Here’s Zoho Lens, our way of making remote assistance smarter

It’s been a little over a year since we opened Zoho Lens for customers. It’s been quite a ride with tonnes of feedback and a lot of learning. We have customers who have been with us virtually from the beginning and many who have joined us along the way. They’ve all helped us to better address real-world use cases with our customer-centric approach.

Here’s a recap of what we’ve managed to add in the last year and an overview of Zoho Lens for all the first-timers.

The gist of what Zoho Lens is:

Some of us aren’t comfortable using our office printer. Be it the Monday morning blues that your old ink-jet printer has after two days of non-usage or paper jams in your laser printer, printing documents at the office can be a regular hassle.

While this situation robs you of productive time, it isn’t exactly precarious.

Now, imagine a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere or a piece of tricky heavy machinery at a mining site. With your safety and millions of dollars at stake, you’re certainly skating on thin ice.

You can wait for help to arrive on the ground, try to figure out things over a phone or video call, or read through boring help manuals. But, these traditional methods are time-consuming and inefficient, as solving complex issues demands expertise and not just knowing what’s where.

So, what’s our solution?

With Zoho Lens, our augmented reality-based remote assistance solution, we’re using a smartphone or smart glass to add extra dimensions to the communication between the remote expert and the person on the ground. Zoho Lens allows technicians on the ground to communicate with experts through live video streaming in an augmented-reality environment. During a session, the expert can guide and provide faster solutions to the technician by adding extra virtual information through 3-D annotations, communicating through voice and text chat, capturing snapshots, freezing the live camera stream, and much more.

With the basics out of the way, check out a few features we’ve managed to incorporate in the last year.

Mobile SDK for Android and iOS

Asking customers to download a third-party application to join a demo can make them suspicious or annoyed. And while your field technicians are working on critical issues, the last thing they want to do is download and install a new app. Our software development kit lets you integrate remote assistance capabilities into your mobile app and allow end-users to join a session right from your app. For example, customer representatives can use our SDK to embed remote assistance capabilities into their mobile app to hold product demos or assist their customers. We are currently offering SDKs for both Android and iOS. Read more.

The Zoho Lens Technician App

Providing experts an option to guide from a mobile device was one of the most requested features. Our customers can now use our technician app, available for both Android and iOS, to initiate remote assistance sessions directly from their mobile devices. The technician app is a one-stop application that also lets you join remote assistance sessions as an end-user or a customer, manage your organizational account, and schedule sessions for later. During the session, both the expert and the technician will be able to use all features that are available with the browser version.

Invite Multiple Participants

Certain issues demand specialized skillsets and having people with different skills can make for faster problem-solving. Zoho Lens now allows you to collaborate with multiple experts in real-time. You can call your colleagues during a remote assistance session by sending an email or SMS invite. All invited participants will be able to use all of our features to more quickly find the solution. This feature is available on all sessions initiated from the browser and our mobile apps.

In-session Recording

Session recording is a handy feature for internal audits, session analysis, and creating sales repositories. It’s a feature that is used by most of our customers, and with our new release, we’ve improved and added to the session recording feature. This enhancement allows technicians the option to record during a session, in addition to the existing automatic session recording. Learn more.

Switch Camera

One other important feature in our pipeline was the switch camera feature, which allows experts to toggle between multiple cameras on the smartphone. By giving experts the option to switch between cameras during a live session, end-users can be more specific while highlighting issues to the remote expert.

Apart from these major features, we’ve also improved the video quality and added minor enhancements, like allowing technicians to capture snapshots in HD even while working with a weak network connection, incorporated plane detection for iOS devices, and much more. We’d love to hear your take on Zoho Lens and these new enhancements. If you haven’t tried Zoho Lens yet, click here to sign up. We offer a 15-day free trial and our pricing starts at $14 per month. Follow this space for more updates on Zoho Lens!

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