first_imgDo you remember the hilarious scenes of the summer of 2016, with people running around in public spaces, staring at their smartphones, looking for rare Pokémon? Although the Pokémon Go mania has died down, the future for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality is bright, even for Business-to-Business (B2B) applications. For Service Providers looking for a lucrative niche, here’s a great opportunity.According to IDC, worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market will reach almost USD 14bn this year, an increase of 130% over 2016. AR/VR spending is expected to accelerate over the next few years, says IDC, achieving a compound annual growth rate of 198% between 2015 and 2020, when the market will total USD 143bn. Over 40% of AR/VR spending this year was found in the consumer space, but applications in discrete manufacturing, retail, process manufacturing and personal and consumer services are set to take up a larger portion. Gartner too believes in the future of ‘immersive technologies’ in the B2B working space: “Enterprise architecture (EA) and technology innovation leaders should consider integrating AR and VR to improve customer and employee interactions and business performance,” their analysts wrote earlier this year.Business leaders share this vision on the future of AR/VR: in a survey among participants in Dell EMC’s Transformation Conference in the Netherlands last June, 85% of them firmly believed that AR will be incorporated in all cars by 2030.Getting ImmersedWhile it goes without saying that AR/VR is just one of the many shining stars in the sky of emerging technologies, it is also clear that this is a potentially lucrative niche for technology- and service providers. The possibilities are endless. To name just a few:Product design: in collaboration with Dell, Meta and Ultrahaptics, Nike is using immersive technology to let its creative thinkers develop new shoes. We showed a great movie on that at the recent Dell EMC World in Las Vegas.Testing and simulating in production environments: Airbus and Boeing are already building ‘virtual’ prototypes of airplane parts. This accelerates production, decreases prototyping cost and reduces time to market.Product launches: Jaguar Land Rover premiered its I-PACE concept car) during a virtual press event in both LA and London. All journalists were equipped with VR headsets and underwent an immersive experience, actually seeing the car being built around them. Each user was also able to interact personally with the car. This too happened in collaboration with Dell, check out the video!Maintenance: at the most recent CeBIT show, Atos and Siemens demonstrated how AR can be used to remotely manage maintenance assignments. Atos is building AR into Siemens’ MindSphere IoT operating system, and has been a true believer in AR/VR for years already.Hands-on training: online learning is a great tool already, but very unpractical if you need to get hands-on experience during the training. With VR/AR, you can actually perform and train all the movements you need to do.Construction: architects can build virtual houses, and let their customers take a tour through their house before any brick or mortar have been bought.Selling: how about ‘try-before-you-buy’? Getting the experience of driving a car definitely beats just sitting in the vehicle in a showroom.VR-as-a-ServiceSimulation has been around for a long time already, just think of pilots training to fly new airplanes. Over time, equipment will continue to go down in price, giving more companies access to these emerging technologies. In the meantime, both marketing- and technology service providers are setting up ‘VR-as-a-Service’, touting cloud platforms that allow companies to get experience on immersive technologies without having to invest in infrastructure themselves. This is definitely an area where our partner ecosystem can shine.Another opportunity this market holds is for service providers offering ‛Data-Lakes-as-a-Service’: immersive technologies both use and generate huge amounts of data in different formats and from different sources. Being able to address, process and update data quickly can only enhance the immersive experience.From a hardware point of view too, there is a fast-emerging market: workstations for the creative workers, servers that allow fast processing of data and scale-out storage to keep all the data in a safe environment. On the infrastructure side too, there are sales possibilities: AR/VR will boost the adoption of Edge Computing, since latency is the worst enemy of VR apps. That will provide Telco operators with a new very compelling competitive advantage in the arms race of the Digital Revolution.Not every industry will benefit from AR/VR immediately, although the examples above show that there is a wealth of applications already. For Service Providers, there’s a great opportunity to diversify and differentiate themselves from the competition. Analysts predict enormous growth for the coming years. In the B2B market, AR/VR is definitely guaranteed a longer life than last summer’s hype on ‛Pokémon Go’ alone.last_img read more

