GeneralTechnology

AR Telepresence App Spatial Debuts on Magic Leap via Enterprise Suite

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After stealing the show at the HoloLens 2 launch and starring in Qualcomm’s unveiling the Snapdragon XR2, holographic video conferencing app Spatial has landed a leading role in Magic Leap’s second act with the enterprise segment.

This week, Spatial announced that its 3D remote collaboration solution will be among the apps available on the Magic Leap Enterprise Suite for Magic Leap 1.

“Spatial’s innovative collaboration software combined with our spatial computing platform has the potential to transform how people work, enhancing collaboration and productivity in the digital workplace,” said Omar Khan, chief product officer at Magic Leap, in statement.

As with the HoloLens 2, XR2-powered AR wearables, and VR headsets like Oculus Quest, Spatial on Magic Leap 1 enables multiple users in remote locations to interact with 3D models, images, documents, and other digital files in augmented reality.

Mobile and desktop users are also able to collaborate within the same virtual environment, and the app supports screen sharing as well.

“Spatial is the world’s most advanced cross-reality, device-agnostic, collaboration platform that represents a whole new dimension of possibilities, beyond video conferencing and traditional shared documents,” said Anand Agarawala, co-founder and CEO at Spatial.

“We’re creating a platform that allows content to literally hang in space around you, allowing workers to move around and manipulate with the lift of a finger. Through lifelike 3D avatars it feels like you’re in the same room as your colleagues who are millions of miles away. We’re excited by the unrivalled capabilities of the Magic Leap spatial computing technology, and the potential to empower enterprises to be more connected, creative, and productive — unlocking collective human intelligence in new ways.”

The combination of remote collaboration and spatial computing makes the app ideal for companies with distributed workforces, where travel expenses to connect far-flung teams can eat at their bottom line. Enterprise businesses said to be adopting Spatial include Mattel, Pfizer, JP Morgan, UBS, BNP Paribas Real Estate, and Purina Nestle, and Spatial claims that 200 of the companies comprising the Fortune 1000 list have expressed interest.

“Spatial is the only solution we want to use for meetings from now on,” said Florian Couret, head of digital innovation at BNP Paribas Real Estate. “We use Spatial on Magic Leap for real estate development planning across several offices. Being able to review 3D information and feel like we’re actually in the room with colleagues helps us cut down on a lot of travel.”

However, when it comes to augmented reality telepresence, Spatial isn’t the only solution available on the Magic Leap One. In fact, Magic Leap’s own Avatar Chat is one of those competing apps, but it employs cartoon avatars instead of Spatial’s advanced avatars, which actually look like the users. And then there’s Mimesys, which Magic Leap acquired earlier this year, which is looking to compete with Spatial’s user experience with real-time volumetric video conferencing.

In the larger ecosystem of enterprise AR, though, Spatial’s move to Magic Leap corners the two major high-end AR headsets and opens itself up to potentially more, as Qualcomm has five hardware partners building AR wearables running on the XR2 platform. With that kind of base of support, Spatial may soon be able to establish itself as the standard-bearer among the remote holographic telepresence crowd.

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