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The cloud and SaaS have long become winged words in the field of office software. But what’s behind them and how can we benefit from working in the cloud?
Every once in a while, a new technology crops up at the software horizon and is being hyped as the next big thing, revolutionary, or the office worker’s savior.
Just a few years ago, “the cloud” promised something similar. And there’s no denying that it is a solution that has since become an established and elaborate technology on the market.
Nowadays the cloud is an essential part of much of the work we do with our computers.
Cloud computing is growing fast with more and more software and services now becoming accessible in the cloud.
In many cases, users might not even be aware that they’re using cloud services or SaaS (Software as a Service), respectively.
That’s why it’s time to understand what exactly we’re dealing with, when referring to either of them, and in which situations we can actually benefit from making use of them.
On the other hand, it goes without saying that every solution comes with potential drawbacks that you want to be aware of, when deciding between the alternatives.
So, let’s take a look at how cloud computing works in practice.
What are the Cloud and SaaS?
First, let’s make an effort to understand what we’re referring to with those terms before discussing them:
Cloud computing …
… is an umbrella term and refers to the practice of storing, accessing and working on your data via the Internet instead of on your computer’s hard drive, or via a server located on your premises.
Some well-known examples of cloud computing services are Google Drive, Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.
SaaS (Software as a Service) …
… on the other hand, refers explicitly to software which isn’t for purchase and installation on your own computer, but rather is made available for direct use online via subscription.
SaaS runs on servers located at the software service provider. Access is usually gained via a web-browser and the service is generally paid for by the user through a regular subscription fee.
Some well-known examples of SaaS are the software applications provided by Salesforce.com, SAP, and Microsoft Office Online.
However, in Practice …
… the division between cloud and SaaS has become blurred, with storage provision and software applications often merged into one cloud-based service.
The Advantages of Cloud Computing
Let’s look at what the cloud and SaaS have to offer, first.
As I said before, they have found their way into the modern workplace and private use alike quite a while ago and there are good reasons for that:
One of the biggest advantages in using cloud-based software applications is the flexibility it offers.
That’s because the applications can be accessed no matter where you happen to be physically located.
You don’t even have to be in the office. You can be out on the road, at home, on a client’s premises, or even in a coffee shop.
The required processing power is being outsourced to the service provider’s machines.
So all you need to use the service is your computer, an Internet connection and a web browser
It really is that simple.
Also, nowadays it’s possible to combine many of the the applications, data storage, and communication tools you use via the internet to lever their individual capabilities.
Less IT Overhead
Another benefit of cloud computing is a much-reduced IT maintenance and installation overhead.
While the setup process still has to be coordinated, in most cases there’s little or nothing to install on the client side, nothing to upgrade, and no patches to maintain.
You don’t need to bother with any of these issues. They’re all taken care of by the provider who ensures that the software is always kept up to date and available for use at all times.
If you’re responsible for maintaining your own computer, then this will be a direct relief and benefit to you.
But even if your computer is the responsibility of your IT support team, they’ll thank you for cutting their support overhead through choosing to work in the Cloud rather than using locally installed software.
Another benefit of using cloud software is its instant scalability.
It’s much easier to add extra access points when you’re using cloud-based software than when you have to install all the software locally on every computer and device for every user.
Cloud services are not usually tied to specific machines or locations. So, you can easily add extra computer devices, new users, and additional locations.
You also save on hardware. Expensive servers aren’t required since the computer processing is all done on the cloud or SaaS provider’s machines.
Not only that, but keeping your data in the Cloud means you can also save on hardware storage facilities.
Your Data Can Be Maintained in One Place
Another advantage of the cloud is that, no matter how many devices you work from, you can still keep your data securely in one place.
You don’t have to worry about file server connections and the complexities involved with connecting to file server shares.
Nevertheless, of course you’re still dependent on your own WAN connection.
Your data can often be kept more securely in the Cloud. Providers that are well-recognized for their security are Dropbox for Business, Syncplicity, or Box.
However, we will also revisit this topic in the section that deals with the drawbacks of the cloud.
