Augmented Reality Developer in Singapore
Augmented Reality Developer in Singapore
In this day and age, technological innovations are developing non-stop. One of the most popular and most fascinating creations of the digital revolution is Augmented Reality.
Augmented Reality (AR), is the integration of interactive digital elements into our existing natural environment. This involves the use of multi-sensory overlays which allows both virtual and real worlds to interact and coexist so users can get an enhanced experience.
In 1990, a Boeing researcher named Tom Caudell coined the term “Augmented Reality” but AR has been around for longer than most people realize. In 1968, Harvard professor and computer scientist Ivan Sutherland invented “The Sword of Damocles”. He invented this first sort of augmented reality accessory with his student, Bob Sproull. This featured a head-mounted display that hung from the ceiling and the user is able to visualize computer graphics, which made him or her perceive the idea of an alternate reality. This technology is considered closer to virtual reality than augmented reality. 6 years after, Myron Krueger created a project called “Videoplace”. This combines a projection system and video cameras that produced shadows on the screen. This setup made the user feel as though they were in a digital interactive environment. In 1992, Louis Rosenburg from the US Air Force’s Armstrong Research Lab created the first real operational augmented reality system, Virtual Fixtures. A robotic system places information on top of the workers existing work environment to help them become more efficient. This system was thought of like an early version of what most AR systems currently do today. And since then, the enhancements just kept on coming.
To compare Augmented Reality with Virtual Reality, AR brings components of the digital world into a person’s perception of the real world. Whereas, VR completely replaces the user’s real-world environment with a simulated one. AR is popularly used for interactive games and apps. A few trending examples are Nintendo’s Pokemon Go (uses GPS to find, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon), the IKEA Mobile App (helps consumers to visualize true to scale IKEA products into real environment), and Google SkyMap (a digital planetarium that lets users view constellations, planets, stars and more). But AR is not just limited to entertainment and games. This technology is also used in healthcare for medical training and assists in performing safer and more precise surgical procedures via the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) format. The U.S. Army is currently experimenting with digitally enhanced AR training missions for soldiers and visual technology that can be applied in combat that could help them identify friendly vs enemy troops to minimize the loss of lives. The Weather Channel is using an enhanced AR innovation to illustrate the effects of extreme weather and provide 3D images of tornadoes and storm surges.
It is undeniable that the potential for Augmented Reality is limitless. It will only be a matter of time before this technology will be embedded in our lives and will be part of our day to day activities.
In the corporate world, Augmented Reality is continuously being developed to promote efficiency in the workplace and is being utilized to support innovative enhancements. Here are 10 ways you can use AR for your company:
- Training – the fundamental step in developing the workforce. One common reason why Training is not as effective as we would want it to be is because of a semi-controllable factor: the learner’s retention ability. People learn best by interaction rather than being presented to. AR provides a highly visual and interactive setup that is proven to be more effective than traditional text and video approaches. The learners are immersed in their learning experience, making it enjoyable for them which minimizes monotony. Thus, they engage better and absorb more information presented. To quote Confucius “I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand”.
- Simulations and Demonstrations – using AR minimizes the possibility of irreversible errors when letting learners try out new equipment, operate machinery or experiment with software. The AR visualizations would serve as a guide on what to do with what and when to do it. This also helps minimize the cost of purchasing dummies or other test equipment that would sooner or later deteriorate due to wear and tear. AR can also be useful in Product or Service testing for retail training. This lets users try out existing products and discover its features (as the Trainer presents it to them) without having to endure a wordy lecture about the item/s and what it can do. They also get a realistic view of the product and even lets them envision new ideas and give suggestions on how to enhance certain features which foster the idea of collaboration with the learners.
- Virtual Meetings – Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a meeting with your colleagues from all over the globe, in different time zones, and make it seem as if you were all in one room? AR makes that possible for you. This is an efficient way to conduct meaningful meetings and encourage participation from attendees without having to finance several trips. Sure, phone conference calls are cost-effective too but the experience would be more engaging if you can see all participants and interact with them face-to-face. Virtually, that is.
