What Infrastructure Do Manufacturers Need To Implement Servitization?

This post originally appeared on Field Service USA.

This is the third post in a three-part series exploring servitization. The first post dove into the underlying problem that begat the need for servitization, the second post dove into what servitization is and the impacts to manufacturers (OEMs) and their customers. This post will explore the infrastructure OEMs need to build in their organizations in order to bring servitization to life.

We’ll start with the implications of servitization on financial infrastructure, then dive into org structure, and lastly technology tools.

At the most basic level, servitization is about growing long term, recurring revenue while reducing short term business risk. More specifically, this is about moving from just selling capital equipment to selling equipment and services on top of that to maximize the value that customers can extract from a given piece of equipment. In the most extreme servitization models, this may even involve subsidizing capital equipment sales with service revenue, incurring a short term cash hit for even more long term recurring revenue.

The move to servitization has substantial impacts on cash flows. Traditional OEM cash flows tend to revolve around end-of-quarter as capital equipment purchases can take significant time to approve and typically revolve around quarterly budget meetings. Note that the numbers below are for a hypothetical OEM.

This stands in stark contrast to a more typical servitization based cash flow model, where revenue between equipment sales and service blurs and normalizes.

Although there is still seasonality in the servitization model, the month-over-month cash flow changes are tempered significantly. This reduces cash flow risk to the OEM, normalizes customer payments for the customer, and presents an opportunity for greater long term revenue capture per customer. Everyone wins.

Although every organization is different, it’s possible to paint broad strokes on the management structure needed to deliver servitized performance. The key to delivering servitized product delivery is organizational alignment. The lines between sales and service must blur: sales teams must learn, appreciate, and sell the value of service and customer-value-extraction. Service, on the other hand, must recognize that the company’s financial performance will depend on their ability to execute and ensure that customers extract the expected value from the OEM’s equipment.
If service fails, revenue will be negatively impacted. As a result of this interdependence, sales and service organizations need to work more closely together. These two organizations should report into a single unified head – with a title such as VP of Customer Success – whose two largest components of variable comp should be service delivery and sales, in that order. It must be clear from the top down that customer service is king.

Lastly, OEMs will need a new set of tools to succeed in a servitization world. Traditional field service management software will not be enough. Servitization is about customer service; as such, OEMs will need new tools to more effectively engage and support their customers. On demand support tools such as those offered by Pristine will become ever more important. So will tools that empower customers to diagnose and repair equipment on their own. These tools will become mission critical as OEMs won’t be paid if their equipment isn’t working as advertised. OEMs must find and implement the right tools so that their customers can service equipment on demand with OEM support and guidance.

Modernizing Power Plant Construction Practices: How to Guarantee Results on Time and on Budget

In 2010, the Argentine government awarded a $350 million contract to build the world’s southernmost combustion coal power plant. Located across the road from a state operated coal mine, the project was slated to take forty-two months to complete. Fast forward to 2015 and the plant is still not in service.  The majority of new coal power plant construction takes place in remote locations because demand for cheap power is high in rural underdeveloped areas. In addition, proximity to coal sources keeps costs low. With limited access to building materials, labor and electricity, delays in construction are very common. Consumers in developing countries are growing tired of consistent power shortages and outages.  States are feeling increasing pressures to build faster and service their citizens. As the demand grows for reliable, safe and sustainable power, companies need to look for innovative ways to complete projects on-time and on-budget.

Like skyscrapers and urban developments, power plants have to be scoped, assessed and designed to suit environmental demands and grid infrastructure. For this reason, the design, bidding and construction process is often lengthy and involves multiple vendors and stakeholders.  Large international companies, such as Doosan submit proposals that identify eight to ten contracting companies selected to provide specialized parts and services. To ensure that construction proceeds smoothly, contractors are required to provide parts and on-site expertise.  The combination of remote location, unique design and specialized labor, makes the building process expensive and prone to delay. What can project managers and contractors do more to keep costs low and improve efficiency?

