In today’s podcast, I talk with Sam Waicberg from CareAR and Vishal Shah from Lenovo about their recent collaboration to advance Service Experience Management (SXM) for next-generation enterprise extended reality solutions.
We discuss the collaboration, Lenovo’s new ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses as well as gain some insight into the current state of Enterprise AR / XR.
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Full Podcast Transcript:
Speaker 1 (00:00)
Hey, everybody. This is Sean Early. Welcome to the ARVR Magazine podcast.
Today’s guest will be Sam Weisberg from Care AR, and Vichel Shaw from Lenovo. They’re going to be talking about the Enterprise augmented reality space. They’re also going to be talking about interesting new new collaboration that’s happening between their two companies.
So with that said, I’ll see you in the episode.
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Speaker 1 (01:58)
Welcome to the ARVR Magazine podcast, your source for news, trends, and analysis of the ARVR and Immersive technology industry. This podcast has been brought to you by the Robotspaceship Podcast Network. For more info and other great podcast series, go to robotspaceship.com and subscribe. And now your host Sean Early. Hey everybody, this is Sean Early. Welcome to the ARV Magazine podcast. Enterprise Augmented Reality is a concept that we may have seen a lot of imagery about over the years. I receive a lot of press releases from a lot of companies that are working in the space. Lots of images and videos of these sort of scifi situations where somebody’s in a manufacturing facility or some complex working on some complex machinery and they’re wearing some augmented reality glasses and they’re analyzing some complex piece of equipment and all this data is being overlaid. Over the real world that they’re interacting with and sharing it externally to some other remote person who’s interacting with it.
Speaker 1 (03:24)
The glasses and it looks very high tech and Sci-Fi. But I have to ask myself, where are we now currently in this space? What are the real applications that are out there and being used and some of the use cases for them? I have two people joining me today who are going to be talking about just that. I have Sam Weicberg from CareAR and Vishal Shah from Lenovo. And they’re going to be talking quite a bit today about the Enterprise Augmented reality space as well as a very interesting collaboration that just happened between the two companies. So guys, thanks for being on the show.
Speaker 2 (04:01)
Sean, pleasure. Vishal, great to always connect with you again.
Speaker 1 (04:07)
So Sam, I’m going to start with you. Tell me about Care AR and that’s great.
Speaker 2 (04:13)
So I’ve got over 25 years in the communication software space and I’m a co founder for Carrier. When we thought about Carrier, we really thought about it really around solving need versus greed. And there was a pervasive problem going on and we aim to solve that problem in the enterprise service experience. So carry on. We’re a global company. We’ve got ownerships as a subsidiary of Xerox and equity investment by service now, so we are an enterprise visual, AR and AI powered platform purpose built for Empowering service and support personnel and customers. And what we’re doing is we’re providing access to information and expertise at the time of need. We do that consistently and we do that at scale. So it’s a pretty simple value proposition, but it’s really just kind of putting this and putting a frame around it. The type of use cases were providing really consist of remote service which allows someone to have access to a live human expert pretty much anywhere in the world. Self service basis that provides instructional interactive content with context and proactive service that in many times really helps prevent a problem before it becomes a problem.
Speaker 1 (05:56)
So, Vishal, over to you now. Tell me about the ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses.
Speaker 3 (06:03)
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you very much for having us on, Sean. It’s a pleasure to be on. Yeah. So Lenovo Think Reality is a complete end to end platform that we have built for AR and VR solutions. For our customer. We call it the ultimate on ramp into the enterprise metaverse. What we’ve done here at Lenovo is we’ve got our best in class hardware known as the A3 Think Reality six top hardware that we work with partners like Sam closely on.
That’s truly a 3D immersive augmented reality headset where you still have your field of view, you can still see through them. It’s like wearing a pair of glasses, but then you can put digital information in front of the physical information, right? So when you imagine you’re a worker, it’s fully 5G enabled. You’re out in the field and you need access to information. You need access to your manuals, you need some AI power data that’s served up to you on demand. That’s what these glasses enable you to do. So this is going to be a revolutionary device in terms of really unconstraining the remote workers in the field in terms of the information they get and the ease of views that they have.
Speaker 1 (07:21)
So, yeah, I don’t know how many of my readers saw the press release that I posted a couple of days ago, but your company has just launched a very interesting collaboration. What can you tell me about that?