What Sort of Tasks Are Best Suited to Working in The Cloud?
So now that we know the advantages of cloud computing, which specific tasks can be completed more effectively with this technology?
Work from All Over the World
Since we named flexibility as one of the cloud’s biggest advantages, work that needs to be done from a lot of different locations, such as different offices or even work while travelling are well-suited to be done in the cloud.
Clouds and SaaS are also very practical for work that that requires people to access the same project or files from different places.
Team Collaboration Is Especially Suited to Working in The Cloud
Software solutions designed for team collaboration, generally known as groupware, have long been available on the market.
They are prime examples of how you can utilize the benefits of working in the cloud.
While older, not cloud-based groupware tended to be somewhat clunky to install, operate and maintain, cloud-based groupware has changed all that.
It leaves much of that work to the provider and only requires a web browser. At the same time, communication between team members is much easier and their time can be utilized much more efficiently.
This can especially be an advantage when team members of a project are spread out over different remote locations.
Customer Service Benefits
Customer service work is ideally suited to cloud computing, especially if you work as part of a remote-based team.
Their activity typically involves access to real time customer account and profile information which benefits from being maintained in one single location in the cloud, yet being accessible to all team members as and when required.
What Are the Disadvantages of Cloud Computing for Your Work Productivity?
As you can see, there’s a whole load of advantages to working in the Cloud when it comes to your work productivity.
But cloud computing does also come with some potential disadvantages – and it’s important to be aware of these.
Your Data May Not Always Be 100% Secure
The first and perhaps most important issue you should always consider is the security and integrity of your data.
We said above that storing your data in the cloud can be more secure than maintaining it locally on your own machines or on your own premises.
And that’s often true. But to what extent your data is kept fully secure in practice also depends on the provider and how security conscious they are.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
When it comes to your data, it’s important to maintain multiple backup copies at different – and secure – locations.
Cloud storage can play a useful role in this, but you shouldn’t rely exclusively on it.
Nor should you ever keep all your data backups at one physical location, nor with one single cloud provider.
So, ask yourself some questions about your cloud service provider before you commit to a service.
For example, does your cloud storage provider use file encryption, e.g. end-to-end encryption?
How robust are their login and access procedures? Two factor authentication and single sign-on can get you a long way in terms of security and convenience at the same time.
Do they themselves also maintain backups of their clients’ data stored with them?
Cloud Service Reliability Can Be at Risk from Hackers
It’s not only your data which can be at risk when using a cloud service provider.
Over the last few years, cloud and SaaS providers have seen their services interrupted by hacker activity such as DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.
Cloud service providers are generally well aware of the threats posed by hacking to their services and strive to maintain high levels of security.
But even some big-name providers have been the target of DDoS and Botnet attacks.
Such DDoS outages tend to last for a few hours. But when they occur, the result can be devastating in terms of the interruption and inconvenience caused to those depending on the service.
And needless to say, your work productivity can suffer as a consequence.
So, you need to consider how well equipped your cloud service provider appears to be to counter hacker threats and to recover from outages.
Internet Connectivity as a Bottleneck
If you’re working in the cloud, then obviously, the reliability of your Internet connectivity is going to be crucial. But does your Internet connection speed have to be fast?
The answer is perhaps surprising.
Even if the processing involves for example an SQL database or graphic processing applications, it still running on the cloud provider’s servers.
As long as your Internet connection only needs to display data and accept input, with the processing done on the cloud server, then this will probably not be an issue in itself.
However, if large volumes of data, for example complex graphical models, simulations and the like have to be displayed, then the speed of your Internet connection speed can be a factor to bear in mind.
Generally speaking, though, at least in urban locations, Internet speed and QoS (Quality of Service) is becoming less of an issue.
The greatest advantage of working in the cloud is the flexibility it gives you. You can work from anywhere at any time and you are not restricted to one single computer device.
Meanwhile, your data can be kept secure in one place and at the same time also be easily accessible to all team members.
Working in the cloud means less IT overhead when it comes to both hardware and software. Plus easy scalability for adding additional devices, as well as users.