- Recruitment Tool – Attracting new talent for your company becomes easier with the use of technology. Applicants are attracted to companies who impress them from the get-go. And what better way to do that than to flaunt AR technology. Applicants can have a look-see of what it’s like to work for your company, how the workstations are organized, and where your other branches or offices are. They can also take a virtual peek at the cafeteria and lounges plus all other perks and benefits that you would like to present to aspiring applicants and new-hires to convince them that you are a remarkable and technologically advanced company to work for. Helps a lot with Net Promoter Score too!
- Proper Training Staff Utilization – Trainers do more than just classroom discussion. They have a ton of other deliverables and ad hoc tasks to complete so it would not be surprising that some of them may not be as energetic and enthusiastic when running a class. AR reduces the amount of time and effort that the Trainers have to exert in order to ensure learning effectiveness. With the use of AR, Trainers can reinforce self-reliance by letting learners try things out for themselves. This also enhances diverse skill sets depending on the learner type. Once able to free-up time, trainers are able to multitask with other deliverables. Thus, promoting better time management and reduces the feeling of being drained.
- Health and Wellness hubs – this may not seem like a priority but this is one important factor in employee retention. If the employees feel that the company actually cares for their physical well-being, they feel appreciated and are less likely to feel too much stress at work. AR hubs can highlight health and wellness features such as a virtual assessment of vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, etc and other physical assessment measures such as body mass index, blood sugar, and bone density. This initiative also promotes early disease prevention so employees can better manage their health and minimize absences.
- Employee Engagement – almost every company pushes for the “Create a Fun Working Environment” slogan. And this is where AR comes in handy. You have the option to create a corporate version of the IKEA app or Google SkyMap integrating different elements significant to your company. Rewards and Recognition will now be virtually interactive and you probably won’t have to spend too much on confetti! On a more serious note, AR can also facilitate easy virtual access to company links and updates so employees feel empowered knowing they have tools at their fingertips.
- Workstation Management – if you are a company that utilizes non-permanent workstations in a shifting method, such as a call center that operates 24 hours, AR can greatly help with easing the burden of creating a seating plan. All you need to do is view the entire production floor with your AR device and it can immediately facilitate workstation assignments.
- HR and Learning & Development support – AR has the potential to simplify time-consuming HR tasks. Employees can use AR to access training materials, HR policies, manuals, or other updates or documentation when not physically in the workplace. This can improve efficiency and productivity. AR can also make Induction a breeze. Going through company policies will be more enticing when presented in an AR platform. Showing the company history to new-hires can be a more entertaining experience with all the visual overlays you can include.
- Data Management and Presentation – minimize the stress of presenting reports to upper management by using more than Excel and Powerpoint. AR lets users easily navigate through the data being presented and promotes creative ways to manage and present data.
How beneficial is Augmented Reality for your company? Is it really worth the hype? Essentially, it’s a computing platform. AR changes how we interact with our computers. Mostly because our computers wouldn’t be desk items we sit in front of any more, they’d be the world around us. Sooner or later, you will no longer feel confined to your office desk. Let’s take a look at 10 benefits of using AR for your company:
1.) AR is eye-catching and is not yet widely used across the globe
You still have the opportunity to give your customers and potential overseas clients the feel of a surprising innovation. AR is already very popular but not extensively used on the corporate scene. This technology also gives you an edge from your competitors because you are able to creatively customize the wow factor depending on your products or services. People tend to be more attracted to something that they haven’t seen or tried before and AR is here to help with that.
2.) Quickly gains popularity
Talking about attracting people. Once you entice potential customers with the customized technology you present, they are quick to tell family, friends, and colleagues about the experience. Especially when it feels new to them. Talk about brand promotion and an amazing Net Promoter Score! You don’t even have to put too much effort into marketing and advertising, the people will do it for you. Remember how quickly Snapchat became viral? That’s how much potential there is, use it to your advantage.
3.) Customer and client empowerment
Because AR is highly customizable, you can get creative with self-service options. People do almost everything with their smartphones nowadays, so it is important to give customers and clients the feel of “I have the option to do this whenever I want and wherever I want”. Empowerment is a very important aspect of customer retention and enabling them to do certain things they couldn`t do before by themselves will definitely help with that. This also minimizes staff exhaustion and longer hours if you have a physical shop or branch.
