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Cool Vendors in Enterprise Wearable and Immersive Technologies, 2017 Published: 7 June 2017 ID: G00325871

Cool Vendors in Enterprise Wearable and Immersive Technologies, 2017

Published: 7 June 2017

ID: G00325871

Analyst(s): Chris Silva, Annette Jump, Angela McIntyre, Brian Blau, Marty Resnick

Many I&O leaders struggle to build a complete platform to support wearable devices in the enterprise. This research highlights innovative tools that go beyond hardware and address issues key to a successful enterprise wearable device strategy: content, device management, integration and security.

Key Findings

Gartner sees interest among global companies to deploy wearable and immersive technologies across training, production and service delivery taking shape in 2017.

Keen interest is exhibited in the head-mounted display (HMD)-based technologies of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), with the former representing a majority of Gartner's inbound client interest in 2017 to date.

A volatile market due to its relative immaturity, the AR/VR space offers great opportunities for both technology providers and enterprises, but market forces can shift swiftly, negating any gains.

Recommendations

Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders focused on mobile and endpoint strategies should:

Account for the complete solution set of enterprise wearable technology by including management and content tools alongside hardware when creating a strategy.

Protect your business from market exits or vendor pivots as established IT vendors move into this space by focusing on product compatibility and offerings with broad support.

Avoid incompatible policies and clumsily displayed content on these new endpoints by recreating policies and refactoring content instead of directly migrating it from its con guration for use with traditional devices.

Analysis This research does not constitute an exhaustive list of vendors in any given technology

Analysis

This research does not constitute an exhaustive list of vendors in any given technology area, but rather is designed to highlight interesting, new and innovative vendors, products and services. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

What You Need to Know

Gartner is witnessing enterprise strategy take on new frontiers as organizations look to formally adopt wearable devices and immersive technology across logistics, training and production environments. Global organizations are actively using AR technology to enhance service delivery in the eld and streamline warehouse operations. Emerging use cases deliver delighted customers and well-informed workforces through immerse customer experiences using VR, and train employees in complex operations and tasks with the same technology. Whether using the technologies less familiar to the traditional mobile and endpoint strategy or offering the more familiar wearable in the form of a smartwatch to provide workers with easily accessible information, understanding this market and its up-and-coming players is a key step toward modernizing endpoint strategy.

Those organizations supplying technology to the HMD market writ large — including AR and VR devices — or seeking to provide value atop these technologies, such as content, management and customization, can gain insight from the vendors selected here. Studying these rms' strategies and challenges can help to identify partners and validate or repudiate market approaches in an emerging and volatile space.

Augmate

New York, New York (www.augmate.com)

Analysis by Chris Silva

Why Cool: Augmate has emerged as an early player focused exclusively on the provisioning, deployment and management of wearable devices for enterprise device eets. Similar to enterprise mobility management (EMM) tools — some of which have built this functionality also — Augmate has partnered with various hardware vendors in the wearable devices space to ensure support for custom implementations of OSs such as Android and proprietary offerings to automate application of software updates, con guration (such as WLAN settings and credentials) and device location, across a eet of devices from a single console. This hands-off management of devices and ability to push out a command once to ensure that all devices are updated, or that they all have a critical app, cuts down on operating expenses.

Challenges: Augmate faces the following challenges in addressing the growing market for enterprise wearables management:

Competing with incumbent and well-known endpoint management offerings such as EMM tools from larger vendors like VMware looking to expand their offerings to address wearables management

■ Navigating a currently volatile market for software solution providers and specialized device manufacturers, both

Navigating a currently volatile market for software solution providers and specialized device manufacturers, both likely channels for Augmate into the enterprise

Selling the value proposition of a eet-style management tool when, in many instances that Gartner has researched, HMD and AR use cases in large enterprises can measure fewer than 50 devices today.

Who Should Care: I&O leaders within companies that are building or growing eets of wearable devices to augment workers' interactions, work ows or training. Managing devices at scale can be costly if device con gurations, software updates, and the push of content and apps to devices is done manually or as a one-off. As mobile device management (MDM) and EMM tools enable IT operations leaders to scale diverse smartphone and tablet environments, the ability to automate the application of policies and con guration to multiple devices, often from varied manufacturers and on different platforms from a single console, is critical to scaling wearables implementations. Product leaders offering specialized hardware or service-based offerings leveraging wearables can monitor the health and performance of devices in the eld and quickly recon gure hardware between deployments or use cases.

