The world of work is constantly changing. As a result, enterprises are getting leaner, smarter and more innovative to streamline efficiencies. One such company to make significant changes to their space is multinational technology giant Lenovo. Famous for their ThinkPad and ThinkBook business lines of laptop computers, the organization is a well-established hardware manufacturer whose contributions have helped other enterprises succeed through reliable products. Lenovo operates in over 60 countries, selling its products in around 180 countries, making them one of the world's most prominent computer vendors. But with human behavioral changes creating a need for virtual desktops over physical ones, they saw an opportunity for the future. So, Lenovo made the decision to focus on and build out their enterprise software capabilities through extended reality (XR).
Lenovo was in the process of building their new ThinkReality Platform — a next-generation augmented reality (AR) solution that transforms work and enhances productivity in office and industrial settings both large and small. The platform is designed for remote assistance and collaboration, workflow support and 3D visualization while bringing existing enterprise applications into AR. The goal of the ThinkReality platform is to help increase productivity, reduce error rates, decrease resolution time making it an enterprise ready platform ideal for manufacturing, engineering and field service. ThinkReality also encompasses smart glasses and head mounted displays, cloud technology and device support. An IT vendor began working on the project but wasn’t meeting Lenovo's standards or expectations in delivering robust solutions that covered all areas. They needed a true partner with the knowledge and expertise to help enable their XR journey.
Seeing an opportunity to deliver value quickly while also developing a true business partnership, we partnered with Lenovo to help create their new XR solution and software development practices. With nearly 30 years of experience assisting companies to build or evolve their digital capabilities, Thoughtworks has deep expertise from strategy to delivering the outcomes businesses require. We began the project by working with Lenovo on rigorous road mapping and planning to establish an approach. During the process, we learned they were paying intellectual property licenses for products, which presented support and code maintenance challenges. Lenovo also had difficulty streaming the XR experience for external audiences, making it hard for onlookers to understand what the user encountered during demonstrations. Finally, on-device authentication and integration with enterprise mobile device management created another gap in functionality.
Based on our findings, we recommended product features, customizing the XR product's user interface and modernizing both their firmware and software development processes. We also worked with external Lenovo partners and internal Lenovo teams to generate values for both their initiatives and goals. Among the many deliverables we generated, two critical apps for the AR glasses emerged. The first is the A3 AppSpace app, transforming any enterprise 2D apps to work in 3D space. Secondly, the ARCast app helps users share the mixed reality 3D experience from the smart glass device to a web browser. Finally, all our deliverables went through rigorous security checks and multiple levels of quality review from Lenovo and Motorola before they were approved to go into the release.
Upon launching the ThinkReality platform, Lenovo is establishing credibility in the Enterprise XR space by offering enterprise-ready products. Additionally, they brought the ThinkReality platform faster to market and the Lenovo teams are now following industry best practices. Furthermore, Thoughtworks can now help them with Enterprise XR solutions ranging from OS customizations, Native Apps, SDK, Business Apps and Cloud Solutions since we know the XR ecosystem well. Devices and business applications are now connected with on-device authentication and can leverage the ThinkReality cloud services seamlessly across different apps.
The Lenovo and Thoughtworks partnership helped accelerate XR into a reality and the possibilities are truly limitless since the ThinkReality platform creates life-like experiences in virtual environments on a global scale. Along the journey, we were able to support them by providing a number of proactive ideas and proposals while collaborating on ways to achieve success. Lenovo’s revolutionary approach to the XR space will make smart collaboration, increased efficiency and lower downtimes standard operating practices, paving the way for the future of work. We’re excited to help Lenovo shape the XR space and our partnership is only just getting started.