AR is projected to be an economic driver for the tech industry. You certainly do not want to get left behind. The global AR market is expected to grow significantly to about 90 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. Revenue from AR is projected to be three times higher than that of VR by 2020. Now that is something that would definitely convince you to want to invest in this type of technology because will attract more customers and open doors for your company.
5.) Reduces operational costs
AR may not be able to replace human resources just yet but this technology can definitely help cut down on expenses for sales & marketing, hiring, test equipment, and getting third-party contractors to help with certain tasks. You would not need to hire as many people, so staffing will be one less thing to facilitate. Financing employee trips from one office to another will also be greatly reduced because face to face meetings, product demonstrations and training can easily be done virtually with AR.
6.) Reduces the amount of time spent on training staff
No matter what type of your industry your company supports, AR will always make training a breeze. Whether it’s Robotics, Construction, Healthcare or Telecommunication services, real-time visualizations through AR take the guesswork out of familiarizing newly-hired staff with your products, services or equipment.
7.) The entertainment factor
This is what AR is best known for – amusement. Whether its games or apps or however you’d want to use this technology for your company, AR never fails to entertain users because of the fun multisensory experience. Not just for customers and clients, giving your employees access to AR technology helps them to be more productive and efficient at work because they have a non-traditional and engaging tool that promotes creativity.
8.) Fosters long-term customer and client relationships
Because of its uniqueness, AR is not a forgettable type of technology. Even if this platform has existed for decades, it is continuously being developed and enhanced. To say it has a lot of potentials is an understatement, and people always love the idea of newer and better things. To quote Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) “One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. Their expectations are never static – they go up. It’s human nature. We didn’t ascend from our hunter-gatherer days by being satisfied. People have a voracious appetite for a better way.” AR is something that will keep your customers coming back for more.
9.) Provides ease with data management and presentation
Gone are the days of squinting in front of a projected Excel spreadsheet during meetings and strategic planning sessions. AR lets you get creative with how you present your numbers. You can use holographic bars and graphs and animate the flow of your presentation. Attendees or participants will be more engaged if they can access the data within their own phones so they will have the option to zoom in and review data at their own pace. This is an engaging experience that promotes collaboration and encourages the audience to give feedback.
10.) Adaptable type of technology
AR is customizable to fit users’ preference, flexible with every business need and can be personalized. When hiring an AR agency, all you need to do is specify your needs for the business, focus on what you want to achieve and they would be glad to design overlays and enhancements suitable for your project. AR can be accessed through multiple devices such as smartphones, wearable devices, digital displays, and TVs so you would not be stuck with just one medium.
Augmented Reality is progressively becoming a viable tool in the workplace. While some companies see AR as obtuse and unnecessary, we can’t deny the fact that innovation is one of the best ways to thrive as a company now that we are in the digital age. There’s always value in investing in fresh ideas.
Digital innovations are developing at a remarkable speed. Augmented Reality agencies can present unlimited opportunities for improving business performance. Before jumping into the AR bandwagon, let us first take a look at 10 questions to ask yourself before hiring an AR agency.
- “What specific needs does my company have that an Augmented Reality agency can address?”
It is very important to first determine what you will use AR for. Are there certain underlying issues in your company that can be remediated by innovation? Or do you just simply need your team to get excited about something new in order for them to be more productive? It would be ideal to prioritize projects or aspects that may has-dulled down or something that is continuously giving you a headache.
- Now that you have determined your company’s needs in relation to AR, the next question to ask yourself is “Is there a different (simpler and less costly) form of technology available that can address my needs in a similar way that AR can?”
Sometimes we get too eager to try something new that we often overlook resources that we already have. Your solution should always correspond with your goal. If you want to overhaul an entire department or project, then AR could work for you. But if it’s something as simple as getting more Facebook likes or Retweets on your page then maybe you just need to switch things up a bit. Maybe all you need is a better social media account manager or a better web experience or create a trendy app. But if your answer to question number 2 is NO, then ask yourself what incremental value would AR provide?
- “Who is my target audience (or market) and do they have any specific preferences or needs?”