Especially team collaboration can benefit from cloud working. Meetings and presentations can also be conducted in the cloud.
Customer service functions are ideally suited to cloud working, since support team members can benefit from team collaboration and centralized and easily accessible support and customer data.
On the downside, data security and service reliability can be an issue.
Finally, it’s also important to have a reliable Internet connection – both in terms of availability and connection latency, as well as data transfer speed.
The Internet of Things lives off the big numbers of devices connected to one another. To keep the overview, a comprehensive monitoring and management solution is essential.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to revolutionize the way we live.
But while it’s quite neat to have a fridge that never runs out of frozen pizza, that’s not really revolutionary, is it?
A smart home or smart building needs more than just individual objects connected to the Wi-Fi.
Really smart buildings use a wide range of sensors that detect movements, temperature, or moisture levels – just to name a few – that monitor their environment and provide the information to a central point.
When all the data is being processed and utilized by an integrated system, that is when IoT shows its true potential and can deliver on that ambitious promise to revolutionize the way we live.
The only problem is: The more sensors and devices there are in one system, the harder it gets to monitor, manage and maintain all of them.
After all, all the sensors in the world won’t help, if you don’t keep the overview and control over them.
TeamViewer and HARMAN Team Up for a Joint IoT Solution
To deliver a comprehensive solution to monitor and manage small and large numbers of IoT devices in smart homes or buildings, TeamViewer and HARMAN started a collaboration.
Before, HARMAN customers with smart buildings were already able to use the HARMAN IoT gateway to gather the status of building devices through more than 500 different sensor types.
By combining their Smart Building management system and TeamViewer’s remote control offering, operations managers and service technicians can continuously monitor the IoT Gateway.
The operational status of the gateway is displayed in HARMAN’s Smart Building dashboard, with additional detail available on TeamViewer’s own extensive monitoring dashboard.
The solution displays critical information collected from a variety of sensors as well as monitor the sensors and gateways.
That way, service technicians and operations managers can receive notifications on the sensors, including common problems such as connectivity or battery power issues, as well as the possibility to access the gateway to run updates or troubleshoot remotely.
Access will be enabled through a web interface on the gateway.
The Future is Near
The industries around the internet of things have taken some major steps in maturing the array of technologies needed to tap into its full potential.
Without naming any of the extrapolations estimating astonishing numbers of IoT devices by year X, it’s already clear that IoT is a term that will coin the present and future.
The internet of Things is sure to hold improvements in living standards, as well as efficiency and productivity.
That being said, at the same time we must continue to improve and develop new solutions to get everything out of the technology while keeping it manageable and secure.
The market of digital signage is already big, and growing ever so steady. And with it does the necessity to stay in full control of the devices at any time anywhere.
Back in 1984, Philips installed the first video wall, otherwise known as digital signage.
To put this into an up to date context, the market was valued at 16.88 billion US dollars in 2015 by marketsandmarkets and is expected to reach 27.34 billion by 2022.
And that growth just completely makes sense in a world that shifts more and more to digital approaches in every area of life.
Furthermore, according to Philips, the future of digital signage is most likely cloud-based and much more global installations.
So what are we talking about here exactly and what is digital signage presently capable of?
Digital signage displays advertisement, maps, or travelling information, among others publicly on screens.
Opposed to their analogue counterparts, it is much more flexible, can display videos and even be interactive.
Take for example a display showing the map of a shopping mall. People can find their destination much easier on an interactive solution by typing in the store they want to visit, than they ever could on a static printed – and maybe outdated – map.
But the displays are also used to provide more urgent information, such as flight departures. Since these contents have been present on screens in everyday life for a long time, it’s safe to say everyone is aware how important reliable functioning of them really is.
The bottom line is that while digital signage offers that great deal of flexibility and capabilities, it is also important for owners to always stay in full control of it at any time and from anywhere.
The ability to log into the screens to solve problems as quickly as possible is indispensable, especially if your displays provide vital information 24/7.
Why Philips Decided for TeamViewer
Just recently, Philips and TeamViewer established a collaboration.