Speaker 2 (07:34)
Sure, yeah, happy to. So we’re really excited about the partnership. It is truly a better together story and solution for our mutual customers if you think about what we’re doing with our Enterprise AR AI powered platform. So we are the applications that serve up access to information and expertise instantly. And we do that by taking advantage of a combination of video augmented reality as well as interactive 3D visualization utilizing digital twin and capabilities which really help to show an immersive replication digitally of a physical object. And all these capabilities all come together in a very intuitive and modern user experience that combined with the Lenovo A Three glasses, provides an immersive hands free experience in the field of view that allows, we think, really the best experience for those service professionals who are looking to get work done and improve productivity. And we think the combination is really a massive powerhouse of partnerships between carrier Lenovo as well as our ecosystem of partners can really take it at a scale level out to enterprises globally.
Speaker 1 (09:29)
So let me kind of step back for a minute, just for, I guess, some people who may not be so up on it. Your platform basically is like when you see these imagery of augmented reality being used in sort of factories and manufacturing and all that, you kind of see people with either holding up a tablet or device or phone or wearing a set of glasses to be able to sort of analyze a piece of equipment. And it normally has data overlated and that data sort of communicates with some sort of database to show you like how to fix something or communicates to a third party repair person to help guide along the process. That’s basically what we’re talking about here, right?
Speaker 2 (10:16)
Exactly. So one way to think about it, what I like to think about it is when you put LG Apparel Novo, A three glasses on powered with carrier application serving up content that can be overlaid on top of 3D physical objects. And you’ve got content that’s coming to you from different sources, but all you’re seeing is that you’re able to get information, perform tasks that before, without those glasses, without the applications powering those glasses, you wouldn’t have been able to do it before because of maybe skills gap, knowledge transfer, what have you. So we’d like to think about it as when you put these glasses on with our applications, you automatically have superpowers and you’re able to really perform at a heightened level of productivity. And really what’s happening is we’re augmenting the intelligence of those wearers. So really providing information, providing access to live experts, allowing them to perform tasks and to get it and to do things that they wouldn’t be able to do unless that information was being served up, but served up in a way that’s relevant and contextual. So that’s how we feel. We’re really helping to reinvent the service, experience, the combination of this partnership by giving those type of capabilities and powers to the people wearing them.
Speaker 1 (12:05)
Right. Maybe I’ll get into some of the more details of that in a little bit. Vishal, maybe tell me a little bit more about the ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses. Can you just give me an overview? How long have they been out now?
Speaker 3 (12:17)
Yeah, they’ve been out for about a year now. Our signature augmented reality glasses, as Sean mentioned, it’s very important to have a combination of the digital and the physical. So compared to like a virtual reality glass, where it’s a completely immersive experience which has its own use in training and onboarding, what augmented reality helps you do is you put on these glasses and you have your complete vision and frame of reference around you. But then now you can actually put on digital content and interact with the digital content over the physical content that you have. So it’s a complete $6.06 degrees of freedom. So you have these two 3D assets that you can collaborate on and work around. It’s called full 5g connectivity. It connects to our Motorola smartphones, which has Full 5G connectivity and millimeter waves. So it’s got the cutting edge connectivity. We’ve also adopted the Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces SDK, which allows us to be a true open ecosystem system that any Android developer can develop on and get access to the latest features. So for us, when we design this product and the platform, we were all about creating an open ecosystem that will help us create scale in the metaverse enterprise.
Speaker 3 (13:42)
The other big aspect of the Think Reality platform is our cloud management and device management software that we have. The think reality cloud. To us, that’s a game changer in the sense that it’s not that easy. Once you want to deploy at scale, it’s all about the software, how easy it is to manage these devices, how easy it is to deploy the content. And we get some great favorable ratings from our customers as well as is that they are able to use that platform to deploy some of that data and manage those devices at scale.
Speaker 1 (14:17)
Right. So I guess that leads me into the collaboration aspect. Let’s go into some of the details. What sort of was the missing piece before and what led to the collaboration between you two companies?
Speaker 3 (14:28)
Yeah, I’ll take that. I mean, we were really excited to work with Kar given the platform breadth and their whole take on revolutionizing the service experience management. So from the beginning, it was sort of a meeting of equals. And we strongly feel that with the ecosystem that they have built and the platform that we have built, we are able to create outcomes for a lot more customers, improve the lives of these customers that are out in the field, as well as create faster service outcomes for their clients. So we thought that this is a great partnership and we’re really looking forward to collaborating with them.
