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Cisco Launches Webex Hologram, An Augmented Reality Meeting Solution

At WebexOne, Cisco unveiled a preview of its next-generation hybrid work collaboration product. Webex Hologram is the industry’s only real-time meeting solution that takes advantage of augmented reality headsets to combine feature rich Webex meeting functionality with immersive 3D holograms.

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With 64% of employees agreeing that the ability to work remotely directly affects whether they stay or leave a job (source: Cisco Hybrid Work Index), organizations will increasingly offer flexible work arrangements. Yet this poses a challenge for teams that require hands-on collaboration, such as design or training with a physical object. With Webex Hologram’s holographic capabilities, participants can now interact in ways previously possible only in-person.

“Our mission at Cisco is to empower the 3 billion digital workers on the planet to participate equally from anywhere in the world,” said Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager, Cisco Security and Collaboration. “Webex Hologram represents a large step toward our mission of delivering a delivering a work experience so seamless that there is no gap between virtual and in-person collaboration.”

Global COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols have also heightened the need for enterprises to offer immersive virtual meetings. For example, in the healthcare industry when a new surgical device is introduced, physicians, technicians, sales and support teams need to be trained quickly. With Webex Hologram, this training can be handled remotely to save time and travel, while providing the ability to see the surgical device from every angle and at its actual size as if a physician were in the room.

“Webex Hologram is a powerful tool for our design engineers, drivers and crews as we continue to reimagine hybrid sports and supporting our team on tracks around the world,” said Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing. “Rather than flying a technician to the racing team or explaining procedures through flat images, with the Hologram technology we can immediately show an engine component from every angle, convey sizing, and instruct on assembly and usage as if they were in person – all while saving countless hours in travel time.”

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Additional capabilities of Webex Hologram include:

  • Immersive technology in-use today: Unlike 2D and virtual meeting experiences in the market today, only Webex Hologram enables a feeling of co-presence by delivering photorealistic, real-time holograms of actual people. For participants, this means an experience that’s more engaging and realistic, as opposed to using avatars. This can make all the difference when it comes to training and problem-solving.
  • Ability to share physical and digital content: With Webex Hologram, the presenter can share both physical content and digital content that allows users to co-create and truly collaborate. Take an auto manufacturer, for instance. Participants can interact with a physical prototype of a vehicle that’s shared in the AR experience to examine and provide feedback on the vehicle’s engine and undercarriage. Design renderings of the car and other digital content can also be shared during the immersive experience.
  • Multi-dimensional experience for multiple users: Support for a “1:many” presenter experience that enables remote participation from multiple users. Each user simultaneously receives a multi-dimensional experience, as opposed to other offerings that limit usage to single angle views.
  • Headset agnostic: Webex Hologram is compatible with industry-leading AR headsets, such as Magic Leap and Microsoft HoloLens.

Webex Hologram will soon further bolster the Webex Suite, enabling remote and hybrid workers to engage in immersive experiences using the AR headset of choice. In the past year, Webex by Cisco has introduced nearly 1,000 new features and devices to market, and continues to innovate with emerging technologies.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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