Are you utilizing AR for your customers, clients or employees? Regardless of who your end users will be, the technology has to be user-friendly and inclusive for everyone. How else would they appreciate the wow factor if it seems too complicated to use or if they don’t have access to it? Another thing to consider is the age bracket and location of your users. If you make it too simple, teenagers will find it boring. If you make it too digitally extravagant, it may be overwhelming for elders. Or if we’re looking at an international audience, are there enough digital resources to support your chosen platform?
- In order for you to decide on certain features to showcase for your users, ask yourself if you know enough about Augmented Reality and what it entails. “Have I done enough research on the available devices and platforms available for AR?”
Deciding your best option for business innovation will only be effective if you know enough about the technology itself. From wearable devices to operating systems, to overlay options, there’s so much to familiarize yourself with before making a decision. Sure, an AR agency can explain things simply for you, but it wouldn’t hurt to do your own research and be knowledgeable about something you are about to invest in. You wouldn’t want to pay for a totally unnecessary upgrade. You have to understand the intricacies of the technology itself and how to properly benefit from its growth.
- Next thing to consider: cost. “How much am I willing to spend?”
Deciding on a budget is a fundamental factor when innovating. But first, let’s figure out exactly how much does AR cost? According to this site, AR app prices differ depending on the type of technology you want to use. For basic AR page services, service starts at $60 per augmented page. For custom apps that provide a one-of-a-kind experience, the range is at $25 – $30K. The rates are typically based on the custom features defined by the client. With this information in mind, start canvassing for AR agencies so you can do a cost comparison.
- On the flip side, you also need to calculate risk. “How much am I prepared to lose?”
Because AR is still considered a budding technology, a lot of considerations have to be made before getting too excited. Just like other innovations on the rise, the possibility of investment losses is foreseeable. An article from IG Group limited states that “Billions have been lost in ventures that have so far failed to make AR a reality.” It’s not just software or hardware-related issues. UK-based startup Blippar, built on technology that allows people to point their smartphone at products to gain more information about them but fell into administration just before Christmas. And that was primarily related to a funding dispute between investors. Even the companies who have made it through the losses still need to shell out more in order to compete with tech giants are still far from profitability.
- “What is my measurement of success?”
The answer to this question should work with your answer in question number 1. Having an overarching goal helps you define how successful your innovation is and how well the agency is performing. Success can mean getting more customers to buy your products or services, or your employees becoming more efficient and productive, or hiring a better pool of talent, or just simply staying ahead of your competitors.
- “How soon do I want to start hiring an AR agency?”
Some companies prefer to wait until the hype dies down before getting started on new technology. Because after the buzz has cleared, that’s when you can determine the viability of a technological investment. You might feel left behind if you don’t start with it now, but there’s value in letting other companies do the trial and error for you. It may sound sneaky, but it’s called leverage.
- Gather a list of prospective AR agencies based on recommendations and personal research. “Which of these agencies can I trust to help me achieve my goals but is also well within my budget range?”
Ask advice from those who previously had or are currently in a contract with an AR agency. When selecting an agency, recommendations are a big help especially if those who suggested a specific agency are from the same type of industry as your company because you may have similar goals in mind. When doing your own research, feedback from their previous customers and clients will give perspective on the quality of work they provide and if you will get what you pay for.
- “When do I plan to make AR available for my users to experience?”
Plan your official launch date. The agency needs to know how urgent this project is. Plus, you would also need to prepare for marketing and advertising resources to let the world know about your latest innovation. It helps to hype it up so a lot of people can look forward to something new from your company.
During the selection process, it is important to familiarize yourself with the AR agency as much as you can before making an offer. Assuming you have already done background research, here are 10 interview questions to ask the AR agency before hiring them:
- “What makes you different from other AR agencies out there?”
Standard interview question. This gives an opportunity for the prospect to verbalize what they can put on the table for you. Of course, they will attempt to sell themselves and their brand but try to read between the lines and listen past the enhanced terminology. Ask them about their Net Promoter Score too, if applicable. Once you determine what separates them from the rest of their competition, you can further ask situational follow-up questions on one of their specific projects.
- “What are the limitations of this technology?”