Speaker 2 (15:15)
I appreciate that. So let me just piggyback on top of that. A big part of what we do is also looking across the service experience and what are the type of situations service personnel get into, and they need a variety of tools at their disposal. So we support a combination of desktop to drone devices. Being able to address use cases that we refer to as from the chair to the air wearables glasses is a big part of our capabilities that we’re looking to drive more and more to. So we actually have the ability to work with any number of players out there. But we specifically chose Lenovo because of the power of the device, the form factor of it. It’s really this hybrid that really gives the best, we think, experience to those users. It’s more powerful than some of the low level ones and it’s not as clunky the larger ones out there. So we really think it’s really the ideal form factor, both in size, comfort as well as capabilities.
Speaker 3 (16:38)
Yeah. And then if I may add to that thank you, Sam. The other thing that both our companies believe in, and this is where I thought it was a great synergy, is that we both believe in embracing an open metadata for the meta verse to be successful, we feel it has to be open, flexible, secure and unencumbered by silos and proprietary technology. So we were glad to see Carrier also really adopt Open Android, Open XR standards and adopt the stackdragon spaces as well, which helps them scale to the best feature set. And US can deliver those experiences on the A Three as well. So that whole open architecture philosophy is going to be very key to the metaverse being successful, especially the enterprise metaverse.
Speaker 2 (17:26)
That’s a great point. If I may, the other thing is really attractive about this partnership that I think is unique from just about anything else out there is our ecosystem set of partners, right? So we’re talking about delivering true scalable enterprise solutions across various use cases, across various industries, right? It just doesn’t happen if you just take that smart glasses and an application, you put them together and you hope for the best. Right. You need partners that are in the business of implementing, integrating and deploying large It and system class applications, specifically in the service management arena. And the combination of Lenovo carrier with our ecosystem partners really deliver on that. And I’ll just say one of the areas is really around the triangulation that we’re doing with ServiceNow. And if you think about the triangulation between ServiceNow Lenovo carrier as an integrated offering, as an extension of those organizations that have implemented ServiceNow, which there are many and then there’s a host of si partners that really complement the triangulated solution to really deliver across these global enterprises really all makes this a very compelling and unique type of solution offering.
Speaker 1 (19:10)
Right? So if I was a company and I had sort of a large manufacturing process and I wanted to integrate these two, the hardware and the software, how would I go about that? Do I have to have sort of existing data in place or do you have some sort of.. Basically How do you walk in the door on this process? Exactly.
I guess Sam, I’ll go to you.
Speaker 2 (19:36)
So what’s really important is you look for an initial pilot that you could prove success in a relatively short time frame. And then the key is taking that pilot to production, being able to demonstrate the various outcomes user experience that go along with that. Then from there you expand into other type of use cases. So really a combination of an initial what we feel remote service with visual AR is an ideal initial use case. It’s impactful it’s a very short time to benefit and you could do this in a relatively quick time frame and then move that from pilot production, expand that with additional remote service visual AR use cases. And those really work very well with the Lenovo Glass experience and then branch into self service type of use cases so those users can have interactive content that powers their ability to complete tasks on a self guided basis. So start with the pilot that you could put parameters around in a relatively short time to benefit time frame from pilot to production. Expand that and then look for broader use cases that can benefit not just on a remote service basis, but also on a self service basis.
Speaker 1 (21:33)
So now that we’re sort of talking about use cases, maybe let me ask you guys about the enterprise sort of the immersive enterprise space in general. How does your products and platforms sort of fit into the space in terms of what is out there? Is it kind of just what you’re doing as a company looking for augmenting, their technical experience? You mentioned drone integration and all that as well. Give me sort of an umbrella overview of the enterprise space, like now, what people are actually using and what they’re needing. And maybe let’s talk about sort of how you guys fit into that in the puzzle.
Speaker 2 (22:20)
Yeah, look, this has been an evolution and AR augmented reality. It’s been a while, especially in the service arena, it’s been around for a while. It certainly has evolved and over time, things have gotten more sophisticated, if you will. And what we’ve seen out there is that there are tools, I mean, there are companies who have been using things like FaceTime to help augment pun intended, somebody’s ability to share what they see. Okay? So that’s been out there and it’s been used. And there’s technology that provides video collaboration, if you will, and that’s evolved into video with taking pictures and then drawing on pictures. Okay.