Reduce Labor Costs

Most contracting companies have to send at least one expert to provide on-site support. Contractors have to pay salaries, high travel costs and cover living expenses. Instead of sending a piping expert from Finland to southern Argentina for seven months, why not send a specialist for a three week intensive training visit to train a local engineer on site? With advances in wireless and mobile technology, as the project progresses he can provide technical support remotely from Finland via live video. It costs significantly less to work from home. Additionally, the piping expert can consult on multiple projects at once, amplifying efficiency.

Improve Efficiency

With a variety of contracting vendors, seamless communication is crucial. A breakdown in communications can delay projects weeks and months, costing millions of dollars. Picture this scenario. The boiler team uses specs provided by a conveyer belt company to ensure the coal belt from the mine will seamlessly integrate with the boiler system. Four months into constructions the conveyor company decides to install a belt with higher temperature resistance but fails to communicate the updated specs to the boiler team.  Progress on the boiler gets delayed two weeks, as the team waits for a new fitting to complete the coal belt-boiler integration.  A cursory review of the on-site log book indicates that the site manager was notified of the equipment change but not the spec upgrade.

Different technicians and subcontractors move in and out of construction sites throughout the project lifecycle. To avoid lapses in communication all the relevant stakeholders need to be regularly updated on project progress. Detailed walkthroughs help stakeholders monitor progress, plan ahead, and keep contractors accountable, but physical log books with follow-up conference calls and emails are not sufficient. To produce detailed reports for vendors, site managers can use a combination of smart sensors, project management software and advanced video technology. Devices like smart glasses, make virtual walkthroughs easy. Prior to arriving on site, the engineer accompanying the generator has been regularly reviewing construction footage and has a strong grasp on the unique features of the plant.  Rich visual documentation and schematic overlays can bridge language barriers and communication breaks. When a problem arises, time to resolution can be halved if technicians and engineers can readily view construction and maintenance history.

Differentiate to Remain Competitive

In the next fifteen years, Myanmar hopes to build an additional 41 power plants to meet the demand of a fast growing, modernizing country.  As the demand for construction in remote areas increases, power plant builders and part suppliers need to leverage technology to improve efficiency and cut costs. To remain competitive, companies need to show they have the experience and technology necessary to complete project deliverables on time while keeping costs low.

How Can Field Service Organizations Reconcile The Incompatible Business Models of Yesteryear?

This post originally appeared on Field Service USA.

This is the second post in a two-part series exploring the two incompatible business models that coexist in most field service organizations. In the first post, I described the incompatible business models in depth. In this post, I’ll outline how some of the leading field service organizations are reconciling the diverging business models of field service.

How can service organizations align these models into a single model that rewards their best and highest margin customers, while encouraging their lowest margin customers to invest and improve? To answer that, we must first understand the crux of the problem.

The vast majority of equipment manufacturers organizations aren’t selling what their customers are buying. This sounds like an inflammatory statement, but it’s not: customers are buying a capability – which happens to manifest as a physical tool – in order to accomplish a task. Customers extract value from the capability each time they use the capability. Customers are buying value extraction, not tools and service contracts.

On the other hand, vendors & suppliers are selling capital equipment and service contracts. These two items are enablers for customers to extract value, but they are not perfectly aligned. For example, customers often have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars – or in some cases millions – before they can extract a single dollar of value. Once a customer buys a piece of equipment, they have transferred all of the leverage over to the manufacturer by paying a large fee up front. Once the manufacturer has been paid, there is a lot less incentive to guarantee that the customer extracts the expected value from the system.

How can service organizations rectify this discrepancy? In a word, servitization.

Servitization is a not a new concept, but one that is still only being pioneered by the earliest .1% of service organizations. It’s a material shift from the traditional model of selling capital equipment and service contracts.

So what exactly is servitization all about? It’s about aligning what equipment manufacturers sell and what customers buy to be 100% aligned. It has material impacts on cash flow, revenue recognition, business operations, hiring, culture, and more.

Let’s walk through a few examples of servitization to understand what exactly it is, and what the impacts are:

What if airlines didn’t buy planes, but rather paid Airbus for a certain number of flight hours, with Airbus supplying the necessary equipment to achieve the request number of hours?
What if hospitals didn’t pay for MRI equipment, but bought a certain quantity of clinical hours per year?
What if manufacturing facilities didn’t pay for conveyer belts, but paid for hours of belt rotation?

