How AR and AI work together to build unique mobile experiences?
The intriguing partnership of Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a match made in the digital heaven. An AR application can become more beneficial when AI is incorporated into it. The natural bridging of AR and AI enables mobile app developers to build more interactive and intriguing apps. This article explores a few practical ways in which AR and AI can be combined to build incredible mobile experiences.
Awesome Ways AI and AR Complement Each Other
The partnership between AR and AI is likely to have a profound impact on customer experience. Companies are developing next-generation applications for mobiles that employ AR and AI technologies. In fact, AI is the heart of AR platforms.
Though Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality have distinct technologies, they can sync with one another on a variety of applications. They can leverage each other’s best features and aspects building incredible mobile experiences. AI enables AR to have a multidimensional interaction with the physical environment. It allows you to manipulate 2D and 3D virtual objects with your words, eyes, and hands.
It is anticipated that the demand for AR apps is bound to soar in the next four to five years. Hence, the search for appropriate software development kits (SDK) and application program interfaces (API) for AI and AR is on.
Current State of SDKs and APIs For AR and AI
As the capabilities of current SDKs (Software Development Kits) and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) rapidly expand, the number of commercial opportunities increase exponentially. Consider a few examples:
- Vuforia: It is an Augmented Reality SDK that enables app developers to build mobile-centric, immersive AR experiences. It is capable of supporting both IOS and Android, allowing brands to develop apps with minimal commercial and technical risks.
- ARCore: It is Google’s proprietary AR SDK. It enables developers to get their AR apps up and running on mobile devices. ARCore supports IOS devices and allows developers to build rich and immersive AR experiences supported by mobile devices.
- Core ML: It is a Machine Learning framework used across Apple devices. This API allows you to perform real-time predictions of live images on your device. Its low latency and near real-time results are its biggest advantages. Core ML is an application that can be run without network connections.
- TensorFlow Lite: It is an open-source deep learning framework focused on mobile device inference. TensorFlow Lite enables developers to insert their own custom models.
Practical Ways to Combine AR and AI
The marriage of AR and AI opens up endless opportunities. Here are a few ways in which this combination is working to create digital miracles.
1. Speech recognition: As an AI model listens to what you say, AR effects appear in front of you. For example, if you say ‘pizza,’ a virtual pizza slice appears in front of your mouth.
2. Image recognition and image tracking: It allows customers to see how an object would look and fit in a given space. Combining AR with AI technology allows users to move still photos of items into a still image of a room and assists them in making a decision. Example: IKEA Place.
3. Human pose estimation: It is a technique that detects human figures and poses. It predicts the positions of a person’s joints in an image or video. This can be used in controlling AR content. Yopuppet.com is one example.
4. Education: It allows students to have new perspectives through interaction with virtual reality. For example, it enables them to visualize and interact with a 3D life-size version of the human body.
Related Reading: Impact Of Augmented Reality In Education Industry
5. Recognizing and labeling: When the camera is pointed to a scene or an image, the AR app displays a label that indicates the object or the item when it recognizes it.
6. Car recognition: Using a smartphone camera, it allows its customers to sit inside the car and explore the car’s interiors. There isn’t even a need to download the application.
7. Object detection: AR-AI combination can be applied to automatically learn and detect the position and extent of the objects within an image or a video. This mobile-friendly model facilitates interaction between physical and digital objects.
The bridging of AR and AI is offering businesses an opportunity to empower their customers more than ever before with information shared in captivating ways. Together, AR and AI continue to enhance mobile experiences. It enables developers to design richer and more intuitive, relevant experiences for their diverse consumers. As we noted earlier, the applications of AR and AI are numerous.
To know more about how Fingent can help you build incredible mobile experiences by combining AR and AI, get in touch with our experts today!
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Paperwork is the bane of most enterprises seeking productivity and efficiency improvements, to reduce their operational costs and become more competitive. While a certain amount of paperwork remains inevitable owing to statutory regulations and the need to preserve important documents in a physical format, the spread of internet gave a big push to electronic records and workflows, reducing paperwork drastically. Now, the advent of mobility has propelled a second wave of the “paperwork revolution,” where intuitive mobile apps eliminate the conventional work processes that create paperwork in the first place.
Mobility contributes to a lean and agile enterprise, where wasteful paperwork is eliminated. Manual processes are time-consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone. The digital capture of information, through smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices generate both direct and spin- off benefits. The elimination of manual processes accelerates the pace of work and improves accuracy. When smartphones capture the information automatically, in audio or video form, perform the required calculations or processing automatically in the backend, and transmits the required information to the relevant stakeholder, in the correct format, there is no scope for errors or even perceptive biases creeping in. The indirect benefit includes better sales and ROI, improved customer satisfaction, and better employee morale.