Small or edgling technology and service providers seeking an entrée into the enterprise market, either with devices or software, are wise to partner with Augmate. In addition to potentially broadening their sales pipeline, Augmate's ability to offer a consistent management capability of their devices will help handle traditional enterprise buying center concerns with small hardware vendors.

ETT Solutions

Genoa, Italy (www.ettsolutions.com)

Analysis by Annette Jump

Why Cool: ETT Solutions creates immersive (AR and VR) content designed for navigation and digital storytelling across museums, history, art, science, public and retail clients. The vendor offers solutions that include exhibit design, creating 3D content and installation of the immersive experiences. It uses the latest products from HMD providers like Oculus' Rift, HTC's Vive and Samsung's Gear VR to enable VR experiences. AR experiences are delivered via smartphone apps. In 2016, the company received €2 million in institutional nancing and has joined the Elite Programme (for structured engagement developing and supporting private companies through their next stage of growth), developed by Borsa Italiana and London Stock Exchange Group.

ETT Solutions provides a platform for I&O leaders tasked with creating new interactions with customers. Some examples of immersive projects are various museums and archeological sites in Milan, Venice and Rome; the Magna Carta exhibition in the U.K.; the Lamborghini Museum (with an increase in visitors by 100%); AR and VR experiences at the Aquarium of Genoa (in the Abyss Room), Al Ain Oasis in the United Arab Emirates; as well as smart government portals for several Italian metropolitan areas. Gartner sees potential in the technology being used in business-to- employee use cases such as interacting with data and objects in an R&D setting as an area for ETT Solutions to pursue for expansion.

Challenges: ETT Solutions faces a variety of challenges: ■ The AR/VR market is new, with

Challenges: ETT Solutions faces a variety of challenges:

The AR/VR market is new, with many companies starting with pilots and proof-of-concept projects. Therefore, it is necessary to do a lot of education work and explain how those technologies can transform interactions and experiences.

Costs may vary greatly from one immersive project to another, so providing cost analysis could be very dif cult. The publicly available cost analysis may not be representative of the market or even a speci c use case.

Marketing and increasing brand awareness of the company is a challenge, as this is an emerging market.

The market around AR/VR solutions is very fragmented by verticals and geography, so expanding and scaling the business outside of the core market (museums) and beyond Italy could be a challenge and will require additional investments.

The vendor must compete with proprietary offerings to adapt content to wearable hardware consumption cases from established design and presentation software vendors and digital agencies.

Who Should Care: I&O leaders within companies looking to enhance or transform their interactions with users/consumers in non-mission-critical scenarios. Examples of possible verticals include history, art, museum and entertainment (cinema/theater, sightseeing, etc.), as well as retail space and fashion. With ETT Solutions, I&O leaders can make interactions with users more immersive and interactive to expand the visibility and attractiveness of their offerings, for product marketing purposes to extend interaction with the brand, to enable product design/product con guration (for example, selecting options for a new car or interior design of a new house), and to shorten the buying cycle.

To IT vendors and service providers, ETT Solutions represents an interesting partner for HMD (smartglasses and VR helmets) and 3D camera device providers looking to expand their devices in the business space in verticals like art, museums, entertainment, retail, etc. Also, digital marketing providers could partner with ETT Solutions to create more personalized or engaging branding experiences or marketing campaigns for their clients.

Fieldbit

Hod HaSharon, Israel (www. eldbit.net )

Analysis by Marty Resnick

Why Cool: Fieldbit provides a software platform enabling organizations to equip their eld service technicians with remote support, knowledge access and knowledge capture through the use of AR. While in the eld, service technicians could be at a machine that needs adjustment, xing or maintenance, and be connected live to a remote support agent. The agent could send speci c instructions and information in real time, presented as digital overlays on the physical machine, via smartglasses, smartphones and tablets. Once the service ticket is completed, information including video with AR content is then uploaded back to the knowledge base library that could be accessed

by other technicians for future work orders. Content creation is often a key barrier and

by other technicians for future work orders. Content creation is often a key barrier and cost to implementing effective AR systems, and Fieldbit overcomes this by capturing and creating content organically through collaboration.

Fieldbit's primary market is capital equipment manufacturers in the electromechanical, medical equipment and printing system space. However, that market is expanding to all areas of manufacturing and eld service. As a software platform, Fieldbit currently supports Epson Moverio BT-300 and ODG R7 smartglasses, with support for additional smartglasses coming soon.