Speaker 2 (23:26)
And what we’ve seen is that there needs to be a better way to, number one, help those that need assistance, get help from those that could provide assistance any place in the world in a way that’s very visual, digital and seamless. And then we also need ways to empower those that need assistance and need some guidance to self serve or selfpower themselves to address those tasks. We were seeing these requirements, these needs come about more and more across different type of industries, if you will, from It data center to high tech to logistics, transportation to telco. It’s really a holistic set of use cases. How do I get help when I need it? How do I get access to information expertise when I need it? And what is the most convenient way for me to get that information, whether that’s on a mobile device or whether that’s on glasses with my hands free. So I’ve got both hands to get the job done. The last thing I’ll say is COVID. And the Pandemic has really been instrumental in accelerating this whole transformation of this service experience. No different than how telehealth has been around, no different how long distance learning has been around.
Speaker 2 (25:29)
But it’s brought focus and an acceleration to doing more, remotely, doing more on a self-guided basis. So all this kind of brought together more or less a perfect storm. And it’s really kind of set up a launching pad to really now move faster in these type of areas. And what we’ve seen as a result of some really dramatic outcomes and results from those really using it versus those not using it.
Speaker 1 (26:09)
And Vushal, maybe I’ll jump over to you, obviously from hardware manufacturer, you guys make lenovo makes PCs and tablets and all kinds of hardware. The augmented reality the smart glasses. Obviously. I assume this is AR. I didn’t research how many devices you actually have in the AR space, but this is probably how are you feeling about the hands free sort of augmented direction that we’re going with hardware? That must be all the talk of the Metaverse and all the other companies making this stuff. I mean, is this probably a major positioning for you guys? Right?
Speaker 3 (26:57)
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, Lenovo is the largest PC maker in the world, but then we’re more than just PC. We’re going through a very rapid service led transformation and our big focus is on services and solutions, as is evidenced by some of our great earnings in that division of our company. Right? So when the Noble looks at the enterprise metadata and the Think Reality platform, what we strive to do is not build hardware, but build a complete end to end solution, as I mentioned, which involves the Think Reality cloud, it involves services and professional solutions as well as best in class hardware. So we’ve tried to become a complete platform, a SaaS platform as well. And then thanks to partners like Car AR, we can add extra functionality and best in class functionality on top of that open platform too. So for us, this is not a hardware play, this is a complete solution play.
Speaker 1 (27:53)
Well, it looks like we’re kind of running low on time. I don’t want to keep guys too long, but I just want to say upfront that I think this sounds like a really smart, well thought out collaboration. I think it makes a lot of sense and I think it’s going to really provide a lot of value for people who are looking to sort of get involved in the enterprise space with this kind of tech. I also really like what you guys said about just keeping things open. I think open environments and open platforms and open hardware services are critical both now and moving into the future for this kind of tech. Anything else you guys want to add? How can you find out more about the collaboration?
Speaker 2 (28:33)
Sean, thanks for having us. I think just to put a recap on it from our side is you’ve got two of the largest and leading providers with Lenovo in the Glass and in the Compute space. You’ve got carrier in the AR powered with AI space. You’ve got an open architecture, you’ve got a large and viable ecosystem and we’re working with organizations such as ServiceNow and others. I think just the combination alone really provides a lot of credibility and a reduction of risk to those organizations that really want to start to either dip their toe into the whole augmented reality smart glass service experience space or are looking to now take it to the next level. We really think we’re the best-of-breed type of solution out there in the market today. For carrier. It’s easy. Go to our website, carrier.com. Or reach out to me at email@example.com. Two easy ways to get some additional information.
Speaker 3 (29:53)
Yeah, I’ll just add to that. Thank you for a great discussion here. It was very insightful. Questions? Yes, for us, as I said, we want to build the ultimate platform. That’s the on ramp to the enterprise metaphors for our customers. And we really appreciate this partnership with Car, our products. You can find out more about our firstname.lastname@example.org. ThinkReality we’ll send out some details to you as well and just go to the Lenovo website, look at AR VR section, and then you’ll get all the details on how to order and get more information as well. So looking forward to further collaboration in this area.
Speaker 1 (30:34)
I’ll definitely make sure I paste all the information in the show notes so listeners can check that out. It’s been a great conversation with you guys. Very informative. Thanks for being on the show.
Speaker 2 (30:45)
Thank you so much, Sean. Always a pleasure.
Speaker 3 (30:49)
Thank you. Likewise, folks. Have a great day.
Speaker 1 (30:53)
If you like this podcast, don’t forget to click the subscribe button to stay up to date on all the latest episodes. This podcast has been brought to you by the Robot Spaceship Podcast Network. For more info and other great podcast series, go to robotspaceship.com and subscribe.
Sean Earley is the Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.