In each of these examples, traditional capex is converted into opex.

What does this mean for the manufacturer?

1) The traditional payday from the sale of a piece of equipment now becomes amortized over the course of many years. This has serious cash flow implications.

2) Ongoing revenue from a sale indefinitely.

3) An incentive to ensure uptime at all costs.

4) That the solution needs to deliver value as quickly as possible; otherwise the customer will return the solution.

5) Solution vendors can generate more revenue per customers (over time) by providing a potent combination of equipment and associated service.

What does this mean for the customer?

1) No capital budgeting or capex.

2) Reduced risk associated with purchasing equipment.

3) Closer collaboration with the vendor.

4) Ability to return equipment without eating a massive sunk-cost.

But perhaps most importantly, the servitization model aligns incentives completely. In this model, customers pay as they extract value from the product, which means that manufacturers are incentivized to ensure that customers can extract as much value as possible. In this model, service organizations are incentivized to work with their customers to ensure success, rather than simply minimize service cost (whether by shaving staff or trips). Rather than look at service trips as a cost with no marginal revenue, service trips become revenue enablers for all customers.

So, what companies are implementing servitization models? How are they doing it? What are the outcomes? I’ll explore that in the third post of this series.

New Technology Enables April Fools To See Into The Future

“Jimmy translating his revolutionary time travel equation into Node.js”

“Jimmy translating his revolutionary time travel equation into Node.js”

Pristine is proud to announce today that we are expanding our best-in-class remote collaboration solution, EyeSight, with ForeSight, a best-in-class time travel solution.

Pristine’s EyeSight solution is changing how companies across the country collaborate to solve hands on problems in challenging work environments such as operating rooms, factories, power facilities, and ambulances. “I’ve saved a ton time and money on business trips into the field by remotely collaborating with my clients, even using smart glasses to do hands-free video calls. I can solve the issue at hand, be home for dinner and watch the game. If only I knew what the score was going to be before the game started, that’d be great.”

Our customers have spoken and we have listened. That’s why we’re unveiling Pristine ForeSight, a bleeding edge time travel solution.  Using a simple date picker, ForeSight enables our customers to pick the time and date they’d like to view using the application.

“I’ll never get rid of my Tardis, but being able to see into the future with my iPhone or a pair of smart glasses is awesome. I haven’t been this excited since my iPhone 9” said Doctor Who.

Pristine’s newest client, Merlin, is ecstatic. “I’m so happy to see this new product. Being born at the end of time and living backward through time, I can now use Pristine ForeSight to see into my past!”

“I don’t even have to say ‘scalpel.’ My physician assistant is already handing it over,” said a doctor that uses ForeSight

Pristine’s DevOps Engineer, Jimmy, says “When using our revolutionary new Foresight app, I don’t even have to DevOps any more, cause I can see that I’ve already DevOps’ed”

 

Disclaimer: We at Pristine do not condone our clients using Pristine ForeSight for use in predicting stock prices and lottery numbers. Pristine ForeSight downloads will be limited to only 20,000 available; however, if you download the app you will be able to see all of the updates we will be providing to the product, the future dates and times of product releases, and our future speeches at the United Nations. Using Pristine ForeSight to watch your favorite TV Shows may result in SPOILERS. Also, seeing yourself in the future with gray hair can accelerate the amount of gray hairs you have in the present. Do not try using Pristine ForeSight without the consultation of a Tarot Card Reader.

 

About Pristine: Pristine is pioneering the “wearable worker,” with enterprise software solutions for smart glasses. EyeSight, Pristine’s flagship platform, powers secure and scalable audio/video streaming for hands-free collaboration and remote support in life sciences, industrial and manufacturing environments, field services and healthcare. With on-demand expertise from off-site specialists, Pristine’s clients are reducing costs and driving ROI through case pre-screening and guided service workflows. EyeSight is available across every platform: Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, Google Glass and Vuzix, and is HIPAA compliant. More information can be found at on Pristine’s website (www.pristine.io), Pristine’s blog (www.pristine.io/blog), and by following @PristineIO on Twitter (www.twitter.com/pristineio).

