[INTERVIEW] Exploring Augmented Reality with Insider Navigation

In an interview with digitus, Lena Miglbauer of Insider Navigation from Vienna, Austria, explains what Augmented Reality (AR) is, what benefits AR brings to businesses, and how small and medium businesses can adopt AR to optimise processes.

01:00 What is Augmented Reality and how does an AR app work?

02:00 What is the difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality?

02:35 How is Augmented Reality used?

03:58 What hardware does Augmented Reality require?

04:31 How can businesses benefit from AR?

07:25 What are the big growth areas of AR?

08:53 How can businesses start to adopt AR?

10:40 How much does Augmented Reality cost?

 

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

John: Hi everyone, my name is John Raul. I am the Head of Digital for digitus, a digital agency startup based here in Singapore specializing in digital marketing and Technology Advisory. 

In this video, I will interview Lena Miglbauer of Insider Navigation, our technology partner from Vienna, Austria, to talk about augmented reality and learn more about this technology. How AR is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses alike to optimize their business processes and more. Without further ado, I’d like to welcome Lena. Thanks, Lena for accepting my invitation and for joining me here in this video. I hope things are well with you. 

 

Lena: I’m doing good. It’s a nice and beautiful day in Vienna and I’m very thankful for this opportunity and thank you for the invitation.  

 

John: Yeah sure, so let’s get into it. Could you talk about augmented reality, like what it is and how does an AR app work basically?  

 

Lena: Basically, augmented reality is the technology that expands our physical world, adding layers of digital information onto it and with the help of AR technologies, we can be more interactive with our natural surroundings. Plus, I think the value for industry is huge. How does an AR app at work work? I would say basically like any other app we know. It only involves technologies like for example, SLAM. What we are using for example in our augmented reality platform but through the camera, you are not only seeing your real environment but you also see how digital data merges with the physical environment.  

 

John: Well, having said that, so what is the difference between augmented reality and virtual reality? Are they are the same or different?  

 

Lena: No, there is a difference. Augmented reality allows a digital content to look like it’s part of the physical world and this is also the main difference to VR. VR transports users into a completely digital world and they experience things through our computers that don’t really exist. 

 

John: So yeah my next question is: how can I use AR as an individual? You know, how does it enrich my life and experience as a user? on the user standpoint? 

 

Lena: I think to be fair, the application areas for augmented reality are large. You can use it in all kinds of industries. For example for maintenance process optimizations, but also in the healthcare sector to track your equipment or to guide hospital visitors directly to the patient’s room. Also, augmented reality can provide new ways of learning or onboarding and training new people, employees. I think further, augmented reality can be also used in retail to guide people through shopping malls or supermarkets and do advertisements via augmented reality. You see there there are a lot of areas where augmented reality can be applied actually. 

 

John: I can imagine that, actually. Just now you just mentioned it, it could be that before I buy some clothes, I could use my camera with the augmented reality feature in it and I can somehow preview how the clothes will look on me before I even purchase it, without even touching the physical object. Yes, having said that, is there any special requirement in terms of hardware to implement augmented reality?

 

Lena: Not really. To be fair, you can use any kind of hardware, like tablets, smartphones, computers and so on. But in order for AR to work on these devices, they must have sensors and processors that can support the high demands of AR. So that means the devices have to be really quick enough.

 

John: Okay, that’s good to know. So let’s go towards the business applications of AR. Could you educate us on how businesses can take advantage of AR? You have already mentioned some of them, but how about in terms of business processes. Yeah. Marketing. I think you partly mentioned some of them. I was just thinking maybe you could give us some examples, I know you are coming from an AR company, so you deal with clients and your clients are using your application, things like that, so perhaps you could shed light on how businesses are using your apps and in what applications?

 

Lena: Sure, to be fair, from all my talks with clients right now, I always get the feedback that they need to be more and more efficient and without spending a lot of money and it doesn’t matter if they’re having a shutdown or have to quickly restart again or if they only work with minimum staffing but still need to run with hundred and fifty percent. I think here augmented reality can be a real benefit. Let’s take the example of preventive maintenance. I think every industry, every company knows this difficult topic. Most maintenance routines are completed by filling out a checklist in paper form. The staff may cheat in terms of not working properly or not having the right information at the right spot. And everyone knows to onboard new employees with good skills, cost money. 

So basically, we from Insider Navigation, together with our Hong Kong partner, develop for all those problems, a quick-to-implement AR solution with a high return of investment. This means with this solution, the staff can be, more efficient, sees real-time information exactly where they need it. And the checklists, which were before in paper form, are now digital on the mobile devices and are only available once the inspector really reaches the designated location. And so now, less experienced technicians are enabled to solve more complex tasks and so you can actually basically reduce your training costs. The big advantage is that not only does productivity gets optimized, but also of course the inspection quality and I think this is a huge benefit. 

 

John: Oh yeah that’s true. Having said that, where do you think what are the big growth areas ahead? I know that I based on what you’ve explained by far, AR seems to have a wide range of application across literally every industry. So what do you think, where would be the most promising growth area for you? You know from your perspective.  