All Philips digital signage screens will have the TeamViewer Host module integrated for Philips to have cost efficient, immediate and total control over their screens.
Both companies demonstrated the first results from the new partnership at ISE2017.
But why don’t you see for yourself?
The TeamViewer Host module now allows to remotely access Philips’ screens from virtually anywhere.
It is not only possible to change the content the screen displays, but also to troubleshoot it and change all the settings of the respective device to your hearts content.
A Growing Digital Signage Market
As always, the vast growth of a market also poses challenges to both manufacturers and users.
In many cases, the observer is forced to rely on the accuracy and functioning of the displayed contents.
That’s why, along with the exploding numbers of devices, the ability to fully control all of them is all the more important to display the right information on the right screen at the right time.
Luckily, we can say that Philips and TeamViewer will actively work on overcoming future challenges in collaboration.
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When there’s a Beta version of a program you’re really fond of, should you use it? You’re excited to see the new features, but also cautious about potential drawbacks. How can we weigh up the pros and cons?
The much anticipated release of the TeamViewer 12 Beta has got me thinking about previous Beta versions of software that I’ve used.
Last year there was a Beta version of my favorite operating system that was about to be released, and I really struggled with the decision of whether to install it or not.
“What if it’s buggy? Totally different from what I’m used to? Or just downright stupid?” I asked myself.
“But I really want to see the new features! I’ll regret missing out on what is just as likely to be the most advanced version ever.” I reasoned.
I guess we’ve all been there at some point or another, and it’s always the same questions.
To put an end to making these decisions with our gut – which is never a completely reliable source, let’s try to focus on the facts: What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the Beta version of a program?
But first of all – let’s get the facts straight about what Beta versions are.
IBM First Used Beta Versions
At some point in the middle of the last century, IBM started using the Alpha/Beta terminology as part of the software release life cycle.
These tests were run to have programs tested under real-life conditions. While developers can search for flaws from their perspective, no debugging can serve with the unpredictable behavior of the average user.
As to Betas, there are closed or private ones that are only available to a restricted group of people, and the so called open or public Betas, open to either larger groups of people or anyone interested.
In general, these groups must fulfill certain requirements, but on many other occasions just about everyone can test them out.
The Purpose of Betas
Companies let people test their programs for a number of reasons, but primarily to:
- Gain insight in why and how people use the program
- And therefore, their favorite and least favorite parts
- Find out, if the user benefits from the features at all
- Uncover bugs and general problems
These points are all supposed to ensure customer satisfaction and to enhance the products quality for the final version.
The Duration of Beta Versions
The testing phase of Betas can last everywhere from a few weeks up to several months.
There may even be an abrupt stop, if there are heavy issues discovered that will not allow for further progress.
The other extreme to be talked about here are so called “perpetual Betas”.
For some companies, they’ve long become a common practice, e.g. Google labeled some of its services like Gmail as beta for even a few years.
The Advantages of Using Beta Versions of Software
Using a Beta undoubtedly has many advantages, really. Some of them might not be obvious at first, admittedly.
Though here’s one that is: You’ll see a new product before anyone else outside the Beta group. It is an exclusive right, not granted to many!
You can be part of a narrow circle of your favorite program’s community, where you may share your thoughts and ideas for the Beta and the new version.
No average user will be able to compete with your level of knowledge about the software by the final release. You’ll long know your way around the new features, while the general user base doesn’t.
Make Better Use of Your Hardware
Even though a Beta version is not perfect, there might already be vast improvements when it comes to optimizing processing speed and overall usage of what your hardware has to offer.
The Beta might e.g. be available in a 64-Bit version, allowing for an effective use of your CPU, if you run a 64-bit operating system.
Another topic that grows ever more crucial for all of us is the battery life of our mobile devices. Seriously, what’s more annoying than an empty battery?
Fortunately, developers know these problems and work on more efficient battery use, too.
Boost Your Productivity with New Features
Apart from looking more fancy, new versions often provide functionality that makes your life much easier.
The Beta might fix the things that you always criticized in the existing features.
