Clemens Arth is the CEO of AR4 GmbH. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Graz University of Technology and has over 10 years of experience in Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Augmented Reality.
In the past, he worked in the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Handheld AR, the originator of the Vuforia SDK by Qualcomm Inc. He authored and co-authored several patent applications and over 30 peer-reviewed publications. In 2015 Clemens won the Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) in Fukuoka, Japan.
[nectar_dropcap color=””]Y[/nectar_dropcap]ou are listening to the VR AR Pioneers podcast, brought to you by Admix.in. We interview top professionals who share their exact formulas for success in development, growth and funding an XR startup, and I’m your host, Juan Felipe Campos. Okay, VR, AR pioneers. Remember on every episode we give away resources to help you grow your VR AR project. To enter the giveaway, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and message the word “done” to Admix.in/giveaway to prove that you did it. Again, visit Admix.in/giveaway and message the word “done” to prove it and get your free resources. Today’s episode is led by Danny Halperin. Let’s hear more from him in this episode of the podcast.
Danny: 00:55 Hello everyone. This is Danny Halperin here at the Augmented World Expo 2018 in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, California. I’m here with Clemens from AR4, talking about all the exciting stuff they’re working on so Clemens would love to, to hear about.
Clemens: 01:14 Thank you very much. Thanks for the opportunity to talk to you today. We are based out of Graz. So AR4 is a startup company that basically came from Graz University of Technology and we are working on all kinds of AR problems right now. One of the most important problems that a lot of people are tackling right now is remote maintenance, all the ideas that AR can help in a remote maintenance scenario and we’re coming up with a completely platform independent solution and framework so that, um, that basically enables people to connect devices of different classes like mobiles and eyewear and also a platform independently. So Android, Linux, Windows, whatever together and to basically shaped their own solution to the problem that they have with our help obviously. Yeah.
Danny: 02:06 So I think one of the primary use cases of, of remote is expert call in, right. Using consultants from around the world who are experts in whatever maintenance work or whatever operations are being done. Do you have clients or projects related to expertise, remote calling or is, is that.
Clemens: 02:31 So we just came back from a trip to Georgia where we have a big client at the east coast. We are, we are right now rolling out one of these systems or a system shaped around this concept of remote maintenance and expert calling together with them, which is a really big, big, big project, um, and will that will last for one, two, three years from now on thinking about that. But the real concept is that you basically bring the expertise in where you need it and we are, we are facing a lot of this, um, you know, low level issues right now where in our network connectivity and all these things we would expect that they already solved. We have to tackle off these problems, but, but we already managed it and it’s working great and it, it really starts showing some value also.
Danny: 03:22 That’s really interesting. I mean, I know here at AWE there’s a pretty big enterprise focus because that’s where augmented reality has seemed to stick and, and where the revenue and, and a market and audience has been so far. So, um, you seem well positioned in, in the surging that is happening within the market. A lot of businesses hopping onto this idea of remote calling. Uh, I think we’re pretty limited right now, right to video calling, like what really availability is there for businesses who need this functionality, what have they been doing up until this point and how is remote calling totally revolutionizing that?
Clemens: 04:05 Yeah. So I think, I think one of the things that people were doing until now they were using paper in some sense paper or email or something and we now see this kind of evolution that has gone over the last 100 years, let’s say, you know, people were starting to use a telephone hotline kind of thing. Then they went over to email conversations at some point in time that has already been probably 25 years back almost. Um, and then, audio, video communication like we have with Skype, right? Uh, so in the, in the enterprise space, we have a similar similar developments. The only thing that we have is we have a lot of different issues as well, like security, right? So nobody, nobody is in is really concerned about security and calling up a girlfriend or something like that, um, in, in, you know, in the more consumer level area.
Clemens: 04:59 But in the enterprise security is a big issue, for example, one of these things. The other thing is that obviously in AR we still have to make a transition and have to educate people how to really use it. So a lot of the things that are developed are really great for the tech savvy guys. But to really bring it out to the people who have to use it to make it a productive, you know, and, and use some workflow efficiently. You have to educate these people. This is a big issue. So one would say that people have educated themselves to use mobile phones over the last 10 years, right? So since the smartphone arrive, people have educated themselves, so if it gives them an app, they have a pretty easy time to really get it adopted or basically used this kind of application and with, with especially this training eyewear that hasn’t been around for such a long time. And it’s especially also a completely different in terms of the way you interact with it. That is something that has to, to, you know, grow and evolve over time. And that’s one of the things that, that really keeps us from really doing great things right now.
