In the pendulum swing of AR & VR excitement, we’re currently in a period of dampened expectations for the sectors’ revenue creation. And with that, attention gravitates to sub-sectors where there’s nearer-term scale, such as mobile AR.
But the conversation around glasses-based AR is still important. Apple’s 2020 consumer glasses rumors have resuscitated AR excitement levels, while glasses-based AR is very much alive in the enterprise. The latter was the topic of a recent AWE Europe session (video below).
Though enterprise is a place that glasses-based AR is being realized today, it’s not without challenges. These are mostly internal barriers like budgeting, goal alignment and sales, as we’ve examined. And it usually involves organizational issues like cross-department communication.
“The difficulty we have is talking to R&D departments,” said Epson Europe’s Valerie Riffaud Cangelosi. “They are extremely knowledgable and good at understanding the use case, but we work with them for two years and then confront all the other parts of the organization.”
This raises barriers when departments like IT come along and apply authority such as security protocols, and everything comes to a halt. Cangelosi suggests instead to involve everyone from the start, which is a challenge because the initial cross-departmental buy-in isn’t there yet for AR.
“We have to treat any AR/VR project as you would a printer installation,” she added. “You wouldn’t think about not involving purchasing, IT and other departments. [AR/VR] has to be dealt with in the same way, and then when you get to deployment, it flows.”
Overall, Cangelosi stresses that it’s do or die time for AR startups. There are plenty of flashy but unrealistic YouTube videos about AR apps, but we should devote energy instead into real product development. And the clock is ticking for startups, given a projected funding crunch.
“We should focus on the short term,” she says. “Any IT product in history came from the enterprise. It’s very important that we finalize success in the enterprise. We are all convinced it’s going to work but we have a responsibility today to make it work, so we all have to invest.”
See the rest of the panel discussion in the full session video embedded below.
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Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.