Field Service Organizations Are Burdened With Incompatible Business Models

This post originally appeared on Field Service Blog.

pristine eyesight smart glassField service organizations encompass two distinct business models that are intrinsically incompatible, yet the norm. How is this possible, and how can service organizations reconcile these models?

I’ll start by explaining the business models that service organizations are burdened with. They have two types of customers: those on contract, and those off contract. Sales divisions are asked to sell service contracts because they’re intrinsically high-margin, and in some cases, 100% margin if the customer never calls for support. And yet, once the equipment sale has been made, if the customer is on contract, the service organization is incentivized not to come out and actually service the customer. Why? Because the trip is purely a cost and is eating into what was 100% gross margins. I’m not suggesting that service organizations act unethically and violate service contracts by not sending staff out; rather, I’m saying that on a marginal basis, with a service contract in place, service organizations would rather not come on site to service a customer than come on site because on-site trips incur significant costs that cannot be recouped on a marginal basis.

On the other hand, service organizations are happy to service customers who are off contract. Why? Because the service organization can gladly mark up the cost of the ad-hoc visit to cover the marginal costs of the trip. For off-contract customers, service organizations profit from every service trip. The irony of this is that although service organizations profit from servicing off-contract customers, service organizations are always trying to upsell service contracts!

Thus is the paradox of service organizations: they’re incentivized not to service their best customers – those who have agreed to pay for a service contract – and are incentivized to service their worst customers – those who won’t pay for a service contract.

How did these incompatible models come to coexist?

In short, the current divergent business models are based on legacy assumptions. Decades ago, field service was different than modern service:

1) equipment wasn’t as complicated, and was thus more capable of being fixed by local technicians rather than experts employed by the manufacturer

2) there were fewer electronics. Electronic components are increasingly difficult to fix by non technical experts, requiring professionals with entirely new skill sets

3) customers were less demanding in terms of guaranteeing reduced downtime and response time

Over the last few decades, these assumptions have broken. Equipment is more complicated than ever, and businesses are increasingly less willing to deal with downtime. Despite these changes, the field service model hasn’t materially changed. Service organizations still try to up-sell service contracts, and still do everything they can to avoid on site trips since on-site trips are so expensive on a marginal basis.

The output of the structural changes is that field service has for many organizations devolved into a cost center, or at best a marginal profit center. But given the antithetical models that service organizations have to house, service has lost strategic relevance.

In the next post of this two part series, I’ll explore how some of the leading equipment manufacturers and their service organizations are re-inventing their service models to align with customers more effectively, and as a result, drive strategic value of service organizations.

How to Maximize Jet Flight Time Without Sacrificing the Health of the Aircraft

Business customers value comfortable, hassle-free travel, available on-demand. It’s thus no surprise that business executives love private aviation: executives want to be efficient with their limited time.

Unfortunately for private jet operators, they are competing for a fixed pie of corporations and super high net worth individuals. Private aviation is a luxury service and the pool of potential customers is limited. Because of the high price, customers expect a flying experience that’s 10x better than the commercial experience. For that improvement, they’re often willing to spend 100x. Private jet travelers expect their jets (even those partially owned) to be be kept in near-to-new condition, available in under four hours, and able to fly to wherever they’d like.

To achieve this level of service, operators need more flight-ready jets in more locations. These jets in turn depend on a litany of logistics for routine maintenance, parts, stock items, auditing, certification, booking, customer service, etc. The more cities a jet operator operates in, the larger their support network must grow. It isn’t feasible for small operators to staff every airport they serve. Most operators staff a home base but depend on local Fixed Base Operators (FBO) to provide support and maintenance services. Unfortunately, the quality of services at smaller airports is not standardized, despite FAA compliance regulations. Nonetheless operators who use these contract services must essentially guarantee the work of a third party service providers.

Between third-party servicers that have varying skillsets and service levels, combined with a customer base that demands extremely high quality, “always-on” service, operators must do everything they can do maximize the usefulness of their fleets while conserving capital and reducing costly jet downtime. So how can operators expand reach efficiently, while ensuring high levels of service?

