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HP is launching its ExtendXR service for managing virtual reality or augmented reality devices simpler for enterprises.

Scott Rawlings, senior product manager of commercial XR solutions at HP, said in a blog post that the HP commercial XR (extended reality) team is unveiling a new software-as-a-service solution that will streamline deploying and managing enterprise VR at scale.

In collaboration with ArborXR, an AR/VR device management company, HP is making it easy to seamlessly and securely set up and manage a fleet of VR all-in-one devices with a new extended reality (XR) management platform, HP ExtendXR.

The strategic collaboration allows HP to leverage AR/VR technology to help companies seamlessly scale XR deployment, combined with HP’s global support and expertise while running on HP’s Horizon secure cloud infrastructure.

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“We are excited to power HP’s new XR platform,” said ArborXR CEO Brad Scoggin, in a statement. “By working together, ArborXR and HP trailblaze the enterprise AR/VR industry and make it easy for companies to scale XR deployments.”

Maintaining a fleet of VR devices is a lot of work.

HP ExtendXR will also have support from HTC and Pico Interactive, both of whom provide standalone VR solutions for businesses, all powered by Snapdragon XR Platforms.

“HP has a strong portfolio of innovative solutions that are key to fueling advancements in the XR landscape,” said Daniel O’Brien, General Manager, HTC Americas, in a statement. “We are excited to support HP’s ExtendXR software solution with our All-in-One headset, HTC Vive Focus 3. Together, we aim to help organizations achieve an easy way to scale VR deployments in a secure and efficient way.”

HP said VR has come into its own in the past two years. The pandemic has made remote work a reality, and VR has prospered in enterprises as a result.

“Given the evolution and future of VR in the enterprise, we believe HP Extend VR is a significant step forward to enable businesses to scale XR employments,” said Leland Hedges, general manager of Pico Interactive, in a statement. “We are excited to have this new solution available on our powerful stand-alone VR headsets.”

HP has been most impressed with VR training, said Rawlings. PwC Consulting found that vocational learners are nearly three times more confident to act and put their skills into practice after training through virtual reality and that training with VR is four times faster on average than the traditional classroom approach.

HP is also seeing innovation with an increased focus on health and wellness, specifically being able to improve how highly connected teams collaborate in the early stages of concept design for new products and architecture, and how teams improve customer engagement with the benefits of immersion and human-scale virtual experiences.

However, as these solutions take off, customers are finding it difficult and time-consuming to set up hundreds to thousands of VR all-in-one devices. And, once they’re set up, there is no straightforward way to deploy VR applications and keep everything up-to-date between software, operating system, and device firmware. What’s been missing is a complete end-to-end way of managing VR in the medium to large organization commercial setting, Rawlings said.

HP ExtendXR features the following capabilities at launch, with updates planned to come on a monthly release cadence: streamlined VR device set-up and grouping; a simple-to-use and manage single-pane-of-glass browser console for deploying VR applications and keeping headsets updated, enabling support management from most phone, tablet, or PC devices, anytime, anywhere; and the ability to control and enhance the VR headset experience for an organization’s end-users.

HP ExtendXR provides VR usage analytics built directly into the service, and the security features in HP’s ExtendXR solution include console access control, user roles, the option to host content on your own S3 cloud storage, application and device updating oversight, and a 100% audit log.

HP ExtendXR will be offered with two service levels. The service will go live on March 1, 2022.

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