Using augmented reality to provide remote assistance was a fascinating concept just starting to take hold when the global pandemic gave it new meaning. As businesses struggled to maintain operations while so many of their vital employees were relegated to their homes, tools like Zoho Lens, a Zoho One application, allowed them to function on a remote basis.
A relatively new product, Zoho Lens has now hosted more than 1 million sessions for 5,000-plus customers.
What is Zoho Lens?
Zoho Lens offers a solution for remotely solving real-world issues. What does Zoho Lens do? The product enables experts to visually guide and collaborate with customers and field technicians and solve issues remotely in an augmented reality-based environment. Zoho Lens marketing analyst Rahul Naryan described an example in which Zoho Lens could be used:
“Let’s say you’re driving on a national highway and your car broke down in the middle of nowhere. What would you do?” Naryan posed. “Zoho Lens presents you with an option to use a smartphone or a smart glass to show the issue to an expert and get assistance. The expert in this case is the person at the service station. The person at the service station can initiate a remote assistance session and view the live camera screen and use our various options like AR annotation, text, voice and video chat to collaborate with the person at the other end.”
Zoho Lens has applications in a wide range of sectors, from field service and manufacturing where there is communication between an expert and a field technician, to sectors like customer service and retail where there is direct communication between an expert and the customer. Zoho Lens benefits small businesses in a variety of ways. First, Zoho Lens provides a more modern and effective way of remotely solving problems. It helps users employ their best minds from any location.
“Zoho Lens increases first-time resolution rates, improves customer satisfaction and reduces travel and training costs,” Naryan said. “While working with Zoho Lens, the expert and the person at the other end will have access to multiple features that will allow them to collaborate and manage their organization account.”
Zoho Lens benefits small businesses thanks to a variety of features, including:
The feature allows the expert to mark up and add extra information to the live camera screen.
Apart from adding extra information visually, the expert can collaborate with the person at the other end using voice and text chat.
If the expert requires greater attention to an item, they can examine issues with greater detail by freezing the live camera stream, capturing snapshots and saving them for future reference.
Zoho Lens also boasts session analytics and session recording features. These features help organizations with audits and with maintaining a knowledge base for later reference.
Organizations can customize or rebrand their entire organization account by adding the company’s name, logo and a favicon. Zoho Lens also features a custom domain option, so users can access the tool from a domain of their choice.
Zoho Lens features a software development kit, so vendors can integrate the web-based tool’s remote assistance capabilities into their own apps, allowing customers to join sessions right from the vendor’s app instead of downloading the Zoho Lens app.
The Zoho Lens team has been working on multiple enhancements to improve the overall remote assistant experience. One development is the Zoho Lens technician app, which allows organizations to start sessions and manage their organization account from an Android or an iOS device.
Sometimes an additional expert is needed to solve a problem. Zoho Lens users can collaborate with multiple people in real-time using the remote assistance app. AR tools will be available to all participants.
Apart from all the Zoho Lens features and functionality, the Zoho team also integrated the remote assistance app with services like Zoho Desk and Zoho Calendar, as well as with smart glass vendors like Realwear, Vuzix and Epson.
“Our integration with Zoho Desk, which is a ticketing software, will allow experts to start sessions right from a Zoho Desk ticket,” Naryan explained. “And our integration with Zoho Calendar will allow organizations to manage all their scheduled bookings more efficiently.”
Zoho Lens pricing plans were designed with small- and medium-scale businesses in mind. After a 15-day free trial for all our new customers, paid plans start at $14 per month if billed annually. A professional-level plan with more advanced features is available for $19 per technician per month, billed on an annual basis.
Customers can pay slightly more – $17 or $23 a month – on a monthly basis. Zoho also offers a free edition with a limited set of features that organizations can use at no cost.
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