More efficient maintenance and service operations, powered by remote diagnostics

Imagine a business charter that’s en-route from New York to London. The passenger on board has an early morning meeting and has arranged a single day turnaround.  An hour before landing, the pilot receives a high temperature notification.  Unable to determine the cause or severity of the problem the pilot is forced to land in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The FBO at Yarmonth only has one technician with experience working on private jets. It takes the technician an hour to get to the airport and an additional 4 hours to access and fix the problem.  The passenger misses his important meeting and the trip ends up costing the company well over $100,000 in labor, parts, and fees.

Now imagine that charter again, but with a suite of remote diagnostic capabilities. In this case, a technician in Chicago reviews live flight data from sensors on the aircraft. From here, he starts a video call with the pilot. Through a pair of smart glasses, the pilot can share what he sees–the avionics in front of him–with the technician, who walks the pilot through further diagnostic procedures. With the telemetry data and a ‘pilot’s eye view’ of the inside of the aircraft, the technician determines that the flight is safe to continue, and that the local FBO at the destination can handle the problem. He shares all the data and video collected thus far with with the local FBOs on the ground, who prepare to quickly repair the aircraft. To ensure repair quality, FBO staff send pictures and video documenting the repair to the home-base technician, who remotely oversees the service and advice as necessary.

This scenario is not science fiction; it’s feasible given today’s commercially available technologies at affordable prices. Improving inflight data channels, the Internet of Things, and technologies like Google Glass are rapidly turning technological fantasies into operational realities. Major leaps in efficiency, quality, and speed in every core aviation service are already underway, and poised to benefit FBOs and operators alike.

Smart Devices Power Smart Support: The Mobile and Wearable Revolution in Medical Devices

With real and present challenges across multiple fronts, medical device innovators are investing in new technologies to find greater efficiencies, lower costs, and simpler operational scalability. In clinical support and training, the early results are clear: smart devices–from iPhones to iPads to Google Glass–are powering the next evolution of clinical support.

Powered by Pristine’s technology, organizational expertise is available anywhere, at any time, on any device, through instant and secure live video. With the power for a remote expert to “be” anywhere instantly through video, clinical support organizations can achieve dramatic cost savings through remote training and virtual support, all delivered without travel. Read on for a taste of how this technology is being used today.

An A-Player in Every Case

While it’s true that having an “A-player” rep present in a case produces the best outcome, there are only so many “A-players” in an organization. Live video enables the most senior reps to remotely support their junior counterparts, effectively distributing their expertise across every single case, anywhere, at any time. When a rep in the field needs assistance, they simply say “OK Glass…” and share what they see with a seasoned colleague, who can provide real-time assistance.

Enhanced Live Training for Reps and Doctors Alike

Of course, the very same peer-to-peer support used to extend senior reps’ expertise can be used as a powerful enhancement to training operations. Remote supervision by senior reps can act as a tool for virtual mentorship, and enable junior reps to get supervised field experience without monopolizing senior reps’ time.

Further, clinical education of physicians can be similarly expanded. Coordinating travel and resources for in-person clinical education is a challenge, and onsite, only so many doctors can huddle around a training station and see a clear view. On the other hand, a Glass-equipped instructor can share their point of view—not just with session attendees, but with remote learners as well. It’s clinical training, at unheard of scale!

Rich Multimedia Curricula, From the Surgeon’s POV

A video library is a powerful tool for medical device education. Yet capturing the content remains a huge challenge. Film crews are expensive (and a hard sell for OR managers) and in-light cameras provide poor picture. Glass empowers the best surgeons to capture their best practices with the devices they use most.

In every training session and every bioskills lab, instructors and students a like can wear Glass and record the procedure, capturing not just the surgical field, but the work of their own hands. With this immersive content from the “surgeon’s eye view,” libraries of “evergreen” multimedia content can form the backbone of both clinical training and marketing efforts.

Completely Remote Support

When thinking about the technological future of clinical support, most people immediately jump to the concept of the “virtual rep.” Indeed, real-time video support can connect reps directly with surgeons, enabling them to be virtually present in the case as needed. Through wearable devices like Google Glass, the rep can virtually assist with setup and device prep by looking through the eyes of the surgeon or OR tech. Once setup is completed, they can move on to another case. Should the OR team need help mid-case, they simply say “OK Glass…request support,” which alerts the remote rep to rejoin the case and provide assistance instantly.