The effectiveness of mobility in reducing paperwork may be best understood by delving into two key areas where mobility has already succeeded in eliminating paperwork – field based operations and healthcare.
Mobility in Fieldwork
The development of mobile apps have transformed field service operations, be it servicing and repair of machinery, compliance visits, marketing calls, or anything else. Intuitive mobile apps keep track of field employee movements, keep all stakeholders updated in real time, render transparency to each step of the process, auto-generate and auto-populate the required form, transmit the required forms to the relevant authorities, all automatically. The net result is vastly reduced, or even total elimination of manual paperwork.
Process automation and technician self-service eliminate many clerical roles by eliminating the associated paperwork. For instance, when field service staff makes recordings on mobile apps during service calls, the information transmits seamlessly and automatically without the need to decipher handwritten documentation and enter them into appropriate systems manually, at a later stage.
At the ground level, mobility has successfully eliminated paperwork in most field service operations, as evident from the fact only 22% of best-in-class enterprises continue to use paper-based processes in their field service operations.
Mobile Apps for Physicians and Healthcare Operations
The drag paperwork causes are much underestimated. For instance, paperwork takes up as much as a third of a physician’s workday, the time can be better spent on treating more patients or indulging in some other professional or creative pursuits. In many places, physicians are required to do daily rounds and note down individual details of patients on paper. Many physicians, hard pressed for time, skip key processes, leading to incomplete billing and the hospital losing millions in revenue, over time.
Mobility solutions enable physicians and other employees capture information digitally through their smartphones, doing away with record writing and paper-based forms, and thereby eliminating administrative and procedural drags. Mobility solutions auto-populates forms, and does all the calculations and processing in the backend, reducing paperwork drastically. Healthcare stakeholders gain freedom from the piles of charts, billing forms, and various other procedural rigmaroles multiple health insurance companies impose on a daily basis.
Empirical evidence suggests a big boost for efficiency and hospital revenues increasing by about 20%, on the introduction of mobility apps that aid and automates routine tasks.
Storing customer or patient records electronically in the cloud, accessible through mobile apps on a need basis reduces the cost of maintaining physical records, the cost to store such records, and the hassles involved in safeguarding such records. Such apps communicate with hospital servers, read all relevant information such as patient history, billing, and insurance from the organization’s database, and convey such data to caregivers at the time of consultation, all automatically, and without a shred of paper involved in the process.
Mobility solutions also do away with the delay and inconvenience when such records are required at a different location from where it is stored. Reporting and administrative workloads get lighter across the board, allowing employees to spend more time and focus their energies on their core competencies. Improved accuracies lead to better ROI as the revenue related documentation does not slip through the cracks, and improved customer satisfaction as there is no ambiguity and all interaction are recorded accurately.
Mobility in a Run of the Mill Enterprise
Paperwork, combined with manual processes are the number one reason for errors and inefficiencies and contribute to wasteful overheads in a big way. The development of highly intuitive mobile apps eliminates paperwork in a big way. However, success depends on developing apps that serve the purpose well, understand the underlying business process, and developing apps that offer relevant solutions that are an improvement on the present situation.
Very often, paperwork gives rise to more paperwork. The need to buy paper, for instance, to send letters would create a new paper-based requisition form and invoices. When the required information is simply captured digitally and sends an email or text message, it is not just the actual process where the paperwork is eliminated, but the entire work chain is eliminated.
Many businesses start with a good intent but inevitably fall back to manual or paper ridden processes. This is owing to lack of key integrations that facilitate a seamless customer journey through the electronic channel. Effective mapping of the user journey to understand the interactions and touchpoints between users and business process goes a long way in preempting paperwork and manual processes.
Mobility helps to reduce paperwork and bring to the table several benefits, but only if the mobile systems are designed right and implemented well. For best results, rope in a strategic partner who is strong in delivering cutting edge mobile apps that serve the desired purpose.
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The spread of mobility has resulted in a proliferation of mobile apps. However, are apps superfluous when there are already highly intuitive, responsive websites which deliver the goods admiringly well?
On the face of it, mobile apps and websites seem as two sides of the same coin, but scratch beyond the surface, several differences emerge.
A mobile website is technically a shrunken-down version of a normal website, consisting of a series of linked browser-based HTML pages, and accessed over the Internet through the browser. A mobile app, on the other hand, is generally developed specifically for a mobile OS and configuration, and downloaded directly to the device.
