Co-Founder and COO at VR Vision Inc an immersive technology group that is developing virtual and augmented reality solutions for the future.
Advancements in technology have brought many incredible, useful tools to the workplace. These tools have a wide variety of applications, and the list grows longer every day. Augmented reality (AR) is just one technology contributing to society. Ways to utilize this technology are becoming increasingly accessible, and its presence in the workplace can be invaluable for many reasons.
Defining Augmented Reality
Rather than the total change in surroundings that virtual reality creates, AR takes aspects from the current environment and alters them. This modification of the real world has three basic defining features. These features include a real-time combination of the virtual world and reality with an accurate three-dimensional registration of these worlds.
Hardware used for AR is readily available in everyday life. With a processor, input devices and display sensors, most modern cell phones have everything needed for AR. The most fundamental tools are cameras, GPS, solid-state compasses and accelerometers.
Benefits Of AR Training
In the workplace, AR can enhance the learning and comprehension of both trainees and seasoned workers. Additionally, AR can boost employee engagement and safety awareness, alleviate training costs and lower learning curves.
MORE FOR YOU
Engagement: There is truth in the concept that people learn by doing. AR provides the opportunity for hands-on learning in a structured, interactive way. With physical devices, trainees can practice job activities in real-time at their own pace and without pressure from customers, managers and performance expectations.
Safety: Some job situations are inherently dangerous, and training for them can be equally so. AR allows new employees to practice these tasks without the risk of injury or endangerment.
Training Costs: While AR training equipment’s initial costs can be high, the equipment is reusable, and most people will have hardware of their own in the form of a cell phone. AR headsets and apps can replace the need for costly seminars or classes.
Cognitive Barriers: Sometimes, job training can be challenging. There are high learning curves for many careers, even with an adequate education. This kind of hands-on learning allows trainees to get an idea of how things are supposed to work and how to handle it when things go awry. They can take the time to understand the material comprehensively.
There are many more benefits of AR, so here is a non-extensive list:
• AR can motivate trainees to learn more about the job activity and company because it’s a more imaginative and exciting experience.
• There is more potential for training opportunities, even for seasoned workers. Training can also be available on-demand.
• Using AR can encourage and help trainees retain information, knowledge and skills.
• It can help create less of a dependency on personnel, who can then perform their primary tasks more frequently.
AR Training In Practice
Many job sectors already utilize AR. Even the retail industry uses AR to simulate complicated interactions with customers. Most notably, however, next-level AR technology appears in the medical and aerospace fields, as well as manufacturing and the military.
Medicine: In medicine, it is challenging to get hands-on experience performing procedures without risk. AR helps remove this barrier, allowing medical students to learn about anatomy and practice surgeries. Anatomy apps and other technologies allow trainees to use mirroring holograms of their bodies.
Space: AR gives the aerospace industry ways to see an overlay of parts on real models and easy access to complicated instructions. Just like in medicine, some of this technology can help prepare trainees for real situations. With an app that can reconstruct Mars’ landscape, scientists can prepare for future expeditions from the comfort of their offices.
Manufacturing: With the ability to move from theory to practice much more quickly, the manufacturing industry benefits heavily from AR technology. Headsets can provide real-time, step-by-step instructions and allow trainers to provide feedback during practice. This particular technology is excellent for welders, and trainees can learn faster and practice often. Some manufacturing AR technology utilizes voice commands, images and videos. Collaboration with others is also possible by sharing an idea through AR glasses.
Retail: As mentioned earlier, retail is starting to use AR in training scenarios. Besides situational practice, employees can access training on products by scanning them. Onboarding can also benefit from AR enhancements. Activities such as touring the sales floor and virtually meeting the team are excellent for getting acquainted with the company. From sales training to learning about safety procedures, preparing for a retail environment can be more stress-free as a trainee becomes comfortable with transactions and customer interaction.
Military: The U.S. military uses AR combat training to simulate environments that require situational and operational awareness. This experience helps soldiers adapt to distinguishing friendlies from enemies. With this technology, developing the tools needed to be aware of time, space and forces can be more frequent and in-depth.
Current challenges brands face when adopting AR for training applications typically include limitations with the technology. For example with wearable AR devices such as smart glasses, the user will see an overlay providing detailed information, but in order to interact with the headset, they need to use voice recognition, which can sometimes be difficult to hear in industrial environments.
That being said, the world of AR technology is growing and has a lot of potential. When it comes to most industries, there will be a way to provide enriching training with AR’s assistance. We can expect AR technology to continually improve with our mobile devices and to see more and more AR applications that take advantage of room scanning technology and 3D mapping to interpret and interact with environments.
However, as it is now, there are plenty of ways to introduce AR to the workplace, especially for training purposes. Not only can it make the day-to-day easier on the business side, but employees will also appreciate the fresh take on training and engagement.