Challenges: Fieldbit faces a variety of challenges:

AR is still a new technology for most manufacturers, and addressing concerns about hardware quality and end-user experience will make for lengthy sales cycles.

AR is very content-driven, and the parallel processes of adapting diverse content and handling custom integrations into support infrastructure are time-consuming and expensive.

Limiting platform support to only a few smartglasses vendors in a crowded marketplace arti cially limits the solution's market and opportunities.

Larger remote support and knowledge-based systems vendors (e.g., Bloom re and Kaleo) are likely to expand into the AR capabilities space, and the competitive landscape will fundamentally change as these large and well-resourced vendors enter.

Who Should Care: I&O leaders focused on improving training, knowledge transfer and work-order completion timeliness through the use of wearable devices should consider the advantages an AR- based eld service and knowledge-based system could offer. Speci c verticals that should look into this capability include telecommunications, utilities, medical equipment, capital equipment and printing systems, although any organization that utilizes and/or services manufacturing equipment should evaluate this tool as well.

T&S providers and manufacturers providing HMD hardware capable of AR and mixed reality would make interesting partners, as HMD support for Fieldbit is currently limited. Enterprises see real immediate value in eld service AR use cases and are looking for turnkey solution providers (hardware and software) that could help them begin pilot programs.

Sensics

Columbia, Maryland (http://sensics.com)

Analysis by Brian Blau

Why Cool: Sensics is a small AR and VR system provider selected as a Cool Vendor given its role in providing a critical middleware API that serves as a data and function translator, allowing a disparate group of immersive devices and technologies to work with AR and VR devices. Since the 1990s, Sensics has focused on enabling the interconnection between immersive devices and the systems with which they want to integrate. Without Sensics, each individual AR or VR peripheral would require purpose-coded integration to each different AR/VR system — not an approach that

scales across the hundreds of vendors currently creating immersive technology. Sensics' API allows for those

scales across the hundreds of vendors currently creating immersive technology. Sensics' API allows for those vendors, or any business that wants to use these immersive ecosystems, to establish a technical tie-in. Once integrated with Sensics, these third-party providers can be assured interoperability with many immersive technology ecosystems. Sensics claims more than 400 partners supporting Open Source VR (OSVR), including Nvidia, Acer and Leap Motion.

Sensics' VR software platform is an OSVR API that extends the functionality of market-share- leading AR/VR device vendors (such as Oculus, HTC, Microsoft and Google; see "Competitive Landscape: HMDs for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality"). Each device vendor offers APIs that app developers can use, but instead of supporting each vendor's API individually, developers can instead use the Sensics APIs, which support all of the HMD systems. That way, the developer integrates only with the Sensics APIs but has access to all of the HMD systems. Other devices, such as joysticks/controllers, displays or cloud apps, can use Sensics APIs to integrate across many systems at once without the need to port to each individual system.

Sensics also produces its own line of devices and related technology, which is available via licensing. The company can partner with OEMs to help produce their devices, which mainly have been HMDs. Sensics' long history means the company is a veteran of the VR industry compared with the many startups currently offering solutions. The company is privately held and its revenue is not disclosed. It has fewer than 30 employees and has taken approximately $5 million in total funding through seven rounds from investors since 2005. The number of paying customers is not disclosed, but Sensics claims hundreds of integrations with OSVR and the customer list.

Challenges:

Sensics' foremost challenge is remaining abreast of developments in the fast-changing landscape of VR technology providers. There are now thousands of startups all competing within the VR ecosystem, and maintaining value for Sensics means scaling to address the integration challenges of each new market entrant.

Sensics faces an uphill battle as other vendors seek to provide immersive technology OSs, API stacks, devices and custom integrations.

Sensics' market opportunity will face challenges if the need for device-speci c integrations fades in favor of solution providers seeking direct access into speci c ecosystems. While this is likely as the market matures, examples of mature spaces such as smartphones illustrate a large number of service providers offering APIs and integration services.

As change remains a constant in this market, with new entrants from established vendors (examples include Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality, and likely a developer system from Magic Leap), Sensics may need to pursue a deeper relationship with the platform providers, making the company an acquisition target for those that wish to exert more control over how data is exchanged between different VR devices and systems.

Who Should Care: VR platform providers that are monitoring or participating in standards efforts will come in contact with Sensics. Many will view it as an easy onboarding technology, while others could see it as competition or a way to democratize access to VR. Still others will see it as a threat to closed and proprietary systems. The industry standards being developed by The Khronos Group

— with Sensics' participation — are just getting started, and while we expect them to

— with Sensics' participation — are just getting started, and while we expect them to agree on standards for many aspects of AR and VR eventually, it could be several years before we see the rst standards adopted.