 

Lena: I read the other day an article, where it was stated, that most people’s first experience with AR today are likely to be in gaming or entertainment. 

 

John: Or Social Media!

 

Lena: Yes! I think this is likely to change. It also shows in the meantime, that the development of enterprise augmented reality solutions are overtaking that on the consumer side. And from my experience, more and more industrial augmented reality applications are requested.

 

John: Oh yes, of course. If more people are familiar with this technology, AR, then it will just be matched by the industry, right. 

 

Lena: Exactly! 

 

John: I just read an article, actually just literally earlier before this interview, on the trends of social media and it was listed, one of the biggest trends that they’re expecting to see this year is the rise of augmented reality. So I think that when this technology proliferates among the masses, then it will be easier for entrepreneurs to really catch up and adopt this technology and integrate it with their business processes. So my question is, if I am a business, what are the first steps that I have to do, to embrace AR? Because maybe I’m not that familiar with AR and I’m looking at, okay I’ve heard about AR, I have heard about how it can optimize my process but what should be my first step?

 

Lena: I would say the first step is actually always the most difficult one. Because you have to face your current problems. No one wants to talk about the pain points. But actually this is the the first question you should ask yourself. What is my problem? How much does, for example, a major repair of a machine which causes normally a large downtime, costs me per hour per week per year? And once you are aware of how much money you are actually losing, I think AR solutions like this AR preventive maintenance solution from us, mentioned before, become more and more interesting and also beneficial. 

 

John: Yeah, okay that’s good. Let me just say AR, really based on the current applications with your products, it really helps makes processes efficient, and you know, getting more out of your investment and therefore as a result, you increase your business profit right because then we will optimize all your processes and many processes in the business, is that right?

 

Lena: Exactly. I think with AR, you can really optimize all your business processes and really get a lot out of it. So the return of investment is really high. 

 

John: So then my last question is that as of now, can small and medium businesses embrace AR? Or is this currently being embraced by bigger companies who have maybe deeper pockets?

 

Lena: Customers also always ask me that, how much it cost! 

 

John: Yeah I could imagine.

 

Lena: I understand they want to know it. But I think this shouldn’t be the question, in my opinion. The question always should be, how much can I or do I save. It should be about how many downtimes can I reduce with this AR solution. How much labor costs can I save without having a machine shut down the whole time or how much more can I produce actually with AR technologies. I mean to be fair, I can only talk now about our solution and our costs. For example, an implementation of our augmented reality platform can be done in a few days. Even in large scale venue and our advantage is definitely that we have a really low set-up cost and also just a monthly license fee based on the size of the venue. It really depends on the company from the costs perspective, if I can only tell you. 

 

John: So does that mean that if a small and medium say, for example, construction or construction-related or manufacturing related businesses were considering to use AR to optimize these processes, that, if they approach Insider Navigation, you could offer some sort of a tailored solution and after maybe sharing about their pain points and problems and then you can offer some sort of you know a custom solution for them? 

 

Lena: Of course I mean, basically we from InsiderNavigation have an augmented reality platform and besides what the company name already says, besides navigation, you can add many more solutions on top, like optimizing maintenance or inspection processes, training, onboarding, factory monitoring showing live IoT data, and this is all of course, tailor-made for the specific customer. For every company, small, medium, large, it doesn’t matter. 

 

John: That’s cool because actually that’s the reason why digitus is partnering with you  because we are all focused on digital marketing and helping businesses with their, well not just marketing but also sales and other business processes in general. We feel that it is really important for us to have Insider Navigation as our partner because it’s something we can extend as a service, as an add-on value and I think businesses will really benefit from this technology. I think I’m excited to see more application of AR and especially when we start seeing our clients are using this technology to improve their own businesses and generate more revenue. 

 

Right. Actually, I have just exhausted my list of questions for you and I think even though that was short, I learned a lot myself about AR today. I want to thank you so much for your time in joining me in this video. I think that was a great interview. So to our viewers, please send us your comments, if you have any questions about augmented reality. I’m sure Lena will be excited to hear about your feedback or your questions. Of course if you enjoy this video, let us know, so we can do more of this, I can interview some more people if you are kin with that. 

 

Of course, visit our website digitus.sg and insidernavigation.com to learn more about our products and services. How we can help support your business especially in these parallel times. If you are interested to get the latest updates of both companies, you could always keep in touch with us and get the latest updates on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages. So make sure you follow those pages. 

 

I am hoping to see you all again in our next video and I wish you all have a nice week ahead and of course, you Lena, thanks again for your time for joining me here and I was not good speaking with you and hopefully, we can do another video again to speak more about AR and how it can help a specific industry. Perhaps we could use this video as the first one. Thank you so much! 

 

Lena: Thank you too! 

 

 

Visit our websites: 

digitus: https://www.digitus.sg

Insider Navigation: https://www.insidernavigation.com

 

Follow our LinkedIn pages:

Digitus: https://www.linkedin.com/company/kvp-digitus/

Insider Navigation: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ins-insider-navigation-systems-gmbh/

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