5 minutes with Hendrik Witt TeamViewer Chief Product Officer

TeamViewer’s Chief Product Officer, Hendrik Witt, discusses AR technology, how the industrial metaverse is being implemented & transforming manufacturing

Hello Dr Witt - please introduce yourself and your role. 

“Hi, I’m Hendrik Witt, and I’m Chief Product Officer at TeamViewer. I am responsible for driving product development and ensuring our solutions remain some of the most innovative in the market. I have more than 15 years of experience in software technology and strategy development, and I really enjoy seeing how our technology brings people closer every day, through our expanding capabilities and solutions.”

 

What is TeamViewer? 

“Headquartered in Goppingen, Germany, TeamViewer is a leading global technology company that provides connectivity technology to remotely access, control, manage, monitor, and repair devices of any kind – from laptops and mobile phones to industrial machines and robots. Installed on more than 2.5bn devices all over the world, TeamViewer enables companies of all sizes and industries to digitalise their core processes. 

“Furthermore, we positioned ourselves as one of the leading providers of enterprise Augmented and Mixed reality solutions – a technology that is crucial for the expansion and development of what is referred to as the ‘Industrial Metaverse’.”

 

How have technological advancements expanded the Metaverse into other industry verticals, such as manufacturing? 

“Current focus on the metaverse is often on the consumer experience, associating the trend with the likes of avatars and VR headsets. But when looking at the broader understanding of the metaverse and viewing it as a convergence of the physical world and the internet powered by immersive technology, the use cases for the metaverse can be applied to many industries, especially when it comes to manufacturing. Some of the biggest use cases of the metaverse in this sector include assisting frontline workers with machine training and repair through utilising IoT and AR capabilities to guide and support workers through tasks.”  

 

How is the industrial metaverse being implemented? 

“The industrial metaverse digitalises information to the worker. Technological advances in augmented and mixed reality (AR and MR), such as smart glasses, enable workers to display information, receive entire-step-by-step workflows, or even interactive 3D holograms. These can all be blended into the real-world without obstructing the worker’s view, providing a solution to traditional challenges of metaverse technologies for frontline workers. 

“Ultimately, it's the software that unlocks the full potential of the industrial metaverse, displaying real-time data from backend systems, interactive and immersive training workflows or step-by-step instructions to maintain a machine.”

 

How are AR solutions for the whole industrial value chain transforming manufacturing? 

“In comparison to other industries, manufacturing has a lot of catch-up to do when it comes to its digitalisation journey. AR solutions bring a range of benefits to the industrial value chain by bridging the gap between the physical and the digital world. It helps increase return on investment by reducing error rates and improves speed in training, picking or assembly for frontline workers. 

“Overall, this increases productivity, mitigates risks such as outages and production line delays, and in turn, has a positive impact on the bottom line. These benefits are invaluable as manufacturers advance on digitalisation and equip the front line for the future.”  

 

What is your biggest reflection from 2022? 

“We will remember 2022 as the year that AR technology became mainstream. The broad discussion on all levels around the metaverse has also triggered a discussion around the future technology and trends in hardware and software that are necessary for implementing immersive XR environments. Thus, AR/MR technology is now at the forefront of these discussions, together with other global tech megatrends that will further shape the metaverse such as 5G or Edge Computing. For someone who has worked with AR/MR technology for many years, it is really great to see how things are rocketing in 2022.” 

 

What changes do you anticipate in 2023? 

“We will see further strong growth in the adoption of AR/MR technology in the industry, the industrial metaverse will become a topic throughout all sectors. Over the next decade, it will sustainably change the manufacturing, production and logistics processes as we know them. Major tech players such as Apple and Google are further investing in the development of the hardware, especially in monocular smart glasses that are tailored to use cases in the industry, rather than to consumer scenarios.  

“Besides the commitment of the hardware developers, the worldwide hardware shipping is a good indicator for further market adoption. Industry analysts predict 2.7m shipped glasses for 2022, for 2023 the shipping will more than double to 5.8m . More than a million of these devices will go to the manufacturing sector, 850.000 into logistics, only 400.000 to media and entertainment. This shows us once more that the industry sector will be a major driver in further shaping the metaverse. 

“This strong growth will steadily continue in the upcoming years. For example, for 2027, predictions show already 38m shipped AR/MR devices. At TeamViewer, we are looking forward to this future and how we can contribute to it.”

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