How to Choose the Right AR Software
When you decide to implement an industrial Augmented Reality project, you need to identify the appropriate software solution. There are a growing number of software providers in this space, some with off the shelf solutions, while others build bespoke solutions for particular needs. UtilityAR offers both, with off the shelf solutions for many application, while also developing and adapting solutions for some customers. Where other software providers are more suitable for your needs, we or other consultants can advice you on the best option in that space. Some things to consider are:
Off the shelf vs bespoke solutions
Off the shelf solutions offer a cost effective and proven solution which is readily available and comes with a host of documentation and experience. In many cases the developers continue to develop upgrades and bug fixes which can be added to your system if required. That said, it may not be tailored specifically to your needs and involve “hacking” solutions together to make everything work as you wish.
Bespoke solutions mean that you can develop the exact solution that meets your requirements, tailored to include all your companies detailed needs. The reality is however that this comes at significant cost. The time required to complete the development is significant and it is likely that new requirements will continue to present themselves as you go, meaning that the project can go on for some time. Any upgrades or bug fixes will also come at significant cost.
Ease of Use
Having been involved in over 50 projects of this type, our observation is that this is the single most important feature of any software system chosen. As we are asking workers to use a completely different technology to anything that they have experienced before, providing them with an easy to use software is the most important thing in encouraging the to use it.
As mentioned above, we expect to see significant developments in the hardware space over the coming years. It is important therefore to choose software solutions that can be adapted to provide a similar feel to your staff in a range of different headsets, many of which have not yet been developed. A commitment from the software developer to do this is critical.
Open API to Interface with Other Systems
Many AR applications are powered by other database and management tools that your organisation already has in place. This might be asset, quality or scheduling management systems or other design and development tools. It is important that the solution you choose can be integrated with those other tools and so allow you to share data without creating information silos in your organisation.
Possibly the last important thing to consider in choosing software is to compare the features available in comparable software solutions. While there may be some critical features which are important to your business, often non-essential features create clutter which only serve to reduce the ease of use discussed above.
Depending on the use case, IT will likely need to be involved from an early stage in your AR project. Many company firewalls and other security systems block new devices from joining the WIFI network, while others block things like video calling from new services. Your AR headset will need to be able to be able to connect without need for pop-ups or sign ins added by local IT. If these extra steps are required, it will greatly increase the complexity of usage and reduce the likelihood of usage significantly.
We suggest showing IT how the technology could be used by them to reduce the pressure they are under and so make their lives easier. This will assist with getting their buy in and assistance on the project.
Visit our website for more information on how Augmented Reality Solutions can be applied to your business! If you want further information, forward your questions to - firstname.lastname@example.org