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TeamViewer's AiStudio: AI is the next evolution for AR

Frontline's new add-on enables enterprises to train models for image and object recognition. The system can detect shop floor warning signs and other safety problems.

TeamViewer's new addition to its Frontline augmented reality platform, AiStudio, enables enterprises to train AI models for image and object recognition, without users needing any programming skills.

The remote connectivity software vendor, founded in 2005 and based in Goppingen, Germany, introduced AiStudio on May 3.

Supporting Frontline with AI technology was the next natural step for the vendor in the evolution of the platform, which already had a built-out augmented reality (AR) foundation, according to TeamViewer.

For now, the preset applications for AiStudio are quality assurance and workplace safety. For example, AiStudio can verify whether workers are wearing hygiene gloves properly and if products are damaged or assembled correctly.

The next evolution

AiStudio represents an evolution for TeamViewer and AR, said Thomas Brannen, a virtual and augmented reality analyst at OnConvergence.

The first step is getting AR right.

It's important to use AR effectively, capturing video and data, and then sending it to a remote technician who overlays the data back into the user's AR glasses or device, he said. Once the basics of the AR technology are established, then it's time to start combining AI and AR, Brannen said.

AI is going to be a critical component for AR in the future.
Thomas BrannenAnalyst, OnConvergence

For example, in a warehouse, workers putting products on shelves could be shown where to put the items. People receiving inventory could be directed to the exact place to find it. This would be especially helpful for new hires or trainees, according to Brannen.

"AI is going to be a critical component for AR in the future," he said. "We want to be able to put on the glasses and have them be smart. Without all of that, you're just looking at a piece of equipment."

Meanwhile, other AR vendors are also moving toward that natural progression of intelligence in AR by incorporating AI, Brannen noted. These include TeamViewer's competitors such as Microsoft with its HoloLens Two glasses, enterprise AR vendor Magic Leap, Google and Amazon.

AI and AR

For applications involving computer vision and visually identifying whether a worker is wearing protective gear correctly, AiStudio makes sense for enterprises that use TeamViewer's Frontline platform, said Tuong Nguyen, an analyst at Gartner.

"Vision has very broad uses," Nguyen said.

However, quality assurance and workplace safety applications might not be an enterprise's particular goal with AR and AI, so potential customers will have to examine whether the benefit justifies the investment, he said.

"Does adding [AiStudio] to the task make it easier, faster, better?" Nguyen added.

Since AR is an experience and a way to interact within the digital world, organizations will soon have to figure out how it will fit into their larger strategy -- and which applications, if any, work for them, Nguyen said.

Moreover, both AR and AI are still in their early stages of maturity, according to Nguyen. "AR is by far not perfected yet," he said. "You're not using it on a daily basis. Same with AI. AI is very purpose-built. The challenge is to make it more broadly applicable."

He said that making AR and computer vision applicable for more uses will make it more practical for different industries, tasks and applications, such as digital twins -- virtual representations of physical objects.

TeamViewer customers with a Frontline license now have access to the two AiStudio capabilities.

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