.
    • Wearable-based augmented reality requires specific hardware to overlay objects in the user’s retina and offer more in-depth visuals with a field of view that will be present wherever the user looks.
  1. Establish a budget to explore the next stages of AR. The budget should include considerations for additional device hardware (such as smart glasses and expanded wireless network coverage). Costs associated with upkeep, maintenance, and support down the road also need to be factored in.

Estimating the AR App Development Cost is also vital in the Deployment Stage.

  1. Engage IT to provide the foundational IT infrastructure to support your AR use cases.
  2. Prioritize the use cases your team identified.

Activities of the Deployment Stage

Strategic Activities

  • AR software and hardware platform strategies are laid out.
  • One or more use cases being deployed to solve business problems.
  • Single or multi-departmental deployments.
  • Operating models and governance frameworks are established.
  • AR value drivers are being refined as a result of real experience.
  • Involvement of corporate IT
  • Security evaluations
  • Mobile device management strategy definition

Types of Strategies Involved

The AR deployment stage is influenced by these two types of AR exploring strategies. The budgeting, human resources involved, the level of involvement, technology stacks to be used, and more are decided.

  • Reactive –This strategy relies on how an internal business issue or circumstance influences the AR exploring stage.
  • Request-based –There is a specific request within the company from clients or internal departments to explore AR.

Technology Activities

  • An AR software platform strategy is implemented or in the process of being rolled out.
  • A use case-driven device strategy is established, including smartphones, tablets, and smart glasses.
  • Video calling – The collaboration mechanism and tools between tech & experts, for example, are rolled out along with clearly defined objectives.
  • Augmented task flows are laid out.
  • The content strategy for AR is defined.
  • Collect and act on AR analytics.
  • Start to consider IoT use cases.

Content Activities

  • Augmented Digital Task Flows are designed and executed.
  • Select enterprise content is integrated.
  • Existing 2D and 3D content assets are leveraged and new value created.

Budget Activities

  • Discrete budgets for AR software and hardware are executed and available in various departments of the organization.
  • Budgets are also set for security mechanisms, compliance, standardization, etc.

Areas Where AR Deployments (Early Stage) have been Successful

Gaming: One of the most recognizable AR deployment examples in mobile app gaming is Pokémon Go.

Marketing: Here, AR deployment comes in product placement, such as placing virtual Ikea furniture in your living room.

Retail: One successful deployment is the smart mirror that allows shoppers to virtually try on jewelry/clothes/accessories that they’re interested in without actually trying them on.

Factory: On assembly lines in factories, workers wearing AR glasses can have assembly instructions displayed to them step by step to increase accuracy and efficiency.

Warehouse: Workers in large warehouses use wearable AR technology to get directions to find products during the sorting and transport of goods, saving them time spent searching for the desired product/outcome and eliminating human error.

Aerospace &Defense: AR technology is being deployed in the aerospace and defense sectors, primarily in the form of Heads Up Displays (HUDs), which give pilots critical flight information right where and when they need it.

Education: AR technology is being deployed for education, especially in giving students more immersive and engaging lessons. It can also be more effectively used to train employees with more realistic work scenarios.

Tourism: AR deployed on Mobile apps can help tourists find directions and desirable destinations. AR could also translate street signs and be used in museums to make displays more engaging.

Conclusion

AR is an exciting technology with a broad spectrum of potential uses. Advances in embedded vision technology can be critically observed during deployment.

AR deployment creates the defining moment where the exploration stage’s success is realized to its partial or full potential. Enterprises can take a deep dive into the AR ocean and recognize their strengths and overcome any challenges effectively.

Radiant Digital can help you with your deployment initiatives to fully power up your AR prototypes and champion business use cases. Connect with us today.


The Explore Stage of the Augmented Reality Maturity Model

Recent advances in high-speed mobility coupled with an explosion in digital storage capacity have opened the door for Augmented Reality. AR is catapulting to the next level due to the ubiquity of high-speed wireless broadband connections, mass adoption of reality-based technology experience, and the limitless data store and continuous data streaming using IoT.

Consumer AR applications for retail, real estate, and other sectors are already present on hundreds of millions of smartphones (utilizing built-in cameras, microphones, accelerometers, and GPS). The development of new AR-specific chipsets from major chip companies like Qualcomm and Nvidia is lowering the AR price-point and driving AR application providers' entry into the market.

AR products and services are emerging as a significant-tech/media industry. AR is just starting to break out of its infancy; thus, the possible applications that may evolve in the future are limitless.