Put simply, the world of clinical support and education is changing, and it’s changing fast. Innovation abounds, and early adopters are being rewarded for their efforts with immersive new training methodologies, greater efficiencies, and true differentiation in the marketplace. The future is already here, and it’s powered by Pristine.

Click here to learn more about training and support, powered by Pristine

Smart Glasses Will be the Internet’s Portal to the Physical, Hands-On World

This post originally appeared on Huffington Post.

The Internet has been the most democratizing technology of all time. It has enabled knowledge, ideas, culture and expertise to be transferred between people and places more quickly than ever before.

We’ve seen entire industries disrupted by the Internet including newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, libraries, travel agents, music, taxis, hotels, the Yellow Pages and more. All of these industries were predicated on controlling proprietary information flows. When the Internet brought the marginal cost of communication and information transfer to $0, the old business models failed and new ones emerged that took advantage of a fundamentally new way to communicate.

What About Non-Information-Based Businesses?

The industries that have been disrupted are, at their core, information-based businesses. The Internet hasn’t transformed industrial enterprises and more hands-on industries such as manufacturing, warehousing, energy, healthcare and field service. Operationally, these industries are remarkably similar to their 1960s counterparts: They still rely on airplanes and cars to move workers around to do things — inspection, audit, diagnostics, repair and service. Why can’t people communicate virtually in these scenarios across distances to address the problems at hand? Why hasn’t the Internet virtualized communications around real-world, hands-on collaboration?

The Internet hasn’t yet disrupted many hands-on industries not because the Internet is deficient or because management is incompetent, but because the Internet end-points have been deficient. The client devices we’ve been computing with — desktops, laptops, phones and tablets — are simply not designed for hands-on jobs; using these devices in hands-on settings is simply ergonomically impractical in most cases.

Enter Smart Glasses: The Internet’s Portal to the Physical World

Today, we are finally on the cusp of the industrial Internet. Using smart glasses (like those manufactured by Vuzix, Google and others) as a portal, the Internet will reshape traditional industries by bringing information and expertise where it was previously not possible: into hands-on arenas.

Field service in particular is ripe for disruption. When mission-critical equipment is down, business operations come to a halt. Using glasses, workers will be able to remotely collaborate to diagnose and repair problems. Rather than waiting hours or even days for the right people to arrive, workers will begin collaborating immediately and fix problems and order of magnitude more quickly than ever before.

This problem manifests in all kinds of industries: airline manufacturing (e.g. conveyer belt not working), pharmaceutical manufacturing, contract research organizations (CROs), HVAC refrigeration (industrial, commercial, academic), midstream and downstream oil and gas, and telecom.

Healthcare is also ripe to adopt glasses. Smartphones are remarkably filthy. Why are healthcare workers touching these devices all day while taking care of patients? This seems like a recipe for accelerating the growth of hospital-acquired infections.

There are incredible opportunities ahead. By breaking old assumptions about who can do what and where, entire industries can be reshaped. Just imagine being able to extend the knowledge and insight of your best workers to the periphery of your distributed workforce. Or training your customers on a new machine daily over the course of the first month, instead of 0- and 30-day trainings.

The future of traditional industries look remarkably different — for the first time in a long time — through Glass.

Vuzix Partners with Pristine to Optimize Smart Glass Technology for Enterprises

ROCHESTER, NY, February 24, 2015 — Vuzix® Corporation (Nasdaq: VUZI) (“Vuzix” or, the “Company”), a leading supplier of video eyewear and smart glasses products in the consumer, commercial and entertainment markets, today announced a partnership to utilize Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses for Pristine’s EyeSight platform for the enterprise market.

vuzix-smart-glass-pristine

The alliance brings together industry-leading hardware and software to offer one of the best telepresence solutions on the market empowering enterprises to dramatically improve how teams remotely collaborate for hands-on activities.

