Augmented Reality and the Network

AR is coming, and it will be built on the telecoms foundation ...
On Thursday 29 August 2019 by Josh O'Farrell



 

Bob Dylan once said, “the times they are a’ changin” and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to the telco industry. The execution of VoIP, playing around with the idea of cognitive networks, the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT), using enhanced features like A.I. and unleashing the power of 5G are all significant steps in the ever-running escalator of telecoms. 
 
Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are now changing the way we interact, whether that interaction be with systems or other humans. There are new demands on network resources which will inevitably change the way the telecoms providers view, manage and develop the network.  Communication will be fundamental and critical, both data and voice.

Nowadays, everyone is working on some kind of augmented reality for their brand or product. According to researcher Global Market Insights, the global market for AR products will surge by 80% to $165 billion by 2024. According to VR device company Pico and IDC, forecasts predict that the share of all-in-one headsets in the VR/AR market will increase from 14.1% in 2018 to nearly 50% in 2022. The introduction of 5G for companies is going to be cost-effective and more efficient, not only for telecoms carriers but for VR companies themselves like Pico.
 

So what exactly is AR?
 

Augmented reality (AR) is all about creating, making explicit, and displaying the relationships between the real and virtual world by enhancing computer-generated perceptual information to the user. Often, but not always, this information is from the web. First developed in 1968 at Harvard University, AR surprisingly isn’t that new of a concept but is slowly working its way into being adapted into most, if not all, businesses. Augmentation can be used in both directions – by increasing the virtual world with real objects and by increasing the real world with virtual data.

Seen as the next step in the evolution of information search, observation, and manipulation by the user, AR is seen to open up an entirely new platform of jobs and industries. One of these industries that will benefit greatly, and be key to development, is the telco world. 

 

What do AR and VR mean for the future of Telecoms?


For telecommunications operators, cloud storage and cloud computing are driving new network demands and together, an ecosystem for AR is rapidly developing. The network is key.
 
Voice-bots are evolving as the next generation IVR for customer contact routing and self-service processes.  Voice biometrics may provide authentication and security.  Information gathered through voice-bot interaction may be presented to a human agent via whisper technology, screen-pop, or to an AR headset / smart-glasses.  During that interaction, voice analytics technology can provide the agent with insight into the customer response, differentiating between happy, neutral, uncertain, disappointed or displeased moods.  The communication between devices, systems, bots, and persons is supported by the network, where the quality of voice audio must be adequate to support the technologies, as well as providing an effortless customer experience.
 
With the success of applications like Snapchat and Pokemon Go! on mobile devices, as well as the early efforts of Google Glasses, there is an attentive and interested market. AR is a hot topic currently and is only going to get hotter the more it develops. Simplicity is something that every customer and business wants, and the implementation of AR to systems can certainly make processes far easier.

Application opportunities are many.  For example, telemedicine is becoming a huge sector, and is a natural evolution of health service in our digital world. Telemedicine empowers caregivers and specialists to remotely interact with patients, greatly improving both efficiency, accessibility and affordability.  Remote surgical procedures are possible with professionals in multiple locations collaborating using video and voice.  In these sensitive situations, services must be robust and reliable and of very high quality.
 

Let’s have a look at a few scenarios where telecoms-enabled AR can have an impact:
 

  • Medical: Telemedicine, as noted above, will benefit from simple consultations to complex collaborative procedures that leverage AR. Where there is a risk to human life, systems and applications need to be very robust.    
     
  • Therapy: Telepsychiatry (a subset of telemedicine), might involve a range of services including psychiatric evaluations, therapy (individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy), patient education and medication management.  Clients can engage remotely with leading therapists wherever they happen to be.  In a “talk therapy” situation, audio quality is critical, and toolsets can leverage AR to support a therapeutic journey.
     
  • Live video capability to call center: AR will allow customers to show exactly what the problem is, so that support agents can visually see and diagnose the problem, recommending trouble-shooting and resolution options via voice channel.
     

But where does Spearline factor into all this? 

 

For these technologies to realize their full potential, they need high performance networks with excellent voice channel quality, and low latency.  That’s where Spearline comes in to save the day. Excellent audio quality is essential for a functioning AR system to work and produce a truly immersive experience.


Industry experts predict that nearly every application will integrate voice technology in some way in the next few years, all depending on network delivery of high quality audio.


Complex networks can attract complex problems. Spearline provides the tools to support excellent audio channel performance.  If you would like to find out more on how Spearline provides these tools, be sure to contact us or check out our website.

 

Conclusion

 

AR and VR have the potential to reshape the way we interact, whether that be socially, in a B2C context, or B2B.  In a business setting we might expect a step-change in customer experience, and a leap in business productivity. The telecommunications networks will experience new demands and the telecoms sector will be viewing AR and VR as opportunity zones. AR is the next step. It’s inevitable.

Use Spearline as part of your toolkit to transition to the AR experience on your network. Spearline gathers vital call quality data about connection success, audio quality, post-dial delay (PDD), touch-tone (DTMF) success, and latency. Our comprehensive call records enable you to form a complete picture of the performance history of your contact numbers and voice connection points. Our analytics facilitate the identification and root cause analysis of issues, and our reports allow you to benchmark the performance of your telecoms network. Spearline can give you the crucial insights you need not only to proactively manage your network, but also to accelerate improvements in your customer experience.

 

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About us

Spearline is a technology company that proactively tests toll, toll-free and premium-rate numbers for audio quality and connectivity globally. We support business sectors, such as contact centers, conferencing services, and other applications, in successfully connecting with their customers. If you are interested in benefiting from our platform, please get in touch with us.
 

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