First Read

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LogMeIn Rescue's Remote Video Support App Opens Doors to Discovery

Have you ever tried to explain a noise or problem with a car or appliance to someone on the other end of a phone? Now you can show them and let them listen using your smartphone.

LogMeIn Rescue, Lens, video, smartphones

If you've ever had to describe a strange car noise or a broken appliance part to a technician on the other end of a telephone, you likely know what frustration that process can entail. So what if you could open an app on your smartphone and then show them exactly what you are talking about using the video camera on your phone?

That's the brilliant and useful idea behind LogMeIn Rescue's latest innovation—a smartphone app called "Lens" that allows users to literally provide video of a problem to someone at the other end of a tech support call so they can better diagnose and solve the issue.

Lens is very cool. I tried an early version of the app on my Samsung smartphone in a demo this week with a LogMeIn worker and I saw just how useful this could be elsewhere. Essentially, when Lens does is it lets a remote worker "see" just what you see as you are describing a problem with an appliance, your car, a sump pump or just about anything else that can break.

This is way more useful than sharing a computer desktop screen with a remote tech support technician online because, in that case, you are stuck at your computer. With Lens, you take the video feed of a problem anywhere you need to show it off. And the technician can use the app as a white board to circle and show exactly what they want to highlight to the user.

As I experienced Lens in the demo, all I could think of were the immense possibilities it can allow. A friend's vintage Fiat 124 breaks down, and now they can show you with their smartphone exactly which distributor parts you have to pick up at the parts store on your way to help them with a carload of tools.

A wire in the back of your home furnace is smoking and now you can use Lens to show the HVAC technician at the other end of the phone exactly which wire is going bad.

Your elderly mother wants to have the local grocery store deliver some groceries, but they are not sure which box of cereal she wants. So the grocery store clerk uses Lens to show the boxes to your mom from the convenience of her house, where she can make her selections.

The intriguing possibilities are virtually endless.

Starting in April, Lens is expected to be offered as part of LogMeIn Rescue services, which will likely be a boon for those customers. But to me, there may be much more here than meets the eye. Lens could open up possibilities with any products or technologies or services, all made possible because so many people carry around smartphones today.

LogMeIn calls Lens the latest part of their "Support-of-Things" initiative. I see it being packaged with myriad things in a scenario that brings new innovation to customer service and support.

Lens is an app worth watching for.