Augmented Reality and Visual Collaboration

Jan 18, 2018

There was a time when video conferencing was considered to be the future, fast forward to the 21st century and Augmented Reality (AR) is completely revolutionizing the way we do video conferencing these days. AR has become the front-runner as well as the go-to-technology when it comes to the corporate world and it is set to change the dynamics on a day-to-day basis by adding a host of new features to our workplace. It is estimated that AR and VR market will increase from $5.2 billion in 2016 to $162 billion by 2020. The number clearly suggests that AR technology has the backing of the corporate world and in coming years AR will definitely be an integral part of our professional ecosystem.

Video Conferencing used to be the closest you could get to a real-life meeting experience under virtual circumstances. Video conferencing lets the participants see each other’s expressions and lets them interact freely. But the tech world is never stagnant and AR is helping baby-boomer video conferencing move to the Generation Z level.

“Augmented reality brings a human element into communication,” says Evan Helda, sales director at Meta, a Y-Combinator alum that’s developing augmented reality headsets.

It will open up a world of possibilities that will make remote working and cross-location operations seamless. As the image above shows, you would be able to study from the comfort of your home but there would not be any drop off in engagement levels. The simulation of being there in person and ability to add digital objects with the help of AR enhances the overall experience. Microsoft: Augmented Reality Video Conferencing Microsoft has rolled out the beta version of a video-call technology using augmented reality, which will allow you to “see” a projection of the individual in the meeting. It represents the individual in the hologram style, which gives the feel of a person sitting in front of you. Microsoft has used AR technology earlier as well in their research project “Room Alive”. Apart from this, networking giant, Cisco is working with Musion to bring holograms into the video conferencing world.

Lampix: Changing the paradigm of Collaboration Another company hitting the headlines is Lampix, a winner of the 2017 SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event for the category of augmented and virtual reality. Lampix is currently developing a hardware system that will allow a computer to be projected onto any surface. Its real time functionality is its most exciting application especially for remote conferencing and multi-disciplinary collaboration.

Conclusion It is quite clear that AR is poised for a much bigger presence in the corporate world. It is redefining and revolutionizing our traditional conference/meeting room. Its applications in sectors like education, healthcare and even manufacturing is immense. Even though we are still in the experimentation stage AR is a question of when and not if. The potential AR has to improve communication and collaboration in our workplace is limitless.