The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to work remotely, whether they were ready or not, making Zoom a household (or home office) name for its video conferencing service.
Now, in response to this overall shift, smartglasses maker Epson and remote support platform provider Spinar America are joining forces with their respective products, Moverio smartglasses and Remote Vision software, to add augmented reality to the corporate video conferencing toolkit with teams of technicians needing assistance from external experts to solve problems.
The companies unveiled their partnership at the Field Service Connect USA 2021
“Right now, companies need new communication practices and innovative productivity tools to work together effectively when employees cannot be in the same location,” said Kevin Weafer, CEO of Spinar America, Inc., in a statement. “The Remote Vision and Epson Moverio solution goes a step beyond traditional conference calling and provides a unique avenue for rich work and collaboration experiences, including remote assistance and on-site inspections that can improve overall business.”
Spinar’s Remote Vision runs on Zoom’s video platform and allows remote experts to share guided instructions in real time with technicians in the field. When launched on Moverio smartglasses, technicians will be able to communicate with their colleagues remotely and view information on Si-OLED screens while keeping their hands free to work on the task.
“Companies are evolving faster to stay ahead and meet the needs of today’s workforce by incorporating new remote assistance tools into day-to-day processes to improve long-term communications,” said Remi Del Mar , senior product manager of digital experiences, augmented reality, and commercial display solutions at Epson America, Inc. “We are excited to partner with Spinar America to help bridge the gap between countries, cultures and borders through hands-free communication. Harnessing the power of AR for real-time collaboration enables companies to excel in the ‘new normal’. ”
Enterprise companies increasingly have many options for remote assistance and AR collaboration. Epson’s smartglasses are compatible with a number of them, including ScopeAR, Ubimax, Upskill and Librestream, as well as its own Moverio Assist.
However, the combined solution from Epson and Spinar takes advantage of the popularity that Zoom gained during the pandemic and extends it to smart glasses. Still, they are not alone when it comes to Zoom AR. One of Epson’s smartglasses competitors, Vuzix, has similar capabilities available for its smartglasses, while Arvizio has updated its Immerse 3D app to enable AR collaboration via Zoom for smartphones, HoloLens and Magic Leap 1.
Even though vaccines are being distributed, the remote working window is not necessarily closed. Many companies are now indefinitely expanding remote working, while some forward thinking companies have used the working model even before the pandemic as a means of reducing the number of journeys associated with facilitating face-to-face meetings for distributed staff.
Video conferencing has become indispensable in this regard, but AR hardware and software vendors have the opportunity to increase adoption within best practices for remote working. If they can ride Zoom’s jacket to do it, that’s just smart business.