Expect them to talk about these 3 concerns: First, privacy issues. When enhanced with AR, image-recognition software will allow access to information for just about any person you point your camera to. From social media profiles to business sites, not everyone will feel too comfortable about this idea. Next, software. Data needs to be rendered across the wearer’s full scope of vision and the technology should also be capable of adapting to natural body movements, ensuring that the display does not become altered. So the technology has to be developed in such a way that it is quickly responsive and conforming to both user and environment. And, more importantly, the internet is not omnipresent. Lastly, hardware. It has to have enough processing power to handle tons of data within a short span of time. Another possible concern is battery life. Users would not be able to make the most out of their AR experience if their devices do not last longer than their attention span. Investing on equipment with awesome features will definitely cost more, but you also have to consider that users will not be able to get the most out of their AR experience with poorly performing devices.
- “Do you use your own services?”
They should walk the talk. If an agency doesn’t patronize their own products, then why should you? This also means that they have a better grasp on what could possibly go wrong because they’ve had first-hand experience. If you can see that they are a fan of their own products and services then that would mean they will be just as passionate in supporting your business.
- “How long have you been in the Augmented Reality industry?”
The amount of experience they’ve had with the technology determines the overall success of your project. You certainly do not want to be their lab rat and let them make mistakes along the way at the expense of your reputation. They don’t have to extremely popular for you to hire them, they just have to be a master of their craft.
- “What can you tell me about your previous successful partnerships?”
Listening to an agency describe how well things went with other companies says a lot about how trustworthy they are and how much they value client partnerships. Hiring an agency is more than just getting the service that you need from them, but it’s also about fostering a healthy business relationship. This gives a perspective on the likelihood of re-hiring them.
- “Have you had any unsuccessful projects or partnerships? If yes, how did you overcome it?”
Of course, we have to ask the difficult questions. Knowing about the previous issues they’ve had can let you visualize possible problems you might encounter. Listening to how they came up with a solution gives you an idea of well they know the product and that they know what they are doing. Depending on the gravity of the situation, their turn-around time also matters. Also, ask them about what they can do differently should similar issues arise during your contact with them.
- “How much do your services cost?”
Make hiring decisions around your budget. Also, do enough research to ensure you are not being overcharged. After informing them of your vision for your project, have the agency provide a specific list of items they are charging you for and determine if all the fancy enhancement is really necessary to achieve your immediate goal, or if some upgrades can wait. You want to get the best value for your money so encourage the agency to be transparent with what they can and cannot do.
- “What support can you provide post-installation?”
Innovative upgrades will constantly require support during its first few months (possibly years) after launching. From troubleshooting to step by step walkthroughs and acquiring instructional materials, it is vital to get support as soon as you need it. This can make or break a project so you have to agree with the agency on the level and type of support they will provide.
- “What do I need to do to prepare my company for this technological upgrade?”
You may need to do a quick forum with your employees to give them a heads up on the upgrade and gather what questions they may have. Ask the agency what sort of technical (even physical or mental) preparations they need to do prior to the upgrade. Some agencies require certain hardware or software specifications to support their platform. Others may need you to purchase specific types or brands of equipment to ensure compatibility. And, there’s always the possibility of a physical workspace modification.
- “How much time do you need before we can have AR available for our users?”
Asking them for their project timeline helps you and the agency stay on track. This also lets you get a realistic preview of the amount of time needed to prepare for the official launch. Or if you feel like the project is falling behind, ask the agency how you can collaborate to speed things up a bit.
Digital evolution in training is rapidly growing to accommodate modern innovations that people are attracted to. Learners prefer personalized options while learning, but companies also want a cost-effective solution that gives the highest returns and results from a training program. AR technology helps to achieve both. In this article, we will discover some examples of the benefits of using AR in the training space.
When learners are in an environment where they are able to gain content from their own discovery rather than have information presented to them all the time, the feeling of control can result in better retention of knowledge. Self-paced learning courses allow users to absorb content better because they do not feel left behind when their peers learn faster than they do. People are now accustomed to using their mobile devices for just about anything.
The world of eLearning is now adapting concepts of AR technology. Ben Henderson, a writer for eLearning Inside, states in his article that “if an individual is interested in developing themselves through their mobile device, doing this on-demand is very effective and convenient”. Their motivation to learn a specific topic largely depends on being able to access learning content anytime, and if the materials provide specific elements for employees to discover and develop.