Sensics is a key technology partner for HMD providers or others making VR peripherals or devices considering how to integrate their functionality with multiple VR ecosystem players. As IT organizations become more sophisticated in their use of immersive technologies, they will need to understand graphics technology, including how various devices, platforms and systems interoperate. In addition, some businesses will need Sensics to provide custom design and technology development, as more vertically integrated solutions may be needed when general- purpose systems can't be used.

VMI

San Diego, California (www.visualmobilityinc.com)

Analysis by Angela McIntyre

Why Cool: VMI offers an enterprise-focused SaaS suite, Seenix, to enable the secure transfer, analysis and storage of video streamed from the camera in workers' smartglasses during remote collaborative work sessions. VMI accommodates secure storage of audio and video on-premises or in a private cloud, which is often a requirement for government-related customers, instead of external hosting (for example, through Amazon Web Services). The Seenix Remote Assisted Reality (RAR) Enterprise Software Applications have full master and transactional data management functions integrated with the live or recorded audio and video content, and can be deployed stand- alone. Alternatively, VMI can deploy its solution on legacy back-end enterprise apps, including online transactional processing (OLTP) databases and online analytical processing platforms (OLAP) using APIs and hands-on system integration work. With VMI, IT organizations can provide remote expert guidance to their end users without having to do most of the integration work themselves or hire a third-party system integrator, because VMI has the skills to do it for them.

VMI's RAR enables a worker to use the camera on smartglasses to share audio and video of what he or she is doing with experts in other locations. The experts see what the worker sees and provide guidance to resolve issues. Workers can have their hands free to do tasks or for safety purposes while using the smartglasses.

VMI's Seenix solution incorporates streamed high-de nition (HD) video from several types of endpoint devices in addition to smartglasses (for example, from drones and 720-degree mounted surveillance cameras). The audio and video are transmitted through the internet via 4G LTE wireless broadband through a network connectivity device provided by VMI. The Seenix apps can be accessed via smartphones, tablets or PCs, and provide web access to video and to dashboard data about the job (for example, the service log).

Challenges: VMI does not support visual instructions or AR images through smartglasses, which would put the vendor at a disadvantage with potential enterprise customers wishing to test and implement those features and other providers that offer such capability. Companies that offer

software services for smartglasses to enterprises often include visual instructions and AR capabilities, in addition

software services for smartglasses to enterprises often include visual instructions and AR capabilities, in addition to using the camera for remote expert guidance. Examples of VMI's competitors that focus on services for streaming video through smartglasses include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Upskill (as a result of its acquisition of Pristine) and XMReality. Another challenge for VMI is the lack of an option to use cloud hosting services, such as Amazon Web Services, which could have the potential to reduce video management costs for enterprises with less stringent data security requirements.

Who Should Care: I&O leaders of enterprise organizations that install, maintain or repair capital equipment should consider VMI's RAR for the following reasons:

Reduce time to diagnosis and time to resolution (TTR) of problems and repairs, respectively.

Lower error rates in the above processes and reduce the overhead of these processes (for example, travel expenses).

Improve communications and service delivery; better illustrating problems that need attention, work that was completed and how it was done.

Improve training ef ciency by more effectively and broadly utilizing the skills of a regional and/or aging workforce.

In particular, I&O leaders navigating an adoption of wearable content who require that video and other information not be stored by external party web hosting services should evaluate VMI solutions.

Product leaders among wearables vendors targeting regulated industries or use cases with sensitive and compliance-subject information (such as dealing with con dential product information or patient information in a healthcare setting) should investigate a go-to-market partnership with VMI to bolster the security stance of their offering.

Gartner Recommended Reading

Some documents may not be available as part of your current Gartner subscription.

"The First Three Steps in Evaluating the Role of Head-Mounted Displays for Field Service"

"Cool Vendors in Wearable Electronics for Enterprise, 2016"

"Competitive Landscape: HMDs for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality"

"Market Guide for Augmented Reality"

"Enterprise Wearable Technology Must Be Adopted Using a Risk-Based Approach"

More on This Topic

This is part of an in-depth collection of research. See the collection:

■ IoT Technology Disruptions: A Gartner Trend Insight Report Gartner, Inc. | G00325871 Page 9

IoT Technology Disruptions: A Gartner Trend Insight Report

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