Mobile website pages are indexed by search engines, and as such easily found. It is also easy to list a link to mobile websites in directories, and share such links through blogs, websites, and even in print media.
The visibility of apps is largely restricted to app stores. The apps cannot easily be pushed in directories, or the links shared easily. However, once installed, the app icon remains in the mobile screen always, and users may access it even offline. Also, once the initial trouble of getting users to download an app is done, the user is unlikely to go elsewhere.
UX and Design
Websites designed for mobile devices are generally different in appearance and UX, compared to conventional websites. Such websites often have larger icons and buttons to suit the touch-screen interface and improve UX. Incorporating responsive design ensures the web pages scale up or down, to be optimized for any sized device.
Mobile websites rely heavily on browsers to perform even the most elementary functions. For instance, it depends on browser features like ‘back button,’ ‘refresh button,’ and ‘address bar’ to work, with little scope to customize such basic features. The efficiency and seamless functioning of a mobile website depend on an up-to-date browser.
A mobile app is free of browser constraints and may be designed with elaborate and customized functions, co-opting ‘tap,’ ‘swipe,’ ‘drag,’ ‘pinch,’ ‘hold,’ and other advanced gestures. Such gestures may be leveraged for innovative functionality, and to perform tasks better. For instance, moving to the next page is much easier with a swipe than by having to press the back button.
Mobile websites display text content, data, images, and video, just like any websites, but generally, have a limited range of options compared to a conventional website. Nevertheless, mobile websites are often cluttered with dense content, popups, ads, and other content of varying nature. Apps, in contrast, are designed to facilitate a specific function, process or workflow. The best apps are highly focused help users achieve something which cannot be fulfilled easily or seamlessly through the website. Some web developers try to give mobile websites the look and feel of an app, but often end up over-optimizing the website, complete with over-designed layouts.
Mobile websites are getting increasingly better at accessing functions such as click-to-call, SMS and GPS, hitherto considered the forte of apps. However, apps are still a better bet to access device functionality in a reliable way, especially the camera and the processing power of the device. Apps also facilitate a much deeper engagement.
Both apps and websites can be used to deliver the same content or functionality to users. However, both are best suited for specific purposes.
A mobile website, which offers ready access, scores over an app, which have to be downloaded first before the user can access the contents, when the intention is to offer ready content to a wide audience. However, for interactive situations, and use-cases involving complex calculations and reporting, and manipulated data, charts, and reports, apps are better suited than websites.
Apps are better to drive engagement. As long as the user takes the trouble to download the app, the odds are the user would open the app before trying to access anything else for the same purpose.
It is far easier to update content in a mobile website, where changes to the back-end make it applicable to anyone who accesses the website. In contrast, to make changes in apps, the developer has to roll out updates for each app and push the same to the users. The changes apply only when users download the updated version of the app.
However, what the app lacks in flexibility to update content, it compensates in personalization. App also offers scope for greater personalization. Unlike websites, apps allow users to set preferences and be served customized content. Apps have the capability to observe and track user engagement, also leverage the device’s location capabilities, to provide users with custom recommendations and updates. One of the biggest advantages of mobile apps is the ability to send push notifications. Push notifications deliver click-through rates of about 40%.
Cost – Performance Conundrum
Apps generally cost more to develop and maintain compared to websites, for the simple reason a new version of the app has to be developed and maintained for each OS or platform. The mobile app development process has to be repeated for each platform. In contrast, a single instance website runs across all devices.
Again, apps compensate through superior performance. Well-designed apps perform actions much quicker than mobile websites. Apps store data locally on the device, whereas websites have to pull in data from remote web servers. Apps, by virtue of its high customization features, take proactive actions on users’ behalf, further speeding up things.
A mobile website and a native app are not necessarily mutually exclusive. What works best for any enterprise depends on several factors, such as the preference of target audiences, whether there is a critical mass of subscribers, budget on hand, intended purpose and required features. Many functions, especially marketing related, require both a mobile website and a mobile app. Generally, the mobile website is the first step in developing a web presence, and apps follow.
Ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Mobile users spend 86% of their time on mobile apps and just 14% of the time on mobile websites. However, while an app offers several big advantages, the advantages realize only when the mobile app development is done the right way. Do not take chances with your app development process, and fritter away both your competitive advantage and investment. Get in touch with us to leverage our highly talented, resourceful, and experienced teams, who are adept in delivering cutting-edge mobile solutions.
