So what’s the opportunity for channel pros? Scope AR is developing a channel program now, says Montgomerie. With Microsoft as a major partner, he expects Microsoft resellers will have a chance to get involved.
Rodriguez understands IT integrators may be intimidated by getting up to speed with AR and IoT, but “once you have a minimum level of knowledge you can have good conversations with customers,” he says. “Hardware-agnostic providers will be the most helpful, focusing on the needs of your customer.”
And while AR technology is market-ready, there are still some missing pieces and pain points, Montgomerie acknowledges. For example, desktop CAD programs use high detail with 100 million polygons. AR interfaces today—glasses, tablets, and smartphones—don’t have that much graphics processing power. Montgomerie looks forward to 5G for solving such an issue. “With a fast network, we can use cloud rendering. Those 100 million polygons may be possible to display using streaming video processed in the cloud.”
Still, the technology and pricing have come a long way. JoinPad worked with customers three or four years ago who spent $200,000 to $300,000 for AR and IoT projects. “Today you can do all those same things with subscriptions for a few bucks per month per user,” Rodriguez says, barring any custom software additions.
“You can jump into AR and IoT without any risk and a limited commitment,” he says, “then come back and ramp up when it works.”
Image: Scope AR WorkLink platform with HoloLens 2 interface, courtesy of Scope AR