The SAE AR/VR Symposium in Stuttgart on November 20-21, 2013 focused on the value proposition of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality through the technical, application and implementation of these technology enablers  in all facets of design, production and manufacturing. It was great to hear experts  from the automotive, aeronautics, commercial vehicle and marine industries  discuss the specific challenges, potential solutions, and future opportunities they feel are critical to advancing this technology.

I presented my views of the future in the symposium’s opening talk. How will we measure if we are making progress towards widespread adoption? Well, one way is the number of mentions of AR on the Web. There has been a great burst of attention to this over the past few years and a measurable increase in the past 6 months. Where will this lead us? I described the likely scenarios for the use of AR in daily life and in enterprise. It is important to avoid overselling and under delivering on the benefits of AR.

I then said that we might all have different journeys on the way to a day when we use AR frequently. For most enterprises, there will be a phase during which there will be an integration with Enterprise IT systems. I compared the IT department of a company to the keep in a medieval castle. It is the best protected area and getting into the keep is difficult. I suggested that there are four strategies to penetrate the keep.

Then I offered a framework for thinking about the obstacles we will encounter. There are four categories of barriers: Technological, Human Factors, Business and Finance, and Data. In each there are specific obstacles we must address.

Finally, I suggested some “signposts” we should be watching for on the journey to know if we are making progress.

If you would like to download the presentation, it is available here.