September 21, 2018
Extended Reality: How the “new SAP” delivers a new view of the world
By: Jordi Roca

Welcome back to my blog series showcasing how, as a truly open platform that enables integration of new applications with business processes, SAP is enabling a huge range of innovation. That’s something we are putting into practice with a suite of 100+ SAP-based applications that harness the latest technologies to accelerate enterprise transformation through innovation.

Thanks to new SAP solutions and technologies, "intelligence everywhere" is a reality. And we’re demonstrating what that looks like by mapping the applications we’ve developed to the five trends highlighted in Accenture’s 2018 Technology Vision.

Innovate at speed, keep intelligence always on, unlock new value through data & new business models - #TechVision2018 for @SAP


This time, we’re looking at the second of these trends: Extended Reality. This focuses on how new virtual reality and augmented reality technologies are removing the distance between people, information and experiences, transforming the way we live and work.

These technologies are set to have a transformational impact from now on. Just look at gaming. As an industry, it’s already worth more than film and music combined. And many of the innovations happening there are now being deployed and adapted to reinvent what’s possible in many other areas—from healthcare to retail to manufacturing and asset maintenance.

You can now "walk through" your new home before it’s built. Airline executives can inspect new aircraft and adapt them to their specifications years ahead of production. And oil and gas field teams can train on simulations that mirror real-life situations in every way.

We’re harnessing the power of the latest VR and AR technologies, using SAP technologies and third-party solutions, enabled through SAP Leonardo and SAP Cloud Platform, to infuse new intelligence everywhere. The objective? A real-time connection between the back (back-office processes) and the front (user experience through augmented reality and virtual reality), helping our clients to boost their performance, increase business results and enhance the user experience. This is now possible, thanks to the “new SAP.”

Let’s look at a couple of examples. First, Virtual Bionics, an armband that we’ve digitally connected to both SAP Leonardo IoT and VR dashboards to create a gamification platform. The purpose? To reduce phantom limb pain for people with amputations with appropriate prosthetics and make what can be monotonous therapy exercises more engaging.

The dashboard also helps physical therapists to create personalized therapy plans with improved measurement and analysis of electrical signals in patients’ muscles. Initial findings show that patients using the application report higher self-esteem and made greater progress than through physical therapy alone.

Currently being piloted at the Hospital das Clinicas in São Paolo, Brazil, our application uses SAP Leonardo IoT, VR/AR (Oculus Rift and Microsoft HoloLens) and AI solutions to collect patient data (from any source) and present it through an SAP Cloud Platform-based dashboard.

The second example is Augmented Warehouse. Stock selection is one of the most important supply chain activities. It’s also one of the most costly and time-intensive. By enabling mobile 3D navigation through the warehouse (and through individual containers), our application, built on SAP Leonardo and SAP Cloud Platform, helps stock pickers to find the right item faster.

The picker uses augmented reality to visualize a realistic model of the packaging content and see multiple variants or configurations of the requested item. And because it’s integrated seamlessly with SAP S/4HANA, our application can also provide detailed item data and keeps a more accurate stock.

The result? Intelligent stock picking that increases efficiency and reduces costly errors. And the application can deliver real value in other situations. From providing retail customers with enhanced in-store navigation and product information to helping factory workers locate and fix faulty equipment faster, the possibilities are enormous.

It’s a great example of how the “new SAP” provides the platform for a truly intelligent enterprise that can connect seamlessly with other systems and to other technologies.

Next time, I’ll be looking at the third trend in this series, Data Veracity, and highlighting some of the applications we’ve developed that bring this trend to life.

I’d love to hear your views on this blog, so please get in touch or leave a comment. Thanks for reading.

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