Fun fact: Virtual reality was realized way before digital computing was even a thing.

Virtual reality came into existence with an arcade size immersive machine called ‘Sensorama’ 57 years back. Morton Heilig, a filmmaker, invented it to make cinema more vivid and immersive. Helig debuted his first Sensorama prototype in 1962.

Now, how does invention of AR relate to remote collaboration

It doesn’t. But the years of research and technological marvels like mixed reality lenses has made collaboration a unique use case for AR. Here’s a timeline that shows how it happened.

  • In 1968, American Computer Scientist Ivan Sutherland patents first ever AR head mounted display(HMD)
  • In 1997, a land survey & construction company named Trimble, patents their mixed reality hard hat
  • In 2008 BMW develops an AR app for smartphones to bring its car pictures to life
  • In 2018 AR/VR collaboration softwares like Spatial VR start rolling out the early access of their software
  • Almost two decades later in January 2019 Trimble launches its production ready Trimble XR10 with Microsoft Hololens 2

Who knew Helig’s prototype would lead to insane inventions such as a Trimble XR10.

From construction to automobile, businesses have been trying to develop means to seamlessly integrate AR technology in people’s lives. Devices that change the way people experience products and services.

AR devices are changing the way the world works. It is also changing how you discuss ideas, design products, and collaborate.

What AR can do for your collaboration?

AR is still far from being as common as “3 meals a day” but there are tools that you can use to get your virtual-self up and running in no time.

Spatial VR and Meetin VR are the tools that’re leading the charge. Meetin VR takes place in completely virtual environments while Spatial takes a bit more practical approach with their mixed reality collaboration environments.

This next wave of AR collaboration tools can enhance your processes and products by- 

  • Introducing transparency of information
  • Bringing CMS to virtual environments
  • Simultaneous virtual white-boarding and collaboration
  • Problem & solution simulation
  • Visualization of complex ideas

What’s really wrong with conventional collaboration?

While working with remote teams all the things that could go wrong would probably go wrong because of inefficient communication.

Conventional communication channels are ambiguous. They leave a lot on the table with a lack of emotion and body language. You can’t really gauge intents of the people through the old-school conferencing.

There are two sides to this problem

  • Client side
    Sometimes clients fail to get their ideas across because it’s vague or too complex.
  • Remote team
    The other times, remote team fills in the blanks based on their previous experience. That’s what happens when important information is lost in translation, the information gaps are then filled with assumptions.

Collaboration is difficult for remote teams

Your in-house team gets to engage with client or users directly. As for the teams off-shore, they rely on bland teleconferencing. Which is prone to misinterpretation and assumptions.

To make products that resonate with your users, you start by understanding the underlying problem that the product is a solution to. Then you work on how the product is going to solve that problem. Which can only happen if there is a sense of inclusiveness and teleconferencing does the least to encourage participation.

So, what can you do to not lose important bits and pieces of your product in translations? You certainly cannot teleport to your remote team location.

Or can you? No, we’re not suggesting that we can teleport you to another part of the world in an instant. But what we’re suggesting is ridiculously close to that.

Many believed AR to be a passing fad but now it has far more important applications than any other technology. Disaster assessment, learning & development, retail, construction and public safety just to name a few.

We’ve recently built an AR functionality for one of our clients. It eliminates the conventional way of paper-based user manual for an AR guide. Drop us a message here if you’d like to know more.

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