Interview with an… Augmented Reality Consultant

gregory maubonWe are pleased to welcome Grégory Maubon to kick off our 2016 series of behind-the-scenes job interviews.

Grégory is a consultant in augmented reality; he helps companies understand and adopt the new technology to suit their needs. Find out what the job involves, what skills are required and why you should get some AR experience on your CV.

You can also read more Firehead job Q&As here…

What is your job title?

I’m an augmented reality (AR) consultant and I’m also vice president of RA’pro (association to promote augmented reality) and CIO of a biotech company HCS Pharma.

What does your AR work involve?

Mostly I help companies to understand what AR is, the state-of-art of this technology and how to use it in a practical way to satisfy needs. I also write technical papers to find partners or companies to do the development work, and sometimes I drive the project.

What background do you need for AR?

It is a work of ‘interface’. You need technical knowledge (computer vision, computing, optics, etc) and communication skills. You have to translate needs and constraints between different kinds of people. And you have to be patient! Personally, I have a PhD in astrophysics, and 15 years’ experience in IT (both people and operations).

What is the most challenging part of the job?

To find customers, like any consultant! Even when you’re specialised and well-known in a field, the status of independent worker is suspicious for some companies. You constantly have to prove your skills and the solvency of your business.

What is the best bit about working in AR?

I love the possibility of meeting different people in many different domains. It’s a privilege to be the ‘interface’.

What advice would you give to someone trying to get into your area?

We have to be humble. We are not supposed to know everything, especially in technologies where changes are happening so fast. If you don’t know, if you make a mistake, admit it (and correct yourself).

What is the rate of pay?

It really depends on your experience, project deadlines, business size, quantity of work, etc. In France, as elsewhere, it’s not a good idea to lower your daily rate – better to modify the project scale to fit the budget instead.

Is there job mobility and security?

AR is not so famous, even if many people talk about it. It’s a new field. I think it will be a really useful job for the next 10 years. I work as a consultant but there are many other roles available. For a jobseeker it could be interesting to integrate a ‘note of AR’ on your CV because now we can find AR uses almost everywhere.

Any advice on training and development?

You have to be curious and monitor technology news. You can read augmented-reality.fr if you speak French – and you can follow our augmented reality links on Diigo. I also follow websites such as augmentedrealitytrends.com, augmented.org or wassom.com. Remember, information is everywhere – it’s up to you to find it.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Honestly I’m not sure. The AR field is evolving rapidly. I think I will keep my position of ‘interface’ – helping customers to understand the technology and how to apply it – because I love it, but I will certainly also work more with big data and robotics.

On the other side, I’m thinking about expanding the ‘development’ skills of my business. Customers (particularly in small business enterprises) look for all-in-one services, from advice to usable applications. For the moment I have partners but this could change.

Do you have a motto or guiding principle when you work?

Be honest.

Anything else you would add?

I love new technologies but I always remember a quote from a friend: “Technology is neither good or bad, nor is it neutral.” It’s important to remember that implications exist when you use technology on people.

Grégory Maubon is a consultant in augmented reality and digital uses, based in France. He created Augmented-reality.fr/ in 2008 and founded in 2010 RA’pro (the augmented reality promotion association). He now offers services to help companies and institutions to define and implement their augmented reality needs. He is also is a presenter and lecturer with more than 15 years’ experience in the digital domain, led in IT and business departments. Further information and social media links can be found at: Maubon.com.

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