first_imgIt’s been a while since we’ve heard from Joe Olmstead here on Direct2Dell, but Tom’s Guide was recently able to grab the Alienware product development director for a special Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on their forum.The questions he received were wide-ranging from how to order an Alienware 17 R5 online without Tobii eye-tracking, to why someone would chose to purchase an Alienware 17 R4 that weighs more than some smaller, more portable systems that are available.Reading it today, I learned a new term – “desk queens” – which Olmstead used to reference those performance laptops that don’t leave the house very often. It’s a use case our engineers have taken into account during product design.“In fact, we worked on specific battery technology to ensure that our batteries don’t get overcharged for being plugged in all the time,” he noted.I won’t republish the full AMA here – you should go over to Tom’s Guide to read that – but here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:Q: What do you look for in a perfect laptop or desktop? Does that affect your decision-making when designing multiple lines that have different purposes?Olmstead: I am, of course, very biased, but here goes! My lifestyle at work dictates the notebook that I use for work and what I value in a *work*-based laptop. However, the one that I carry can still game on the road. 🙂But when we design a laptop or a desktop, we try to understand what a customer wants — beyond the CPU/GPU combo. We believe that Alienware customers are seeking a higher experience. Whether it be build materials, features, etc. But all of the features need to be purposeful. For example, the lighting in our products [works] to allow you to play in the dark, but also work[s] with over 130 games to provide a better experience. This and other decisions (like our magnesium-aluminum alloy) cost money, but we believe that they provide a richer experience.When we look at our Dell gaming products, the biggest misconception is that an Alienware customer is somehow more “hard-core” — that’s not true. We know that your wallet doesn’t dictate your gaming lifestyle. So when we design Dell gaming products, we first want to deliver on the primary goal of gaming performance. Yes, they are less expensive and do not have all of the same features, but we believe that we satisfy the core need — playing games for as long as you want to.The day before heading into the Tom’s Guide Community, Olmstead joined Alienware Community Host Umar Khan on the Alienware.TV channel for a Tech Talk about our new Alienware Wireless Gaming Headset (that I highlighted here last week).Funny note: apparently Olmstead gave up his office to make space for this studio.But, it’s certainly not his first time around the new headset. It’s designed for clear natural voice quality, in solo and multiplayer situations, but Olmstead says he’s also been using it for conference calls with our teams around the globe.The Alienware Wireless Gaming Headset is a premium gaming headset and our first headset since the Alienware TactXHeadset launched in 2009, it is also Alienware’s first wireless headset in history. It became available in the U.S. on June 11, starting at $229.And to answer the question they couldn’t seem to get answered during the Alienware TwitchTV Tech Talk… Its starting weight (without dongle) is 0.84lb or 0.38kg.last_img read more

first_imgRIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Four players and the president of Brazilian soccer club Palmas have died in a plane crash in the northern state of Tocantins. The club says Sunday’s accident occurred when the twin-engine Baron plunged to the ground at the end of the runway while on takeoff. The players were on their way to Goiania to play a match against Vila Nova. There were no survivors. The club’s spokesperson told The Associated Press that the players were traveling in a private plane because they had tested positive for COVID-19, that Sunday would have been their last day of isolation, and the rest of the players would travel on a commercial flight. The cause of the accident was not immediately known.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour has emerged as an early flashpoint in the fight for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. The push to raise the wage is testing President Joe Biden’s ability to bridge Washington’s partisan divides. Some Republicans support exploring an increase in the minimum wage, but they are uneasy about $15 an hour and say such a big increase could lead to job losses. But Democrats appear poised to push ahead. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 and has not been raised since 2009.last_img read more

first_imgGun sales hit a historic high in January as violent riots hit the U.S. Capitol and a new president took over, continuing a record-setting surge that began as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in early 2020. Gun dealers sold more than 2 million firearms in January, a 75% increase over the same month last year, according to the industry trade group the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Gun sales had already been soaring amid uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic, a severely stalled economy and widespread protests over policy brutality and racial injustice. Then came the riot in Washington and the inauguration of Democratic President Joe Biden.last_img read more

first_imgSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Unemployment agencies across the U.S. became lucrative targets for criminals when they were bombarded with claims last year as millions lost jobs due to coronavirus shutdowns. Now, simple tax forms being sent to people who never collected unemployment benefits are revealing that their identity was likely stolen months ago and used to claim bogus benefits that have totaled billions of dollars nationwide. In California alone, state officials say the fraud totaled at least $11 billion and likely much more. In Ohio, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, his wife, Fran, and Republican Lt. Gov. Jon Husted all got bogus tax forms even though none of them had claimed unemployment benefits.last_img read more