With any emerging technology there is always a debate as to where to begin. Augmented reality is no different; the technology is undoubtedly exciting the market, but many are curious as to where the starting point is for their company.
After speaking to hundreds of customers, implementing use cases across the value chain, and consistently being recognized as an AR thought leader, PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann has constructed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – How to Build an Augmented Reality Strategy for Your Business – to further educate the market on AR.
Heppelmann distills this complex challenge down to 15 key framing questions to help guide business leaders to AR adoption and outcomes with measurable business value.
Our first installment offers an overview of the strategy portion of the playbook – and the first six critical questions to consider. The publicly-available MOOC offers much more depth and detail as Heppelmann shares his AR expertise in the space.
Any digital transformation strategy must align the desired goals and value with the technology solution that will unlock it those outcomes. Augmented reality is unique in that it is aiming to converge the physical and digital world like never before, but the business fundamentals and implications of creating a strategy for adopting a technology do not differ drastically.
The first step? Building a foundational AR strategy based on these questions:
Let’s walk through each question and dive into the different possibilities for each consideration.
Options: Assisted, Augmented, Virtual
With these three options, the use case typically dictates the type of “reality” used.
Options: Visualize, Instruct, Guide, Interact, Sense, Recognize, Program
Instruct/Guide and Visualize are the top AR capabilities currently being used, according to the State of Industrial Augmented Reality report (55 percent and 42 percent, respectively).
Options: Sight, Sound, Touch
A key AR function is to augment human’s senses with digital capabilities. Some examples:
Options: Monocular, Phone/Tablet, Projector, HUD, HMD
AR hardware is increasingly gaining market buzz as devices become more resilient, widespread, and powerful.
Options: Proprietary, iOS, Android, Windows UWP, Cross-Platform, Multi-Platform
The AR operating systems currently used typically align with the mobile device the end user is running the AR experience on (iOS for iPhone/iPad) However, it will be increasingly important to have operating system support for multi-platform usage because the AR hardware mix will range across the enterprise (i.e. sales & marketing might use a mobile device for product demonstration while a service technician requires a hands-free head-mounted display for service inspection and verification). Scaling an AR OS that supports hardware and different forms of content across a multitude of use cases are important strategic considerations.
Options: Code, Author, Capture, Ad Hoc
Answering these AR strategy questions will illuminate the product direction for the company’s solution. Aligning the experience with the necessary hardware, software, development, and authoring approach are key foundational elements to unlocking AR value for the industrial enterprise.
Organizations with this preemptive alignment are more likely to quickly recognize time-to-value with their AR strategy; 68% of PTC’s State of Augmented Reality respondents cite transitions from AR pilots into production within a year.
Read the other installments of our three-part series:
David Immerman is as a Consulting Analyst for the TMT Consulting team based in Boston, MA. Prior to S&P Market Intelligence, David ran competitive intelligence for a supply chain risk management software startup and provided thought leadership and market research for an industrial software provider. Previously, David was an industry analyst in 451 Research’s Internet of Things channel primarily covering the smart transportation and automotive technology markets.