But there may also be some entirely new features that cut out much effort spent on work that could be done much easier, because it’s always the same steps.
Or you don’t have to open up all sorts of other applications, if the developers included tools that do the job within their own program.
These possible improvements can make your work more enjoyable and effective.
Support the Developers
For me, one of the most important advantages to mention here is the possibility of shaping the final product yourself.
If you believe that the program is great, be it due to its innovative capacity, it serves a good cause, or you just think more people should use it, you can help the developers create the best product they can.
When talking about our favorite software, there’d be nothing more satisfying than seeing your feedback implemented, don’t you think?
And that’s not unlikely, since one purpose of Betas is to gain the user’s feedback to begin with.
Can I Really Make a Difference?
Yes, you can for sure!
The more feedback you give, the more of a difference you make.
Since successful Betas themselves can make the difference between the product becoming a success or a failure, your opinion makes up a big part of that.
See, every bug you report, any kind of misunderstanding, usability/accessibility issue, etc. that is uncovered thanks to you is most likely to be fixed as soon as possible.
Let the developers know what aspects about the new features you like and what you don’t like, what else you would appreciate, and anything that could help to ensure your satisfaction at the final release.
The Potential Drawbacks
Not all Betas are made the same. Some Beta versions are released at a very early stage – months or even years before the final version.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at what some of the drawbacks might be of using a Beta version.
Primarily, there are two factors to consider here:
Depending on the stage of development before the Beta was released, you could run into not a few bugs.
Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that a Beta cannot be considered an accurate representation of the final product, because the purpose of such an early-stage Beta is to improve on the current stage of development.
If you find your workflow rather disrupted by a new design where e.g. things are in different places that they used to be, consider if these changes could be useful once you’ve grown used to them.
When I catch myself feeling reluctant towards a new design, I remind myself that it will likely only take a few hours of usage to have it feel natural again.
That’s thanks to more intuitive design, which in turn is often implemented with new versions.
As for security, which is always a big topic with everything related to a computer:
Only install Betas that come from trusted sources! You can’t know what a file labeled beta from some person on the internet actually does to your computer.
This is especially important when working with machines that have critical data on them.
However, don’t forget that some Betas actually have significant security upgrades!
What If I Want to Stop Using a Beta Version?
So what happens if you go ahead and start using a Beta, only to find that it really doesn’t match up to your expectations?
In this case, quitting the Beta should be absolutely no problem.
If for any reason you don’t want to take part in the Beta anymore, you can always uninstall the program or get back to the older version you might have used before.
Remember, that you’re not bound to a contract by any means. The only one who decides, if and when you use the program, is you.
If you’re interested in exploring the next version of a program you already enjoy, trying out the Beta is the way to have a look at something that only few people got to see up to that point.
In fact, right now you can be one the first people to try out the TeamViewer 12 Beta!
You can be a valuable source of feedback and help to shape the final outcome and also get a number of advantages out of it.
The Beta phase can vastly vary in duration from program to program. You can quit anytime without facing any consequences that would put you in a bad position, though.
As a final statement, I think it’s always at least worth giving the Beta version a try! I rarely found myself disappointed.
Why don’t you tell me about your experiences with Betas? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!
If they need immediate support, the ability to connect to colleagues on the road can be crucial and decide over success and failure.
Navigation systems sure have come a long way, since they’ve become a common tool for pretty much every driver.
We rely on them whenever we go to a destination the way to which we’re not a hundred percent familiar with.
And that is just common sense. Why wouldn’t we?
A good navigation system can find the best route for your criteria, anticipate traffic jams or construction sites and other roadblocks.
While such functionality is really convenient for the average driver, it can be more than that: a highly valuable tool, e.g. in logistics, or save lives when it comes to emergency services.
For example, ambulances, fire departments’ vehicles, the police and others very often depend on taking the optimum route to their destination.
Now, for these business purposes and the like, it is easy to imagine that it makes sense to offer highly customizable navigation systems.
It is possible to adapt systems to serve the most particular operations, such as public transportation, waste management, or emergency response.