“Our customers are generating incredible ROI. What used to cost them $2,500 per day now costs next to nothing. Using Vuzix technologies, we are delivering an incredible telepresence solution for clients in life sciences, industrial equipment, field service and healthcare.” said Kyle Samani, co-founder and CEO of Pristine.

“Pristine’s EyeSight platform is a killer app for the exploding smart glasses market and enables users to collaborate in industries and locations never before imagined,” said Dan Cui, Vice President of Business Development at Vuzix. “Having Pristine’s solution optimized for our award-winning smart glasses will open new opportunities and deliver real value and ROI to customers around the world.”

Customers who take advantage of the combined Pristine and Vuzix platform will benefit from numerous advantages including outstanding video quality, strong integrations into safety goggles and a vertically adjustable camera, useful for surgery and hands-on repair tasks.

Pristine’s EyeSight is a powerful video communication platform for wearables that allows colleagues to securely collaborate and solve problems hands-free. Users just power on the glasses, and say “request support.” Relevant colleagues are notified, and can call into Vuzix’ smart glasses powered by Pristine’s EyeSight platform. The cross-platform architecture is built on powerful open source technologies and hosted in the cloud, requiring no on-site hardware and allowing users to get up and running quickly with zero capital investment. And for healthcare organizations, EyeSight also fulfills strict requirements for HIPAA-compliance.

The Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses are the world’s first commercially available hands-free display and wearable computer designed for enterprise users. The M100 contains a virtual display with an integrated camera and a powerful processing engine, running the Android® OS to wirelessly connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi directly to most standard networks or to a smartphone.

About Pristine

Pristine is pioneering the “wearable worker,” with enterprise software solutions for smart glasses. EyeSight, Pristine’s flagship platform, powers secure and scalable audio/video streaming for hands-free collaboration and remote support in life sciences, industrial and manufacturing environments, field services and healthcare. With on-demand expertise from off-site specialists, Pristine’s clients are reducing costs and driving ROI through case pre-screening and guided service workflows. EyeSight is available across every platform: Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, Google Glass and Vuzix, and is HIPAA compliant. More information can be found at on Pristine’s website (www.pristine.io), Pristine’s blog (www.pristine.io/blog), and by following @PristineIO on Twitter (www.twitter.com/pristineio).

About Vuzix Corporation

Vuzix is a leading supplier of Video Eyewear and Smart Glasses products in the consumer, commercial and entertainment markets. The Company’s products include personal display and wearable computing devices that offer users a portable high quality viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, wearable displays and virtual and augmented reality. Vuzix holds 39 patents and 12 additional patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field. The Company has won Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) awards for innovation for the years 2005 to 2014 and several wireless technology innovation awards, among others. Founded in 1997, Vuzix is a public company (Nasdaq: VUZI) with offices in Rochester, NY, Oxford, UK and Tokyo, Japan.

Forward-Looking Statements Disclaimer

Certain statements contained in this news release are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward looking statements contained in this release relate to the M100 Smart Glasses, Pristine, Pristine’s EyeSight platform, a telepresence solution and future business and further product developments, among other things, and the Company’s leadership in the Video Eyewear and AR display industry. They are generally identified by words such as “believes,” “may,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “should” and similar expressions. Readers should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are based upon the Company’s beliefs and assumptions as of the date of this release. The Company’s actual results could differ materially due to risk factors and other items described in more detail in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s Annual Reports and MD&A filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and applicable Canadian securities regulators (copies of which may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). Subsequent events and developments may cause these forward-looking statements to change. The Company specifically disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise these forward-looking statements as a result of changed events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release, except as required by applicable law.

For Vuzix investor information contact:

Andrew Haag
Managing Partner
IRTH Communications
vuzi@irthcommunications.com
Tel: (877) 368-3566

Vuzix Corporation
2166 Brighton Henrietta Townline Road
Rochester, NY 14623 USA

Investor Information – Grant Russell
IR@Vuzix.com
Tel: (585) 359-7562
For further sales, and product information on Vuzix, please visit: www.vuzix.com

Pristine Media Contact:

Cybele Diamandopoulos
FOLIO Communications Group, LLC
cybele@foliocom.com
Tel: (512) 535-4422

The Technology Hype Lifecycle: Google Glass Edition

The Technology Hype Lifecycle: Google Glass Edition

This post originally appeared on Forbes.com.

