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Augmented Reality Communication: The Future of UC Collaboration

Monday, February 10, 2020

The history of unified communications (UC) really began in the 1980s with the introduction and adoption of IVRs, email and voicemail. IVR technology enabled off-site access to voicemail as well as “email reader” functionality which set the idea of unified, or integrated, communications on the fast track.

Mobile phones in the 1990s led to widespread adoption of “find me, follow me” features on business phone systems, and computers started to display call controls in a very early version of a “soft phone.”

In the early 2000s, instant messaging and presence features became the rising stars of many platforms, and UC solutions began to truly integrate voice, email, chat, collaboration and mobility.

Communications innovators like Kinetic Business by Windstream have invested in unified communications as a service (UcaaS). OfficeSuite UC®️ was developed to support dynamic work teams with HD video conferencing, screen sharing, mobile twinning, instant messaging, speech-to-text, real-time presence/availability and customization.

Real Spending On Mixed Reality Communication

Mixed reality sounds a bit like a euphemism for chaos, or an ‘80s club on Hollywood Boulevard, but it’s an umbrella term for virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). It is the combined use of a screen and a camera to overlay fully digital objects and beings upon real life, think Pokemon Go.

International Data Corp. (IDC) predicts spending on mixed reality communication will jump nearly 80% this year to $18.8 billion.

VR/AR Applications for UC

The impact of virtual reality on business could be, not just profound, but transformative. Imagine slipping on a lightweight headset and finding yourself in a 3D meeting space, replete with tools such as screens and white boards, with fellow staff or stakeholders who in fact are scattered throughout the building or the world. An utterly immersive space to take care of business.

Augmented reality in business is already “translating.” Cloud-based artificial intelligence will bridge the language barrier in real time so that international business presentations can be conducted without language barriers. Last year, Microsoft demonstrated its HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset. The hologram of company executive Julia White delivered a presentation in White’s own voice signature but in Japanese. (She reportedly does not speak the language.)

UC is the new overhead

UCaaS is oriented toward future communication technology, even on today’s tight budgets. Today, entrepreneurs’ precious startup capital can be spent on augmented reality communication carried by IP, powered by staff’s own hardware. Traditional overhead, such as office space and computers, is negotiable.

By combining time-tested analog work processes with new mixed reality communication, we can transform our ability to meet, collaborate and create. It may sound like the beginnings of a Matrix irreality, but it has played out nicely so far.

Such future communication technology must arrive over your first and most lasting investment — an ample internet connection. Kinetic Business by Windstream’s fiber internet can prepare businesses to make the most of new solutions that will transform who your team is, when your clients may reach you and where it happens.