Many of us are part of a growing mobile workforce that is constantly on the move. With our transient schedules, one day we may be working at the destination office, transitioning between our home office and meetings on the road. Flexibility is important to be effective at our jobs in combination with our overall lifestyle. The work that we produce must be successful, but getting there needs to complement how we can effectively do the work. Fortunately, current technology with laptops and mobile devices has enabled us to have that freedom of location.
Because the mobile office can virtually be anywhere, user needs can be difficult to pinpoint. As a designer, I tend to see this type of scenario as an opportunity for innovative solutions. I recently discovered a new wearable device called the Nreal Air Glasses. These glasses can be considered an extension for laptops or mobile devices through Augmented Reality (AR). Many consider AR to be more closely associated with gaming or entertainment. If used in business, AR devices can improve our work and even unlock new workflows, improving our efficiency and even replacing the need for additional hardware accessories.
Our laptops are great for their portability, but to effectively multitask between applications or windows, an additional screen is an ideal solution (commonly seen in office environments). For laptops, there are physical slide-out screens available as attachments, but they add weight and need more space in a travel bag.
Nreal Air Glasses solve this challenge virtually. By plugging Nreal Air Glasses into a laptop, the user is presented with the option of either two or three virtual monitors, including a virtual representation of the main screen in the center.
Just like working with physical monitors, the user can move the cursor or drag windows between virtual screens, while operating different programs at the same time. With the brightness turned down on the physical monitor, the user can work confidentially while on a plane or train, creating a private office on the go.
A James Bond wearable
The Nreal Air Glasses are light and feel slightly larger than a classic pair of Ray-Bans. Different from other headset wearables, there are no batteries on the device; rather, they are powered by plugging the cord between the AR glasses and a laptop or mobile device.
When using these AR glasses with an Android phone, the user is presented with an even more expansive virtual workspace with an entire wall of screens, applications and functionality, all in the Augmented Reality environment. This experience rivals that of a computer and is as portable as it gets. There is even an application with the Nreal Platform called XRAI Glass. With XRAI software enabled, the glasses project real-time subtitles in AR, when someone else is speaking. This technology is great for users traveling in other countries or if they have a hearing disability.
As Augmented Reality becomes more seamless and devices become more common, these added digital layers will help us naturally solve challenges and we’ll start to rethink the definition of reality.
Bill Nottingham is CEO & Founder of InnovateNOW LLC