Over the last four years, Upskill, makers of the enterprise wearable platform Skylight, has steadily increased our presence at various trade shows and conferences that cover the advancements in wearable technology, smart glasses, augmented reality, and enterprise mobility. These events run around the year and range between a very broad and large attendee base (i.e. CES, Mobile World Congress) and a highly focused audience and agenda (i.e. Augmented World Expo, InsideAR).
As someone who attends many of these events on Upskill’s behalf, it has been bewildering to see the latter category of events grow in popularity, content quality, and diversity. Around the second half of 2012, I began running into the same core group of people who were some of the earliest visionaries in advancing augmented reality (both for smart glasses and handheld devices) everywhere I went. Many of us were from companies looking to monetize augmented reality technology in the enterprise, be it as a software developer and integrator, hardware supplier, or a specialized consultancy. At the same time, there were also representatives from some of the largest companies in the world who were investing in AR technology to improve their operations.
It was becoming clear that this was no longer a niche industry. What was needed next was a foundation for the industry interests to be represented and for companies to come together to make a difference in the market and grow alongside technological and product advances in smart glasses.
Today, I am very proud to share that the Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance (the AREA) has officially launched, with Upskill as one of the founding sponsor members. This launch has been the result of relentless efforts by several members of the aforementioned core group and has been over a year in the making. Today’s launch is a significant milestone in that the industry has taken another step towards maturation by turning many of the previous ad hoc meetings and discussions into a structured forum with the clear goal of advancing the entire industry rather than just serving our individual interests.
The insights gathered from collaborating with other AREA members will help improve the quality of the experience for our customers, developers and partners. Upskill is striving to work with fellow visionaries to accelerate the adoption of enterprise smart glasses technology, generating ripple effects much greater than the mere sum of the individual AREA members’ capabilities.
On the first day of AWE, Upskill and many AREA members will take center stage to share our insights on the present and the future of the industry. This event will mark the beginning of the AREA becoming the premier organization of industry thought leaders growing in tandem with the market, and Upskill is tremendously excited to have been there since day one.