SAP working on augmented reality for business

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Augmented reality is already available on many mobile devices in the consumer space, but SAP is working on a business version to bring out later in the year.

During a presentation at SAP's World Tour event in Birmingham today, Timo Elliott, a business intelligence evangelist from the company, revealed the firm was working on an application in its labs.

"Augmented reality... this is in existence but what is it going to look like in an enterprise context?" he said.

"Well if you are a bank manager you should be able to get all the information when you walk in the door... on a factory floor if you want to get the maintenance information on one machine you should just be able to point your mobile device at the machine... even in retail."

Elliott admitted it may "sound like science fiction" but said this was something SAP was working on.

"It will be coming out in the next few months we hope," he added.

Elliott believed this move of technology from the consumer space into business is not a one off.

Instead he claimed the history of the past thousand years had been turned on its head with consumers affecting the way technology is used at work, rather than businesses letting technology go out to the masses.

"Ever since the abacus, it has been governments and rulers who would use technology first [then] it would trickle down to us," said Elliott.

"This has turned round and now... it is in the consumer space first."

It isn't just the appearance of technology that has changed, but also what employees now expect from the business they work for, he added.

Elliott claimed ease of use has now become the important factor.

"Ease of use... it means how intuitive are the tools," he said. "We have all learnt to expect to be able to use a product without any training or any manual... hands up who had training for Google?"

He concluded that only by making business technologies and applications easy to use will they really catch on in today's enterprise world.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.