- Learner-centered personalization
Given the fact that there are different types of learners (visual, auditory and kinesthetic), AR offers customizable options to adapt to each learner type. Based on this citation by Kamalika Dutta from the RWTH Aachen University, AR supports all types of learners because this is a multi-sensory type of technology. For visual learners, the digital displays are definitely eye-catching so getting users to concentrate would not be an issue. AR lets the user view the learning content in a 3D perspective. This can help learners who struggle to grasp concepts that are too complex absorb details better. For auditory learners, they can get all sorts of acoustic cues to facilitate retention. For kinesthetic learners, haptic technology will get their gears going by utilizing psychomotor skills, especially in procedural tasks. This is also good for learners who adapt a mixed learning style (linguistic, mathematical, interpersonal or intrapersonal).
Personalized training gives the users a more meaningful learning experience thus, enabling them to get the most out of the training program. AR also allow learners to model a specific set of skills in a simulated environment which lets the trainers assess each person’s strengths and opportunities. Thus, time and effort are focused on improving skills that are not yet developed versus using a one-approach-fits-all means. However, Mc-Graw Hill Education states that transitioning from traditional forms of instruction to personalized learning can be difficult for most educational leaders. The good thing is, AR can serve as a bridge for both forms of learning as it enhances traditional materials and incorporates it into a virtual platform in order to get a practical approach. And because AR does not totally eliminate long-established methods in education, (rather, it enhances it), this can be used as leverage for training conventional or elderly learners.
By definition, gamification is the application of game design elements and game principles in non-game concepts. In other words, make learning fun through games. Most people within the learning industry prefer to use digital gamification methods because it reduces the burden of using physical objects as props but more importantly, participants are more engaged. But there’s a deeper psychology behind gamification. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review in 2010 concluded that a sense of progress is the most important motivating factor at work. If the learners feel that they have accomplished something in the majority of the activities, it helps them become even more determined to do better. For example, if the learning platform is designed to have several “levels” or “achievements”, this motivates the user to accomplish more. In terms of display, AR never fails to deliver. Imagine a corporate version of Pokemon Go, that would definitely get trainees excited about day-to-day training.
- Fosters learner-to-content interaction
One of the important aspects of digital learning systems is user interaction. Without regular interaction, users are likely to lose interest quickly, and the presented content may be forgotten after being learned. eLearning systems can extend to include intuitive interaction by using AR. By being able to navigate the display or work with haptic technology, the activities take on an intuitive approach which promotes learning through interaction.
In the corporate training scene, AR can be used to create fresh learning experiences, or simply enrich training initiatives already utilized. For example, visual aids or other printed learning materials can be brought to life by taking something stationary and enhancing it with animation and interactivity that engages the learner and exhibit angles that simply can’t be shown with something static. Group activities can be improved into engaging treasure hunts that get the learners up and moving and working together as they scan various items to use as clues and obtain new knowledge along the way.
- Safe and cost-effective tool for simulations and demonstrations
AR visualizations would serve as a guide on what to do with what and identify certain parts of an equipment or system. Having this option from a virtually enhanced realistic view makes walkthroughs easier to comprehend because you are looking at a virtual model and you get digital cues on the side. AR also helps minimize the cost of purchasing dummies or other test equipment that would sooner or later deteriorate due to wear and tear. Bye bye, test dummies. In another aspect, AR minimizes the possibility of irreversible errors when letting learners try out new equipment, operate machinery or experiment with unfamiliar software. AR can also be useful in Product or Service testing for retail training. This lets users try out existing products and discover its features (as the Trainer presents it to them) without having to endure a wordy lecture about the item/s and what it can do.
- Increase savings on training expenses
AR technology does not come cheap. But it is a good investment in the long run. As mentioned in item 5, organizations can save on using test equipment. But there are more reasons why AR is a cost-effective expenditure. Printing of instructional and test materials can be greatly reduced as instruction manuals can now be converted to virtual models and knowledge-check types of assessments are done real-time via a realistic simulation of the concepts that the learners need to familiarize themselves with. Marketing and advertising would be focused on digital media that people can access remotely which lessens physical set-ups and print ads. Travel expenses (air fare, accommodation, meals and transportation) will also be lessened by reducing the instances of sending training staff to support other branches or locations because support can be rendered virtually.