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Field service is an industry which owes a large margin of its improvements to mobile applications. It has been leveraging mobile applications for a number of its functions and aspects for quite some time now and organizations have already replaced all of their heavy paper based processes with smart mobile applications. Most of them also continue to migrate their software as well as services and storage to the cloud, by which they allow the emails, photos, documents and other important information to be accessed from anywhere in the world.
According to a research by IDC, the world’s mobile workforce is likely to have grown to 1.3 billion this year. And the American region, including the United States, Canada and Latin America are likely to have seen an increase in their mobile workers from 182.5 million in 2010 to 212.1 million in 2015, with North America in the lead for the largest number of mobile workers at 75% of the total mobile workforce in 2010.
Such being the level at which mobile workers are increasing, there is also going to be an increase in the number of mobile devices connected to the internet, which according to Gartner is likely to be more than 30 billion in number by 2020, generating almost $2 trillion as an economic value worldwide.
That said, since mobile connectivity with the internet is rapidly increasing worldwide, it is about time that field service personnel also utilized mobile applications and start becoming a part of the mobile workforce.
As a matter of fact, the field service industry is one which has a million functions and opportunities to make them automated with mobile apps. It is indeed critical now for them to keep up with the changes and embrace mobility. Using a fully integrated field service management software has to be followed up with a mobile app as well. Read this blog to know the advantages
The field service industry actually needs mobile apps more than any industry
Field agents are almost always on the move, traveling from one job site to another. And they always need access to customer information, invoices, work order information, product or tools information and the like, most often in real-time. Since they go from one place of service to the next continuously, they might need information on their next work order and their next customer as well on the go.
A well-designed mobile app can help them simplify these processes and get things done in a more efficient and organized manner. Since it is cloud-based, it allows the field agents to pull up any information instantly from wherever they are. Hence, it avoids redundant phone calls to find the whereabouts of the agents or the job site and also any delay in information exchange.
It also helps to simplify communication between the field service agents, the providers, and the customers. Many a time, field service personnel have faced challenges in communicating with their team, especially when there are several agents traveling to a particular job site simultaneously. The right mobile app helps in effective communication and better coordination among these agents. This is especially true in case of companies that provide round-the-clock maintenance and inspection support. They definitely need a communication system that spans beyond regular telephonic calls, so that they don’t have to go through the ordeal of making a landline office phone call or enter passcodes and numbers every time that have to connect with someone. They need a system with advanced features that allow seamless communication between field service personnel.
It helps to eliminate human errors arising from manual data entry or paper-based data entry processes as well, which again adds to the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization as a whole.
Most field service mobile apps have many added benefits as well for the field agents, such as:
- Ability to access information related to work history and forthcoming jobs so that they can do the necessary preparations
- Ability to capture photos and signatures while they are on site
- Ability to go through and review their assigned tasks and accept or reject them according to their skills and expertise or time schedule
- An in-built navigation tool that will help them find the most efficient and appropriate route to their job site, thereby reducing travel time
- Ability to request for assistance or advice to other nearby co-workers, while they are on site and ensure that they fix the issue properly
Apart from these, there are a number of additional benefits that are designed to address the many problems that can arise in field service.
For example, there could be chances for last-minute plan or schedule changes, as technicians are always moving from one job to the next. Moreover, external factors like weather problems, traffic and power failure can also cause delay and even render the field agents from reaching the assigned location.
Field service mobile apps have advanced features to track the whereabouts of the workers in real-time and even determine the time required for him to complete a job he is currently at. Hence, the service providers can assign tasks based on the location, current job, skills and expertise of the technicians. Being cloud-based, all the team members can have access to the location of the supervisors or technicians or the customers from anywhere.
Enterprise Mobile Applications
According to a study by the Aberdeen group, “best-in-class” mobile apps are capable of completing about 1.5 times as much work on a mobile device as the industry average and also achieving an average of 40% increase in operational efficiency every year. As a matter of fact, the right mobile apps or the “best-in-class”, can do more than just mobilizing already existing enterprise software. A well-developed and a well-enforced mobile app strategy can actually act as a catalyst for improving coordination and effective communication, hastening the decision-making process and increase the overall operational efficiency of the organization as a whole.
On top of all that, as data gets collected from multiple sources and processes through mobile apps, there is also a chance of collating these and extracting greater, more useful information in the future.