Danny: 06:02 Yeah. I think if you look back a decade or so with smart phone originally coming out, it was those techies and things like typing on a, on a touch pad seems like innovative at the time. And we look now and every single person has a, has a smartphone in their pocket and you’re, you’re crazy if you don’t know how to surf through different mobile apps. And there’s an expectation that, that everyone, whether in the working world or a young child knows how to navigate a smartphone. So, uh, hopefully that we find that that’s the case here in the next decade for VR.
Clemens: 06:43 The big question is how long this takes?
Danny: 06:44 Yeah,
Clemens: 06:45 I mean there is, you know, in, I mean all of, there’s a long history of VR right? VR 1990 and so on. I know you’re in the Valley of Despair. There’s at least two of them, right? Um, with AR we, we already worth the value of disparities of somehow a already. When the smartphone came out, a lot of people thought AR will take off now, which didn’t happen, right? So we thought we have now mobile platforms, we should have everything but it didn’t happen. So now what we’re seeing now is really a great opportunity to bring this out to people also in the consumer market. They will take a little longer probably, but it was good. So the enterprise is right now or test field to some degree. Right. So they, they, they obviously can nail it down to numbers that really makes sense.
Clemens: 07:32 Um, and they always, you know, also, you know, a return on investment kind of stuff. Uh, if you look at the consumer level and the consumer area, it’s very hard to really nail it down to real numbers. How do you know what it really brought me to really develop it AR app and so on, Not talking about educational value or they’ll say the entertainment value, right? But in the, in the, in the enterprise, obviously it’s a little easier to really nail it down to numbers and that’s why people are way more after the enterprise use case,
Danny: 08:07 Yeah, it’s all about the value, right? And businesses have clear use cases where they can implement these solutions while a consumer is looking for more entertainment related or a informational and businesses also have a budget and have resources to dedicate to these types of initiatives while a consumers is hoping that it’s either low cost or free. So yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Clemens: 08:34 The other one of the things that the enterprise is basically essential is also that they have to acknowledge the fact that the technology is already there. Right? But there is no solution that fits all use cases, right? So you will, you can buy the hardware right now, but what do you do with it? Why it’s. So to really bring it to a level where it really pays off to invest in that area, you really have to nail it down to a certain use case and then find somebody that is creating the solution and the AR4 is also, especially a company that is able to bring up all these assets and put them together in a very special way and also custom way, which obviously is not ideal if you have a lot of customization, but it’s like that right now anyways. Um, but then really solve a very narrow problem like in training, you know, if you have a lot of people that are retiring over the next few years and you have actually a big drain in know-how and knowledge that is going away.
Clemens: 09:34 And while you and me are looking up any kind of information that we need in our consumer level area, VR Youtube. You have a hard time doing that. You know, with the company environment, environment, enterprise, environment there is a Youtube for enterprise, they have to maintain machines with a 15 or $20,000 costs and they can actually not, not ask anybody how to do that. Right. And this is a bit. And this drain of knowledge we can, we can try to stop that with AR for example, right. There’s not a remote maintenance use case for example, but it’s also a use case where they are, can be very efficient and very well deployed. For example, a lot of people thinking about it already, especially in Europe because obviously you know, this kind of baby boom kind of thing. These people are going to retire now in the next few years.
Danny: 10:19 Yes, that’s a great point. Definitely. And we uh, we need to extract all the expertise they’ve built up over the years.
Clemens: 10:26 We have to conservative it somehow in an archives. So it’s really interesting. I mean if you, if you are looking back to the 90s, right? So I mean if, if it tried to find some documentation from the 90s, you have a hard time, right? So I mean, if I have to look up the small album of photos my parents built for me back then, right? Uh, but if I want to know anything beyond that, it’s a really hard time and enterprises face the same thing. So if they are basically not investing into that now in five years from now, they don’t have any idea about what’s going on five years back. So that’s a very interesting thing.
Danny: 11:05 Yeah. Well thank you so much, Clemens, you, you heard it here, AR4 one of the great industry leaders here at the Augmented World Expo. Thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it.
Clemens: 11:17 Thank you so much for the opportunity. Thanks.
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clemensarth/
- Remote maintenance issues are traditionally solved by calling on an expert to relay solutions and information.
- AR4 wants to make it possible for different devices like mobiles and eyewear as well as different platforms like Linux or Windows to basically shape their own solution to the problems that they have.
- One of the biggest issues with AR is educating people on how to really use it, to make it productive and optimize workflow. It’s possible as people have learned how to use smartphones over the last 10 years to revolutionize the workplace. Hopefully, that’s the case here in the next decade for VR.