Modern navigation systems can take advantage of their ability to communicate with each other and additional devices to lever the well-known functionalities of previous generations’ navigating abilities and enrich them with the possibilities of the internet of things.
As mentioned before, many of us rely heavily on navigation devices for private and business use. However, no operator is perfect and neither is any technology.
Sometimes, a driver might need urgent help troubleshooting their system to reach their destination in time.
Luckily, tech support is only one click away.
Providing Remote Support to Colleagues’ TomTom BRIDGE on the Road
Thanks to a collaboration between TeamViewer and TomTom that emerged in 2016, users of a BRIDGE driver terminal can now remotely share their screens with tech support to get help with troubleshooting in real-time.
Any driver experiencing problems or needing configuration changes to their driver terminal can alert the central fleet management team, which will provide support there and then.
They will receive immediate support and fleet management teams can be sure to deliver the right solution for the driver.
This is most important for those businesses operating fleets with a wide variety of vehicles with different driving requirements.
“The integration of TeamViewer QuickSupport will help TomTom BRIDGE users connect to customers and colleagues without multiple, complex steps or lengthy preparation times”, says Sebastian Ruffino from TomTom BRIDGE.
This means that even in situation where time is of the upmost importance, drivers aren’t left literally on their own device, but they can contact a professional who should be able to help and save them time wasted on trial and error troubleshooting.
The Importance of Easy-to-Connect Devices
Examples like the one above, so devices that combine their data to achieve maximum effectiveness, will become more and more important for private and especially business use cases as part of the internet of things.
With the number of vehicles on the rise, inter-connected navigation systems could well be a way to improving traffic congestion.
At the same time, solutions to maintain and support these elaborate devices are needed to guarantee reliability to the user.
Remote support of is the best, if not the only way to provide support to devices built into vehicles due to the highest flexibility possible.
The competition amongst television manufacturers is enormous with many big tech players in the industry. However, smart TVs offer great possibilities not only for customers, but also for manufacturers.
When thinking of smart TVs, the user’s benefits are the first things that come to mind:
A multitude of features that break the barrier between the offerings of traditional television services and the gigantic capacities and range of diverse internet content.
The line between televisions and computers has been blurred by providing the good old tube with an internet connection and applications for ease of use.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
In most households, the TV was probably the first object, except for phones, that got smart – probably even long before the average consumer had heard of the internet of things at all.
Nevertheless, or maybe because of that, the manufacturers had to make their learnings regarding user experience and interface design and it was not until recently that best practices were implemented throughout the industry.
Still, a smart TV is harder to use than a regular TV. The simple availability of more options and possibilities at the same time automatically results in more possible errors and faulty settings.
That might go on to a point where the user is just frustrated and sends their smart TV back to their reseller or to the manufacturer to get the allegedly broken TV fixed by them.
As an obvious consequence, the frustration, anger and inconvenience that come along with such issues are then projected onto the associated brand.
Now, this is where the not so obvious advantages of smart TVs for manufacturers come into play:
Due to their collaboration with TeamViewer, Philips can now offer an easier solution for all of these problems and tremendously increase their brand image and customer loyalty by providing the TeamViewer QuickSupport App pre-installed.
If It Has an Internet Connection, It Can Be Supported Remotely
Many IoT devices rely on Android to provide for the software platform running, for example, Points of Sales, ATMs, public displays, or vending machines.
With TeamViewer, users can support a wide range of operating systems and, of course, Android is one of them.
Using the QuickSupport App on a smart TV, the device can be controlled remotely by a technician or the owner.
By pre-installing the QuickSupport App on Philips smart TVs, Philips is able to drastically cut costs for shipping and handling in support cases.
“We find that many issues with smart TVs stem from faulty system settings. Yet many users may blame these errors on the brand and then stay away from it all together. […] These cases can now be handled and resolved remotely within minutes.” said David Kou, General Manager at TP Vision.
For the customers that means support is only one step away, when a problem occurs. The integration makes it possible for them to receive help with minimal interruption of their enjoyment and TV experience.
As mentioned above, Android TV owners can also make use of the QuickSupport App themselves to remotely control their TV.
