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Introducing Mark Sage, Executive Director of the AR for Enterprise Alliance (AREA)

We caught up with Mark Sage from the AR for Enterprise Alliance to discuss just what AREA is, and what the future looks like for AR. 

Mark Sage AREA

The AR for Enterprise Alliance is a membership funded alliance, helping to accelerate the adoption of Enterprise Augmented Reality (AR) by creating a comprehensive ecosystem. Executive Director, Mark Sage had a chat with us to share his thoughts on what the future looks like with augmented reality.

Sage worked in the Telecom industry for over 15 years, bringing together organisations in the Mobile Operating Space, his history in mobile primed him for his role at AREA.

As the AREA Executive Director, his is tasked with bringing together the whole ecosystem of providers, enterprises, and non-commercial elements of augmented reality. Rather than fully immersive virtual reality experiences, Sage believes the key to adoption and best benefit for business today is to augment relevant, useful and timely content on top of the real world.

Sage believes the key to adoption and best benefit for business today is to augment relevant, useful and timely content on top of the real world.

“Totally immersive technology is a pretty lonely space, and the use cases for business can be more limited. Most businesses work in the real work and I’m very interested in how augmented content and contextual data can be used to improve business performance and create efficiencies.”

“Having come from the mobile space, AR still uses tablets and devices to augment the space, it ties into my history and it ticks the boxes of future technology. The AR industry is still in its infancy but already I’m seeing solutions that are creating real business benefit and change, it’s a really exciting space!”

Sage explains that what is most interesting about virtual and augmented realities is the possibilities the technologies are opening up.

From an enterprise industry perspective, it’s interesting how the new technology is allowing us to do things we’ve only dreamed of in business.

“It is enabling people to do much greater, wider things. From a personal perspective it’s amazing to consider the opportunities for the future. Being able to enhance any experience with additional augmented information will enrich our lives and help us make better and more informed decisions. From an enterprise industry perspective, it’s interesting how the new technology is allowing us to do things we’ve only dreamed of in business.”

AREA was created for innovative companies who wanted to invest in AR technologies. A pool of thought leadership content and resource has been created including case studies, use cases, technology white papers, innovative AR companies’ real life experiences. AREA are also developing return on investment analysis, requirements and leading edge research. People interested in exploring augmented reality needed a space to come together and learn, to co-innovate, and to build partnerships, AREA serves as that space.  Key to their proposition is the free and open exchange of best practices – enabling companies to make better decisions about investing in AR and the benefits it provides.

People interested in exploring augmented reality needed a space to come together and learn, to co-innovate, and to build partnerships, AREA serves as that space.

The enterprise augmented reality ecosystem is made up of three segments, enterprises, providers, and non-commercial agents.

The enterprises – those who are becoming aware of AR through research and often piloting implementation

The providers – those developing the solutions, software, hardware for the ecosystem

Non-commercial organisations – universities, public research institutes and agencies who deliver research and are pushing the boundaries of AR technology

Sage explains AREA as; “it really is a case of bringing those three sectors together to promote best practice, thought leadership, the latest technology insight and content that’s necessary for enterprises to make investment decisions – i.e. creating a set of global AR requirements.”

At present in augmented reality, Sage says there is uncertainty of where to investment. We’re still seeing the use cases being defined, so what we’re trying to build is a move towards a developing ecosystem. This comes from the fact that there are new tools coming out, and the fact that AREA is working towards clarity on best practice. We have reached the point where AR languages are being defined between companies. But Sage stresses we still need to look at the ROI and the bottom line, we’re tracking towards it but there is still work to be done.

Enterprises will be the best served by the benefits of AR according to Sage. He explains that this is because in the next generation of workers we’ll be more performance efficient. AR will change the ways companies train their staff and make the most of their time.

If you would like to learn more about enterprise augmented reality, Mark Sage is speaking at VR & AR World June 13-15. You can also register now to hear Mark for free on the TechXLR8 webinar, “Discussing AI & AR in the Enterprise” where he, and Ovum analyst Michael Azoff, will discuss how artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies are changing enterprise business.

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