Enterprise Adoption of Augmented Reality

AR is the latest harbinger of productivity and cost optimization. According to a report by International Data Corporation in 2019, the global spending on AR could reach $160 billion in 2023, with investments in training noted at $8.5 billion and industrial maintenance at $4.3 billion.

According to Greenlight Insights, the worldwide spending on AR content and head-mounted displays will likely reach $36.4 billion in 2023.

AR's valued business application in commercial enterprise, the public sector, military, education, and other domains cannot be ignored.

Organizations often adopt an AR Maturity Model strategy to help manage return on investment. In addition to implementing AR solutions, Radiant instills this construct so organizations can realize the full potential of AR across the product lifecycle. We implement AR to facilitate tasks, provide access to valuable resources, and solve complex natural environment problems.

Radiant supports Augmented Reality solutions for manufacturing, utilities, logistics, telecommunications, and other industries with application development and maintenance.

AR ‘Explore’ Stage

The true potential of AR is evident when one explores its utility in various segments. Due to the quickly evolving technology and its looming broad adoption, there is a lack of use cases and literature to substantiate its implementation and applications.

In this light, the AR Maturity Model guides enterprises to use AR for product development, performance improvements, tackling business velocity, managing change, handling opportunities and challenges of connectivity advances, managing resource needs, talent augmentation, and at-scale operations.

Exploring or Exploration is the initial stage of the four distinct phases within the AR Maturity Model; it marks the information collection, value discovery, and insight-driven approach to AR. Here are some key points to note:

  • The Exploratory stage is the stepping stone to understanding the technology inside-out before manifesting it through products and services.
  • Exploration lays the foundation for all the other stages that lead to Stage 4 – Lead Generation, which yields the maximum benefits to an enterprise.
  • Researchers and AR project engineers research industry ideas, already implemented products, and begin to develop rudimentary use cases in this stage. This also involves exploring technology options like AI, ML, IoT, Big Data, 5G, and others and finding the best ways to integrate them, if necessary, to find the best fit.
  • Interest in AR could arise from anywhere in the company, including field service, training, maintenance, engineering, operations, innovation, and research.
  • Exploring may also include instances where the differentiating lines between AR, VR, and XR begin to blur. A collective realization that wearable technology is beneficial to workforce productivity may be the only driving force.
  • A collective awareness that competitors have started implementing AR may also drive organizations to take AR more seriously.

Here are frequent events of the Exploration Stage and their characteristics.

Activities

  • Learning about AR, VR, XR, and their differences.
  • Fathoming the landscape of AR software and hardware platforms and their interdependencies.
  • Gathering ideas from real industry use cases.
  • Exploring a singular use case or maintaining an inventory of potential use cases.
  • Using AR in a trial setup or simulated environment.
  • Understanding the key drivers of AR and its performance metrics to evaluate the technology.

Strategies

  • During Exploration, there is no commitment to a core AR strategy yet.
  • Adhoc- There is no larger plan at this stage for AR implementation or defined action points for various AR users. The organization may choose ad hoc devices or technology strategies.
  • This may contain one or more AR pilots or trials.
  • No complicated rules on AR activities and workflows.

Technology

  • Hardware-driven Device Strategy- Interest in AR may be sparked by using smart glasses like the Hololens or a demo of AR applications on mobile devices.
  • Purchasing a wearable or any other AR hardware device based on a hunch may solve a problem.
  • First experience with AR software implementation.

Content

  • Existing digital content evaluation for AR includes disconnected information, monolithic manuals, paper-based processes, and other scattered content.
  • One-off (and expensive) custom AR content development gives a sneak peek of what is possible with AR but could never scale.
  • First-generation digital task flow.
  • No real sense of the power of ubiquitous, contextual, and relevant content.

Budget

  • Limited or no budget or budget plans set for the diverse needs of AR.
  • An “innovation” budget is introduced that is shared and used by various departments based on discretion.
  • IT Role
  • Minimal IT involvement is foreseen.
  • These include enabling ports, proxy configuration, and mobile device management.

At the 2019 Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit, a broad swathe of organizations took part in a survey on when to start exploring AR. Here are the numbers on the different scopes of Exploration.

Conclusion

The Exploration Stage must not be taken lightly. It defines how soon and to what extent an enterprise will master AR through structured and unstructured learning and development.

Radiant Digital can leverage the available information and the depth of knowledge your enterprise possesses to take your AR journey to the next level.  


[Webinar] How Augmented Reality is Transforming Field Service Management

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI-WHn1YmZQ

Chart a path for your businesses to embrace an augmented future for field service management by exploring a few successful Augmented Reality examples! Join us for this free 30-minute webinar that could help you save productivity, efficiency, and, most importantly - money.