Smart Glasses and Beyond: Harnessing the Full Potential of Augmented and Mixed Reality

Smart Glasses and Beyond: Harnessing the Full Potential of Augmented and Mixed Reality

Feature Article by Sojung Lee, President, TeamViewer, APAC

Imagine a world where virtual and physical realities merge, bringing unparalleled efficiency and innovation to businesses and industries across the globe. This is made possible in the -Industrial Metaverse, where information and data are digitalised and are presented using augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) tools to target the needs of businesses and blue-collar workers on the shop floor and enable efficiency and productivity in industrial environments.

A report by Deloitte makes clear the opportunities ahead, especially for Asia. “Asia’s favorable demographics, supply chain market share, and growing influence on socio-cultural trends underline its potential role in shaping the metaverse,” it says. “The potential impact of the metaverse to GDP in Asia is US$0.8T-US$1.4T per year by 2035, roughly 1.3 – 2.4% of overall GDP.”

However, a considerable gap in adoption still exists among businesses that have yet to devise a solid strategy for harnessing the full potential of these disruptive technologies.

While data from Asia is still relatively sparse, according to a survey commissioned by TeamViewer in collaboration with Handelsblatt Research Institute, out of of 3,575 corporate decision-makers in 10 European countries, only 15% have made significant progress in implementing a plan for the future of logistics—a sector that could greatly benefit from digitalisation.

The survey reveals that 43% of respondents have no strategy to digitalise their logistics, while 18% have only just begun the process. Larger firms are more likely to have a strategy or have moved on to execution, but overall, digitalisation has yet to take off.

Augmenting Your Business: Implementing Industrial Metaverse Solutions That Match Business Needs

To ride the AR wave, companies need to be smart in their implementation. Through the Industrial Metaverse, companies are able to digitalise information and data, and display them to industry workers in the immediate field of view using AR and MR smart glasses. This enables workers to see workflows and holograms as if they were part of reality.

It is remarkable to note that AR has clear advantages over virtual reality (VR) in industrial settings. While VR offers immersive virtual experiences, AR layers information over real-world scenes, allowing users to remain aware of their physical surroundings. This is crucial for certain industrial environments, where AR maintains situational awareness in terms of worker safety and efficiency.

Several factors can make or break the success of implementing Industrial Metaverse solutions—from platform versatility to hardware compatibility. After all, in today’s fast-paced digital world, seamless integration with existing IT systems and ease of management are key for the success of digital transformation.

As the Deloitte report further states, “To unlock the full economic potential of the metaverse, metaverse technologies must be integrated into business practices.” Businesses can thrive in this exciting and rapidly evolving space by choosing a platform that ticks all the boxes.

Integrating AR solutions with existing systems such as warehouse management, enterprise resource planning, and production management will extend the company’s digital business workflow to the worker on the floor.

For example, Airbus Helicopters successfully integrated their SAP system with TeamViewer’s AR solution Frontline xInspect running on smart glasses. The result is a hands-free solution that makes their assembly and inspection processes for helicopter gearboxes more intuitive and efficient. This allowed Airbus to achieve a paperless inspection process with 100% data reliability, eliminating manual input errors, resulting in a 40% reduction in gearbox inspection time.
Successful implementation of AR software solutions also often relies on the hardware selection. AR software not only runs on smart glasses but also on smartphones and tablets, and the solution needs to be flexible enough to fit the processes they envisage to meet their intended end goal. It’s important to include the employees who will work with the solution in the decision-making process.

Another example is when DHL Supply Chain involved their logistics staff from the very beginning when implementing the TeamViewer Frontline vision picking solution xPick in warehouses around the globe since 2017 Integrated smart glasses now display order-picking instructions and location information, permitting order-picking to be conducted hands-free and intuitively. Employees have been enthusiastic about being able to use state-of-the-art technology and are pleased with how light the smart glasses are, and how much more comfortable the process is now with hands-free picking. As a result, the company has seen an impressive improvement in staff retention rate, productivity level by 15%, higher accuracy rates, and a 50% reduction in onboarding and training times.

Untapped Potential:
The Growing Relevance of AR and MR Technologies in Business Operations

The Deloitte survey indicates a correlation between the current or planned use of AR and MR technologies and their estimated relevance among responding companies, which suggests that as companies begin implementing these solutions, their relevance becomes more apparent, and further implementation may follow.

Approximately one-sixth of the European companies surveyed currently use smart glasses in their logistics operations, while almost one-quarter plan to use them soon. This demonstrates a significant untapped market for AR and MR technologies in the logistics sector alone. As companies begin to recognise how the technology can benefit their business in terms of improved efficiency, reduced errors, and enhanced worker productivity, adoption rates are expected to increase.

Companies who are AR-curious can easily connect with technology providers and partners who can offer guidance, resources, and eventually solutions tailored to specific business needs. A small-scale pilot project can demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of the Industrial Metaverse. Most importantly, a clear vision from leadership is needed to explore and implement emerging technologies.

With more industries and businesses comprehending how AR, MR, and AI solutions can impact their potential, significant growth in adopting these technologies is expected in the near future. There is a growing understanding of the benefits the Industrial Metaverse offers as by implementing platforms like TeamViewer Frontline, companies can optimise their operations, boost efficiency, and cut costs.

Driving Digital Transformation with Partnerships and Emerging Technologies in the Industrial Metaverse

Aside from technological advancements, partnerships between tech companies will play a crucial role in driving digital transformation and expanding the reach of the industrial metaverse in 2023. Bundled solutions and strategic collaborations can help enterprises connect devices, information, and people more effectively, eliminating the need to work with multiple vendors. Such partnerships will be particularly beneficial for emerging technologies within the industrial metaverse, enabling greater adoption and collaboration across the industry.

In terms of next steps in the Industrial Metaverse, we already see self-learning algorithms enriching complex manual processes, adding even more value. AI can perform verification assessments through image recognition, which reduces the likelihood of human errors and increases worker agility and productivity. By combining AI and AR, safety checks can be automated to provide an intelligent means of protecting against common occupational hazards.

Many industries are facing a shortage of skilled labor, which has prompted businesses to seek ways to improve worker productivity and efficiency. The increasing digitalization of the workforce has also created a need for new tools and technologies that can help workers perform their jobs more effectively. Industrial Metaverse is already here and we are ready to explore with everyone to harness the full potential of AR and MR in an ever-changing market.

Deloitte Report, The Metaverse in Asia, November 2022

About the Author

Sojung Lee
Asia-Pacific President, TeamViewer

Sojung Lee is the President of TeamViewer for the Asia-Pacific region. Her responsibilities encompass all go-to-market activities in APAC, including direct sales as well as developing an ecosystem of strong alliances such as channel partners, distributors, and resellers.

She is an experienced senior executive with a proven capability in building and leading high-impact teams. Her background includes 14+ years of experience in the Enterprise IT and the services industry across the Asia Pacific region. Before Sojung joined TeamViewer, she held several senior positions at IBM Asia Pacific and SolarWinds.

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