Meetings enhanced with augmented reality will replace video conferencing in the near future for organizations with staff who work or train remotely or for those companies that have multiple international offices. Some companies who operate with remote staff are already using augmented reality as the key driver to scale their report operations. Instead of just simply looking at people on a screen, users will experience real-time digital interactions as if they were sitting on the same table with office-based employees using AR, which is a notch above instant messaging or emails. This method of “real communication” fosters stronger working relationships that leads to better productivity and efficiency. Plus, this approach also minimizes the risk of misunderstandings and skills gap that usually happen during remote training.
- Attracting a project-specific pool of talent
Recruitment and hiring methods can be personalized too! By using AR, applicants can be filtered depending on their knowledge and skills by having them go through specific virtual activities. Their performance and decision-making skills will be assessed depending on what your company needs at the moment. If a specific user is inclined to a specific skill or attribute, you can then leverage on what they are already good at, profile them to a department who best needs their abilities, and this lessens the amount of time and effort in training.
This also applies not just in new hire applicants but also in Learning and Development initiatives. Existing employees can benefit from skill-specific apps to further hone their existing abilities and gain new skills that they have yet to master. On-the-job training, upskilling and refresher courses are made more comprehensive by using AR in training, as the immersive yet realistic nature of the technology gives the learners the advantage to experience situations for themselves, rather than just learning through passive observation.
- Supports multi-industry training
AR is not only limited to support training in the corporate world only. There are numerous businesses employing the use of AR in training. Here are a few examples:
Safety training – virtually anyone can now go through safety training without donning on the hard hats or other safety gear. Workplace safety simulations are made possible by AR by training employees for high-risk situations in a totally safe environment because they are doing it virtually. Even earthquake and fire drills can now be made more engaging by indicating safer exit routes or hinting self-preservation measures. And all of this can be done through a smartphone.
Medical training – the medical field is one of the industries who pioneered the application of AR in training. The benefits presented were: lower risk of malpractice through the help of simulations instead if live human subjects, detailed learning by manipulating visual images (learning about human anatomy by zooming in and out of certain parts rather than using cadavers), and better diagnosis of certain conditions by being able to get a 3D view of the affected system of body part. Learning about basic life support can also be viewed and experienced by any audience (even in a corporate setting) so people will have knowledge about what to do in certain emergency cases without having to enroll in a medical seminar.
Retail training – newly-trained staff can easily visualize product details and displays so they do not have to be micromanaged by veteran employees or supervisor. Before being deployed to an actual store, learners can practice on complex situations without actually being exposed to throngs of customers thus, minimizing complaints about the “new guy”. Like playing Diner Dash but on a realistic and brand-specific retail platform. Walmart uses digitally enhanced headsets to train staff because their goal is to make learning experiential which makes the users feel like they’ve actually experienced a specific situation. IKEA not only uses AR to create their “living lab” showroom experience but also to train and onboard employees.
Repair and Maintenance Training – heavy machinery and equipment are definitely complex topics in training. Not to mention most of these objects are not always accessible, so trainers mostly rely on videos and user manuals. But AR offers a more authentic view of the equipment that users can experiment on virtually and gives a more hands-on feel compared to just browsing a paper manual. A specific example of AR application in industrial training is Reflekt One. This company “creates step-by-step instructions and visualize product components as well as diagnostic data – without coding skills. By re-using 2D and 3D content, rich media and video, and can turn paper-based manuals into interactive guides – for Android, iOS, Windows and Microsoft Hololens.” Boeing provides its electrical technicians AR headsets to see a step-by-step maintenance checklist. This lets the company reduce the time needed for the operation by 30% and a 40% improvement in productivity.
It is not surprising to hear about new benefits and features of Augmented Reality once in a while because of the potential that this technology has to offer. It is not yet perfect and may take a long a time to become infallible but even while this platform is still developing, it is already one of the best innovations the digital world has made. In the world of corporate training, AR is progressively pushing the capabilities of both trainers and learners and this contributes a lot to the overall success of an organization.