Augmented Reality (AR) is set to be a major technology that will shape life after the pandemic. It has the potential to make significant impacts on a wide range of industries, from commerce and medicine to industry and academia, improving our daily lives. However, adoption of AR is yet to reach its full potential.
A recent IDC report has revealed that only 18% of businesses investing in Augmented Reality (AR) have deployed the technology. Furthermore, 45% of those surveyed are still in the prototype phase, suggesting that companies remain wary of the expense and complexity associated with AR.
The IDC study has revealed that businesses are beginning to recognize the potential of augmented reality (AR) for remote help, staff training and knowledge capture. These three uses, reported as the top three by businesses, are respectively 43%, 39% and 33% respectively. With the right knowledge and application, businesses can benefit from adopting this technology quickly.
Let’s analyse what this implies in more detail.
Reconciling the Virtual and Real
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that enables the overlaying of computer-generated imagery and data onto real-world settings and objects. This means that digital elements and information that have been digitally added to a particular object can be seen and interacted with. For example, AR glasses or Microsoft’s HoloLens can be used to look up a package’s tracking number.
Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming increasingly popular in the retail industry, with applications such as IKEA Place allowing users to visualise how a piece of furniture would look in their own home. However, AR has far more potential than this. It offers doctors the ability to provide remote assistance during procedures, and can be used by medical students to practice their skills. It can also be used by maintenance staff to examine machinery and other complex systems. There are many applications of AR that are yet to be explored.
Augmented reality (AR) seeks to provide a more holistic understanding of both the digital and physical worlds by combining them together. This, along with the examples given, makes it easy to envision a single user utilizing AR on a device in any given situation. However, AR can also be used to facilitate communication and collaboration between geographically dispersed individuals.
By utilizing augmented reality (AR) technology such as wearables, smartphones and tablets in combination with cloud-based digital platforms, it is possible to create an additional layer of visibility. In simpler terms, anyone with an AR device can connect to a website and interface with a remote specialist who can provide assistance when needed.
By utilizing augmented reality, the need for specialists to attend work sites in person could be reduced, potentially leading to time and cost savings. Additionally, this technology could help minimize the impact of crises, minimize the risk of harm in hazardous situations, and provide a great teaching solution.
Synergy through Augmented Reality Collaboration
It is worth noting that the majority of augmented reality applications currently available can have a beneficial effect on a range of businesses. Those looking to implement AR should consider exploring the most promising applications available.
So, what are some of the AR collaboration projects that might provide speedy results?
Facilitation of issues from afar.Even the most basic tasks can occasionally require expert guidance. However, this may not always be accessible when needed, particularly in more remote places such as oil rigs, power plants and industrial sites. Thankfully, augmented reality can provide a solution by enabling remote assistance. Employees are able to use augmented reality devices to obtain remote help from professionals and to access the relevant data required to address difficulties quickly and effectively (e.g. fixing essential equipment or diagnosing certain machines).
Testing and Inspection from Afar.It is essential to conduct process and equipment evaluations in order to identify any issues and develop solutions. Quality assurance experts can use Augmented Reality (AR) to observe operators in action, helping businesses to assess the implementation of their processes, rectify any errors immediately and identify problems before they become more serious.
Virtual Classroom InstructionAugmented Reality (AR) can be beneficial to businesses in the management of training programmes for staff. There are two main advantages of using remote Quality Assurance (QA) in this instance. Firstly, experts are able to provide employees with real-time instruction on procedures and tasks. Additionally, AR allows specialists to effectively communicate their knowledge to remote workers who may not have the same level of technological understanding.
Defying the Odds in the Face of Adversity
It is important to be mindful that the integration of Augmented Reality (AR) technology into business models may not be without its challenges. Particularly worrying for many businesses is the cost associated with developing and maintaining AR models, as well as successfully integrating AR devices with cloud-based systems, particularly if customization is required. Despite this, the three use cases presented are sure to yield a return on investment (ROI).
It is essential to take into account how you will customize the Augmented Reality (AR) experience. Although some pre-made AR solutions may be available for particular applications and sectors, it is likely that you will need to tailor your AR experience to suit your specific requirements. To achieve this, you must create a comprehensive growth plan with a considered strategy that takes into account not only the executive’s point of view, but also the input of employees, resources, timeline and the wider industry.
You may be concerned that using cloud-based solutions could compromise your data security. Many organizations have concerns about sharing sensitive information with external providers or storing their intellectual property on external servers.
It is difficult to find a guaranteed solution to these challenges, as they vary from person to person and depend on their specific situation. However, there are measures you can take to mitigate their impact. For instance, breaking down the AR solution into sprints may help you to better manage the budget for its full deployment. You may also seek professional help in planning the integration of augmented reality by working with experienced companies specialized in this field. Additionally, through the use of edge computing, you can keep sensitive information close at hand and reduce the risk of data breaches.
It would be wise to consider the advantages of augmented reality, even if it is not an ideal solution for your business. Despite the slow expansion of augmented reality so far, investing in it now could be hugely beneficial in the long-term. It could also be the key to improving your team’s performance. Therefore, it would be unwise to disregard augmented reality.