Recent announcements from Google about the future of Glass naturally ignited an explosion of commentary in the tech media. For those of us in the Glass at Work world, the news that Glass has “graduated” from Google[x] into a true business unit headed by Tony Fadell is very promising. Yet many outlets’ coverage focused on the end of the Glass Explorer program for consumers, characterizing it as the final death knell for the technology.

So why the disconnect?

Historically, Glass has fallen victim to the technology hype lifecycle, and has done so more strongly than most technologies.

The Technology Hype Lifecycle

There’s a famous graph you’ve probably seen before on the Internet that charts the lifecycle of hype for new technologies.

But in a number of ways, this graph isn’t quite right – specifically, the plateau of productivity isn’t illustrated correctly. Technologies plateau far above the peak of inflated expectations.

Consider Mobile Computing

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Microsoft recognized the potential of mobile devices, so they built Windows Mobile and worked with OEMs to deliver Windows Mobile phones. They were way too early and made some fundamentally poor design decisions. They dreamed big, but failed to deliver on most of them. By 2004, BlackBerry was emerging with phones that could support basic business communications, contacts and calendar functions. Mobile computing was exiting the trough of disillusionment. Google saw this and bought Android in 2005. Rumors suggest Apple started development of the iPhone in late 2004/early 2005. They saw it too.

What no one foresaw was not only how fast the curve would ramp up, but the magnitude of the peak. Even in 2009, no one could have imagined Uber or Tinder or Snapchat, let alone 2007. Even today, we still do not know where the curve will plateau. How could Microsoft, or anyone else for that matter, have seen the potential of mobile computing in 1999 when they committed to building the (failed) future of mobile computing?

The mobile computing hype cycle graph actually looks something more like this.

Who knows which of today’s Series A and Series B stage startups are the next Uber? Kevin Spain from Emergence Capital has recently been evangelizing that today’s enterprise mobility market resembles that of the cloud in 2004. If that’s the case (and given mobile’s incredible penetration today), there is only one inevitable conclusion: mobile is eating everything.

So What About Glass?

Right now, in early 2015, Glass seems to be deep in the trough of disillusionment. The media has been hammering Glass lately, declaring its demise and failure, and before today’s announcement, Google itself was very quiet about Glass’s future. For the record, Glass is not just alive and well, but thriving in professional and enterprise use cases.

But what’s much more important isn’t Glass’s near-miss with death, but its tremendous potential. Glass is today where mobile computing was in 2000: dreams seemingly shattered by early setbacks.

The Glass curve will look a lot more like the mobile curve than the famous generic curve. We are seeing tremendous growth as enterprises adopt Glass to solve painful economic problems that were previously unsolvable.

The Glass growth curve will not mirror the mobile growth curve identically. Glass will peak at a lower point on the hype cycle graph than smartphones did. Smart glasses simply don’t have the upside potential on a per-person basis that smartphones do. Glass competes with smartphones; smartphones compete with laptops. The marginal improvement from always-on-you smartphones to hands-free Glass is material, but not as large as the jump from sitting-only laptops to always-on-you smartphones. Moreover, the best use cases for Glass are for desk-less, hands-on workers; these workers typically earn substantially less than their white collar, desk-bound counterparts. Smartphones amplify the productivity of expensive workers; glasses multiply the productivity of less expensive workers.

Having said that, Glass is still nascent today. We are at the tip of the iceberg. There is tremendous potential to be had in hardware, software and services. Over the next few years, we will see tremendous innovation from startups and giants. Hardware experiences are going to diverge. Software developers will experiment and pioneer new user-interaction models. Cloud services will evolve and take on an increasing percentage of computing. We know nothing, which means we can still do anything.

If you have any questions, thoughts or ideas about Glass, feel free to drop me a line at kyle@pristine.io.

Kyle Samani is a Co-Founder and CEO of Pristine, the leading company pioneering Google Glass in healthcare and the broader enterprise; he’s also a regular public speaker and blogger at kylesamani.com.