Smart glasses and augmented reality (AR) have tremendous potential in the enterprise.
Forrester projects that 14.4 million users will use smart glasses in their jobs by 2025. Within that time, organizations would have spent $30 billion on hardware. This revolution is happening today.
Early adopters in a variety of industries already have identified several exciting new use cases that provide a significant return on investment, such as:
- Doctors using a smart glass during surgery;
- Students using mixed reality for immersive educational content;
- Sales associates at the retail point of sale;
- Engineers on the manufacturing floor;
- Workers in charge of material management in warehouses
Early smart glasses pilots usually involve a small number of devices, sometimes in single-digit numbers. However, when trying to scale to larger pilots and even production rollouts, businesses realize that they need a platform to centrally manage and integrate those devices into their enterprise systems. Organizations deploy a broad spectrum of devices to meet various use cases and are looking for an agnostic platform that enables management of all types of devices together.
To help enterprises unlock the potential of smart glasses and AR in their businesses, VMware today announced new partnerships with the top software and hardware manufacturers in the AR community. Through VMware AirWatch unified endpoint management support for these next-gen devices, our goal is to ensure interoperability and simplified management of smart glasses.
Using AirWatch to Manage Smart Glasses in the Enterprise
When deploying smart glasses, organizations need to consider a variety of different factors, such as:
1. Since smart glasses can run without being tethered to a primary device, they need to be treated as another endpoint gaining access to the organization’s infrastructure.
2. The use cases that are enabled by smart glasses are ultimately the result of applications that are installed on the device.
3. Apps may also need intranet access to retrieve content that needs to be displayed to the end user.
4. Smart glasses are typically corporate-owned, and will usually require IT to stage the device with apps and access to the network prior to deployment to end users.
5. To enable faster staging and asset tracking, the enrollment experience needs to be as simple as possible, with minimal prompts and interactions.
To enable IT to easily manage and deploy smart glasses, AirWatch provides a “staging” flow. You can create a staging user in AirWatch and download a package for that staging user from the console. The package is a zip file, which contains a script. All you need to do is plug in the device and run the script to enroll the device. The enrollment goes through without the need to enter username or passwords, greatly increasing IT’s ability to enroll these devices in bulk before sending it to the end users. This is crucial for devices with limited options to enter text.
Create profiles and upload applications the way you are used to in the AirWatch console for delivery to the device over the air. You can even choose to setup WiFi prior to enrollment as part of staging. By doing this, you can take the device out of the box and run the script without even having to connect the device to WiFi!
The Beginning of the Things Era
This week at Connect 2016 in Atlanta, VMware’s Sumit Dhawan shared a great Gartner stat from Embracing Digital Humanism:
“By 2020, there will be a ratio of approximately six intelligent devices/things for every human on the planet.”
We are excited to help businesses of all sizes in all industries learn how smart glasses and other connected things help their businesses innovate and grow.
For more information on smart glasses and AR at work, stay tuned here on the AirWatch Blog.
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