XR ANALYST INTERVIEW:COVID-19 Survivor Talks with RealWear About Value of HMT-1 for COVID-19 Response
Moor Insights Analyst on Why Zero-Touch Computing from RealWear is Such a Huge Factor in Responding to COVID-19
We had a unique opportunity to chat with Anshel Sag, XR Industry Analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.
Anshel Sag is a survivor of COVID-19 and has a unique perspective on RealWear based on his industry experience with augmented and virtual reality, and his first-hand experience with COVID-19.
Anshel is Moor Insights & Strategy’s in-house millennial and was previously Editor-in-Chief and co-founder for the Bright Side of News, a top 20,000 (Quantcast) web site, focusing on technology. Anshel is also a contributing writer for Forbes Magazine where he posted, “RealWear, a Force to Be Reckoned With in Enterprise AR.“
RealWear: I’m here today with Anshel Sag from Moor Insights. Hi, Anshel. Hi, how’s it going?
Anshel Sag: Pretty good.
RealWear: Thanks so much for joining us. I really appreciate you taking the time with RealWear to chat about RealWear and about COVID-19. So, Real quick…I’m wearing the HMT-1 head-mounted wearable device – a hands-free device. I just wanted to share with you and talk a little bit with you…you are on the recovery path for COVID-19. Could you share a little bit about your story there?
Anshel Sag: Ya, I caught it a few weeks ago and I kind of quickly knew I had it. I had some fun trying to get tested. I got tested and it got worse over time. And ended up going to the hospital for nine days. Then I came out feeling pretty good. And it’s been about a little over a week since I’ve been home. And I’m feeling almost 100%. Just a few things with my heart and my lungs. But I feel mostly functional and it will probably take a few more weeks to fully recover.
RealWear: You had told me early on chat that it’s a lot different than the flu.
Anshel Sag: Ya, it started out feeling like the flue. But then what happened was I started developing a cough, a very very small cough. It wasn’t very significant but I was like, this is weird because i never get the flu and then suddenly get a cough. And the go to symptoms that people have mentioned was flue like systems and a cough. I was like, this isn’t good. So I immediately isolated myself. And tried to get tested and it was a bit of a challenge to get tested. It took me about a week after I thought Ihad COVID to get tested. But yeah, it was quite the journey. I definitely don’t wish it upon anyone. So I highly recommend you stay home.
ReallWear: Speaking of being home, a lot of RealWear’s customers are at home as well. What we wanted to chat about is our customers — our frontline workers — a lot of them are engineers, a lot of them are directors of operations or technical people. They are staying home as well. However there are folks on the first line, on the front line that are really trying to keep our supply chain going, trying to keep the manufacturing plants going, some plants obviously have had to shut down in automotive and other industries. But others are really working to keep uptime, so again this device is a hands-free device. We’ve seen a lot of inquiries about it. And we wanted to hear from you on how you could see a voice-operated remote collaboration tool being used.
Anshel Sag: I actually think now is probably one of the most important times for that. Especially when you consider that so many people are stuck at home. And a lot of those people have the knowledge base and the understanding of how to deal with certain problems. And having access to those people who are stuck at home and giving them those people the knowledge to send to people who are on the front lines who are dealing with the problems in real time – this is one of the biggest times for something like this where you have the knowledge worker and you have the front line worker and they have to be connected somehow and being able to connect the two and being able to get the work done quickly because the person with the knowledge and the troubleshooting skills might not actually be able to leave their house or wherever they may be and I don’t think we’ve really had a time like this before where people are forced to be kept apart and some technology like RealWear can actually enable them to be connected to get things done quickly and move on to the next task.
RealWear: Our device is modular so we’ve been doing a lot of rapid protoyping to connect different accessories either third party or designing our own; for example, an elevated body temperature detection using some AI and things like that – we’re really trying to make the most out of our platform even in China donating devices like that to hospitals for medical communications.
Anshel Sag: I think temperature sensing device like that for seeing if whether someone has a fever — I’ve seen devices like that deployed in Asia and I think they’re extremely important for hospitals because when I checked into the hospital they had a security guard whose job it was to ensure that no one enters the building unless they’ve been screened first. I think that person should be the one who would wear something like that so they know when someone who’s coming up to them as a fever they can immediately send them to the appropriate location and not even interact with them if they don’t need to. I think that these headsets should be important in public places. It’s a bit difficult in certain places like the U.S. where privacy concerns are a little bit more relevant. But I think even then police should be armed with tools to protect themselves and the public because I think the fever shouldn’t be in public and know that in Asia a lot of restaurants didn’t close but they were checking people’s fever at the door. So I think having something like that is definitely something valuable and should be the first line of defense.
RealWear: The other use case is this idea of remote collaboration. RealWear has over 100 remote collaboration partners that these apps can be loaded onto the device. We recently formed a partnership with Microsoft with Microsoft Teams is available in Public Preview on the RealWear device for firstline workers. Anyone who has an Office 365 license and has access to Teams can now download that. What kind of communication – you talked about – do you see the Microsoft partnership as opening up more opportunities for the firstline workers to get access to communications?
Anshel Sag: Absolutely. I think especially with the consideration that other platforms are not as secure and a lot of people should will most likely be moving over to Teams if they haven’t already. There’s a lot of opportunities for both frontline medical workers and frontline supply workers and stockers and things like that because COVID is still on my mind. I’m thinking about what if a nurse who’s already in the room and is already wearing PPE can convey information to someone who’s not in the room. That doesn’t need to be an added risk. When they were taking care of m e, they were not visiting my room as much as they needed to because they were trying to minimize the risk that they took on by being in the same room as me. So I think minimizing interactions, minimizing the amount of people that are exposed I think is going to be really valuable and you know judging by what I see I don’t think wearing that headset would necessarily impair someone’s ability to wear PP.E. Obviously it would have to be disinfected every time it was taken in and out of a room. But I could totally see that working with PPE with the shield. So I definitely think that there’s opportunities in healthcare but I also think there’s plenty of opportunities just because i think there’s so many people that are essential but they also have a support structure that they’re normal used to being around. And that support structure is stuck at home.
Anshel Sag: Right. I can definitely see that.
RealWear: Ya, I want to thank you for your insights on this. We will definitely continue keep monitoring our website inbound traffic and we’re essentially 24/7 responding to requests from all over the globe, all different use cases for the platform because essentially it’s a no contact, zero-touch solution so that you can communicate without touching a hard surface of phone to do Facetime and things like. We’re not yet in the containment area globally yet and that’s going to be even more critical.
Anshel Sag: Zero-touch is a huge factor. Absolutely.
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