Field service agents, as well as the providers have access to all information related to their jobs at one place. For the same reason, they have the opportunity to analyze and determine new trends and patterns and use it to make significant changes. For example, field agents assigned to follow up routine maintenance works on appliances and the like, can track the data collected from these works with the help of specialized mobile apps and use it to predict the next maintenance requirement. Hence, rather than fixing issues after they occur, field agents can utilize predictive analysis to be proactive in their approach.
On the whole, there are a number of unique features that mobile field service apps can provide to increase productivity and efficiency of the field service industry itself. It is high time that field service organizations (who have not already adopted mobile apps), encouraged mobility and started using feature-rich mobile applications to solve their day-to-day challenges.
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Guess what the global population is today! It’s 7 billion and is ticking faster than the stopwatch needle. Out of this, there are more than 2.7 billion smartphone subscriptions worldwide and the figure is expected to touch 6.1 billion in 2020, surpassing the number of active fixed line connections, according to the Ericsson mobility report. By the end of 2020, 80% of the global data traffic will be from smartphones. That’s how fast people are getting the mobile mind shift.
Enterprise mobile apps: does it make sense for your business?
“Sometimes the best way to simplify complex business processes and make employees’ jobs easier is with homegrown enterprise mobile applications.”
The increased global demand in mobiles, tablets and other smart devices in the past few years have led to millions of mobile apps. The ripple effect is not just limited to the common consumers, but is also among the technology giants and SMBs, who consider that having a mobile ready team is vital for the modern work environment. 61% of companies have plans to make mobility their top priority in 2016 and will spend more on software, devices and services to accomplish this. Why? Simply because studies prove that mobile application users complete 1.5 times as much work on their smart device, that too with a 40% operational efficiency every year. Both custom mobile applications and off-the shelf business applications are getting popular among companies. Businesses are found to allow six off-the-shelf apps and five custom mobile business apps for employees on an average.
This being the status, enterprise mobile applications for businesses is not a choice anymore, rather it’s a necessity to stay relevant and in the picture. Apart from the above benefits, here are few compelling reasons why your business should start investing in enterprise mobile application development now:
Enterprise Mobile apps make it convenient for workers to work. The use of enterprise mobile applications in companies are thus getting huge to collect, utilize, share and learn from their enormous amount of data. Industries (for instance, the field service industry) have been seen to embrace mobility exclusively moving from paperwork to the cloud. It has helped them simplify travel and communication, improve processes and reduce human errors. Companies have realized substantial productivity gains, improved sales, better tracking of work and least sway-offs from set goals, using efficient mobile apps. Businesses are thus going to extremes to encourage mobile application development and its adoption to make employee’s important tasks much simpler, flexible, faster and accessible on the go. It helps reduce the need for them to travel, and trims the time taken to complete tasks.
Employers are gradually shifting employees from using desktops to smart devices, because they know the workers will find it easier, faster and helps them to be in loop wherever they are. And this will in turn keep them indulged, and make them productive!
Better ROI from enterprise mobile apps
Organizations save huge amounts converting their manual processes into apps. Mobile applications encourage employee collaboration and facilitate sharing of the best practices across the teams. This helps create a holistic environment that will benefit the employer, employees and the customers. This in turn increases the ROI on a good enterprise mobile application development. . Out of those who have tracked their cost saving from switching to mobile app, 17% saved around $25,000-$100,000 annually and 81% around $1,000-$25,000.
Developing in-house enterprise applications lessens the security and risk concerns
Apps available from the stores might be too detrimental to the security. Certain apps don’t even encrypt the data they transmit/ receive through the network, and thus is prone to interceptions. Employees using such apps to store or exchange sensitive, confidential company data will be silently and unknowingly compromising the company’s security policies. Encouraging enterprise mobile app development in house is probably the right solution here.
Attracting the majority- the youngsters
The largest percentage of employees in companies is the youth, and is the most prominent users of smart devices. The generation rely more on mobile devices than on traditional PC computers. To make this vast audience satisfied and comfortable, enterprise mobility solutions is the way to go.
Greater customer engagement, service and support
Do you think you can benefit from the ability to reach out to your customers, irrespective of the place, 24*7? It’s just wow! Right? That is exactly why you will need Apps, to connect with your customers and employees anytime, anywhere.
Enterprise mobility is becoming an integral part of business. Businesses will start to own their own Enterprise App stores, and that could be the best thing to do for your company. At the same time, there are certain things that you should know before embarking on this plan so that you don’t set unrealistic goals. To ensure that enterprise app development is a strategic asset and not just another technology investment, you must align it with the company’s goals and policies. Contact our mobility experts to know more about these trends and policies, and to learn how an enterprise mobile app can change your business for the better.