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AR targets the enterprise

Enterprises in the Augmented Reality space have launched AREA, an non-profit organisation designed to accelerate AR adoption through the development and expansion of the ecosystem.

Leaders in enterprise and industrial Augmented Reality (AR) have launched the non-profit Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance (AREA), a global member-based organisation focusing on accelerating AR adoption through development and expansion of a vibrant technology ecosystem.

Though AR for the enterprise offers great promise, published pioneer experiences are scarce, and few programmes exist to help organisations seeking to deploy AR to navigate the many uncharted integration challenges. The AREA is the first group to address these needs.

When integrated with enterprise systems, Augmented Reality technology can improve workplace performance by increasing access to information in the context of the physical world. According to Juniper Research, mobile AR use in the enterprise will drive annual revenues for software licenses to $2.4 billion in 2019, up from $247 million in 2014.

The AREA’s mission is to help organisations achieve greater operational efficiencies through smooth introduction and widespread adoption of interoperable AR-enabled enterprise systems. The group will work toward this goal by advocating best practices based on shared knowledge, experience in live deployments, common business values, and addressing known and emerging challenges. The AREA will also promote learning, communication and collaboration among technology provider segments so that they can offer greater value to their customers. The collaborative relationship between users and providers of AR technologies is a core component of the AREA’s approach to its mission.

Founding Sponsor members of the AREA are thought leaders 1066 Labs, APX Labs, Atheer Labs, Augmate, The Boeing Company, Bosch, CN2 Technology, DAQRI, Design Mill, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), IEEE Standards Association, NGRAIN, iQagent, Newport News Shipbuilding, Perey Research & Consulting and Talent Swarm.

“We forecast rapid enterprise AR revenue growth but feel that the ecosystem faces significant obstacles,” said Steffen Sorrell, Juniper Research analyst and author of Augmented Reality: Consumer, Enterprise & Vehicles 2015-2019. “There are challenges with, for example, integrating AR in legacy enterprise systems. Content and programs such as those the AR for Enterprise Alliance is beginning to provide will increase awareness, reduce barriers and drive adoption in more use cases and at larger scale. It’s exciting to see early enterprise AR adopters and providers of AR technologies pooling their resources and sharing their valuable knowledge to mature the market.

“Through our members’ collaborative efforts, the AREA will address challenges and lower barriers to AR adoption within the enterprise, at technical, business and societal levels,” said Christine Perey, AREA Executive Director. “A highly functional ecosystem of AR customers, non-commercial entities and providers of core enabling technologies, solutions and services is quickly going to emerge.

The AREA’s membership benefits include access to high-quality, vendor-neutral content and participation in programs, early access to beta software and hardware, a research framework to address key challenges shared by all members, discounts for fee-based activities, and more. Sponsor members have a direct role in shaping the rapidly expanding AR industry, and demonstrate their companies’ leadership and commitment to improving workplace performance.

“As a founding member of the AREA, Boeing can help lead our industry to new and greater levels of knowledge,” said Paul Davies, Boeing Associate Technical Fellow. “Our business goals are in alignment with the AREA’s mission, and being a member delivers other specific benefits, such as leveraging our research budget through collaboration with other members and hearing the insights of the brightest minds in the field.

“Bosch joined the AREA to drive the development of Augmented Reality-enabled solutions and customers,” said Juergen Lumera, Director, Global TIS Product Management and AREA Vice President, Customer Segment. “The organisation is a win-win for us because we both use the AR-enabled systems for our products and provide Augmented Reality, such as our CAP Automotive platform, to our customers.

“As an organisation dedicated to advancing technology for humanity through open innovation and collaboration, we fully support and align with AREA’s focus on engaging corporations to advance augmented reality for the social and economic benefits of industry and consumers,” said Konstantinos Karachilios, Managing Director, IEEE Standards Association.

The AREA will produce significant and measurable impacts for both AR ecosystem customers and providers. Customers will be able to rapidly choose from a large, diverse ecosystem of products and services, and build or purchase complete solutions based both on best practices and on modular architectures using ratified standards, where available. Providers of enabling technologies, products and services will have more opportunities to provide value to a greater number of customers, and will be able to integrate AR-enabling solutions more fully into existing and future enterprise workflows.

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