For example, they could use it to set up TV programs for their children, or even remotely trigger the recording of a TV broadcast.
As always, TeamViewer stays on top of the latest security and privacy standards.
IoT and Remote Support – the Perfect Fit
TeamViewer’s collaboration with Philips makes for a perfect example of how everyone involved can benefit from the potential of the Internet of Things.
The customers don’t have to be frustrated over what is actually a minor issue, e.g. in the TV’s system settings.
They can just notify a supporter, who will be able to quickly connect to their device and solve the problem within a few minutes and as if they sat right in front of the TV.
The supporters themselves are not forced to carry around, unpack and repack TVs that were shipped to them, but all they have to do is to connect directly from their computer.
For Philips as a company, they gain a much better image and customer loyalty by offering such an easy and convenient solution to their customers while drastically cutting shipping costs and becoming much more efficient with their support.
I believe that remote support and IoT devices are really a smart combination. If you try it out once, you don’t want to go back to the old way anymore – no matter if you’re a customer, supporter or company.
Ever wanted to see through someone else’s eyes? Thanks to augmented reality and screen sharing, this is not a dream anymore.
The development of virtual and augmented reality devices has started to accelerate in the last couple of years – and they’re here to stay in the foreseeable future.
Having reached their current level of maturity, augmented reality glasses yield a lot of interesting use cases.
By placing an additional layer over the user’s natural field of vision, it is possible to vastly enrich it with information.
Sensors that keep track of e.g. their motions, vision and voice then allow wearers of AR glasses to intuitively interact with that information in the context of their environment.
Due to the abilities to display and collect information, augmented reality tools have the potential to substitute a variety of “old” tools in the workplace that workers then won’t have to carry around anymore or integrate information directly into work in progress.
Here are some common examples:
- In warehouses, they could provide a live map of all items in the storage and substitute clipboards and scanners used to keep track of and update item information.
- Construction workers, or mechanics, could receive guidance, request information on the object they’re working on, action plans and the like.
- Doctors and surgeons could receive live information on their patient to keep vital data in their field of peripheral sight.
But where does screen sharing come into play?
Consult Experts and Let Them See Through Your Glasses
The example of construction workers and mechanics is also great to showcase how screen sharing of AR glasses can help you out.
In these areas, workers often face very unique issues because of the potentially high degree of customization and overall difference from project to project or model to model.
Especially when being on a tight schedule, consulting an expert can save hours of research.
Take for example a mechanic repairing an airplane:
Every hour the plane stands still costs the company tens of thousands of dollars in opportunity costs, so getting it back up and running again quickly is crucial.
If the mechanic’s facing a serious roadblock they can’t resolve on their own, they can share the screen of their glasses with an expert and receive guidance to get the problem out of the way as fast as possible.
TeamViewer Integrates with Antheer AiR Smart Glasses
To enable screen sharing as well as remote support for users of the Antheer AiR smart glasses, Antheer established a partnership with TeamViewer.
That means that, additionally to screen sharing, a supporter can also help the AiR user troubleshooting or even interact with the augmented contents of their smart glasses.
That is thanks to the TeamViewer Host module that allows for unattended access to the device.
Unattended access is vital for companies maintaining enterprise-class devices, such as the Android-based AiR Glasses, since staff is no longer required to be present to confirm the incoming connection.
At the same time, key security concerns such as data protection and privacy are guaranteed as initial access to unattended devices can only be granted by authorized staff.
Transforming the Workplace
There’s no doubt that augmented reality will have a big impact on the way many of us work every day, once the technology goes beyond the phase of early adopters and becomes available to the masses.
With applications specifically designed for the different fields of work, there isn’t be a job where augmented reality devices, such as the AiR glasses, can’t bring a benefit to the user.
Their ability to comprehensively provide contextual information about the things we see and interact with our environment in new ways boost efficiency and productivity.
Last but not least, smart glasses unlock new ways to collaborate with ease, allowing the partners to see through the same pair of eyes.
We can be excited to see the future breakthroughs in the area of augmented reality.