Augmented and Virtual Reality in the Workplace
As big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple continue to invest in AR and VR, it’s clear that these immersive experiences are here to stay. And while there are obvious applications for gaming and entertainment, businesses are also starting to explore how they can leverage AR and VR in the workplace.
From training new employees to improving communication and collaboration, these two technologies (both separate and mixed) are changing the way enterprises operate. In this article, we’ll explore how corporations use AR and VR and how you can benefit from AR and VR in the workplace.
Augmented Reality (AR) provides visual, auditory, and/or olfactory information that supplements or enhances an employee’s productivity and perception. An AR system could display pertinent information about a piece of machinery being viewed by a technician or provide step-by-step instructions for completing a repair.
Virtual Reality (VR) immerses a worker in a completely artificial environment, which may be realistic or fantastical. In a VR system, all real-world sensory input is replaced by information from the simulated surroundings. For example, a VR system could provide immersive training for a hazardous and/or delicate procedure, influencing mental processes and linking theory with practice.
There is evidence that VR and AR can improve employees’ performance on various tasks. A recent study has found that surgeons who used VR to practice procedures were faster and made fewer errors than those who did not use VR.
VR and AR can also improve workers’ memory retention. In one study, participants who used VR to learn about fire safety had higher retention rates. They were also better able to apply what they had learned than those who received traditional instruction. Scholars investigating AR in manufacturing have concluded that the latter technology has a promising future and will likely be present in future training sessions.
Reducing the Skills Gap
Different workplaces experience a skill gap as job posts multiply while the labor pool remains the same or decreases. It can be a problem for employers, leading to lower productivity and turnover. AR and VR can help reduce the skill gap by allowing employees to learn new skills in a realistic environment.
For example, Walmart uses VR in the workplace to train its workforce. The company has created a VR simulation of its store, enabling workers to practice stocking shelves and helping customers. Drilling in various simulated circumstances helps staff members acquire new abilities and become more efficacious on the job.
Companies also use AR in the workplace to provide employees with real-time information and instructions. It can be helpful for people who need to get new tasks or troubleshoot problems. Boeing relies on AR to help its aircraft technicians assemble planes. Experts can see instructions and diagrams overlaid on actual aircraft, making it easier for them to do their jobs.
Thanks to AR and VR, workers can visualize concepts and ideas, collaborate on projects, and communicate more effectively with each other. Besides, Virtual Reality allows companies to simulate real-world scenarios for safety or emergency purposes, even if employees tune in to the call off-site. High-quality, meaningful communication secures any process completion, simultaneously reducing the chances of confusion and blunders.
Augmented Reality in the workplace can help improve customer support by providing clients with visualizations of products or services. Suppose a customer is having difficulty using an item. In that case, an AR visualization can show them how to use it more easily and describe the given piece.
VR, in turn, enhances customer support by creating training simulations for customer service staff. In an attempt to boost CS service, the workforce may be exposed to pre-made situations involving various problems. Utilizing the necessary skills, staff members can learn how to deal with difficult circumstances to the company’s and customers’ advantage.
Design and Prototyping
AR and VR serve as efficient technologies for design and prototyping. They provide authentic experiences that allow designers to better understand how users will interact with their products. In addition, AR and VR can help speed up the design process by letting experts make real-time changes and see the results immediately.
An Augmented Reality workspace usually provides a virtual desktop to access files and applications from anywhere. And the good thing about it, AR doesn’t require additional accessories or solid hardware: users can utilize the technology from their smartphones.
Virtual Reality entails creating a digital office space for meetings and collaboration. With the turbulent times, there is no more prerequisite for working from the office only. Having adjusted to the modern state of affairs, companies now allow employees to clock in remotely, and that’s where AR and VR stand out.
Where AR is Used
There is a burgeoning market for AR apps which many businesses are taking advantage of to increase productivity and connect with their customers in new ways. AR is used for various purposes, from providing instructions for employees to creating an immersive customer experience. Some of the most popular applications for AR include:
Augmented Reality in workplace creates a virtual work environment that allows employees to test products and procedures before being implemented in the real world. It can help reduce errors and increase efficiency. For instance, Audi uses AR work instructions to help workers build cars. The company has developed an AR system that allows workers to see a virtual representation of the vehicle they are assembling, complete with all the necessary parts. It helps workers understand the assembly process and ensure that they put the car together correctly.
One example of AR use in construction is overlaying building plans onto the site. It allows builders to see where they need to place pipes or other features and can help with the overall coordination of the construction project. Furthermore, AR provides information about specific construction materials or components, allowing builders to make informed and quick decisions. Another example of AR use in construction includes AR walkthroughs of construction sites that help with safety, training, and quality control.
In logistics, AR can lay out real-time information about the status of shipments and inventory levels and help with navigation. A worker in a warehouse might use AR glasses to see information about the items they are picking up and where they need to go next. Following the app’s information also secures higher efficiency and accuracy.
One example of how AR benefits the automotive industry is navigation purposes. The car’s GPS can use an AR application and be projected onto the road in front of the driver. Another example is safety. If a car is about to collide with another object, an AR display can warn the driver and provide information about how to avoid the collision.Lastly, entertainment grounds. An AR display can project a movie while the car is parked. It can help pass the time while waiting for a vehicle to be repaired or at a parking spot.
Maintenance and Repairs
AR can be used in maintenance and repairs to inform staff about the equipment they are working on and guide them through the repair process. AR can display a 3D model of a piece of equipment so that the worker can see its contents and how the various parts fit together. AR can also provide step-by-step instructions for a repair to let the employee see what and how to fix it.
AR can help workers in a warehouse identify and track inventory, pick orders more accurately, and find products more quickly. In addition, these technologies can help people avoid potential hazards and improve safety in the warehouse. Augmented Reality provides instructions to workers on how to perform specific tasks, such as assembling products or loading trucks. AR is still relatively new in this branch, but many companies are already providing solutions for the warehouse industry. Some leading providers of Augmented Reality in the workplace for warehouses include PTC and Atheer.
Oil and Gas
Some oil and gas companies use AR to create digital representations of their reservoirs, studying and analyzing them without drilling. AR lets experts create 3D models of oil and gas fields for training and safety purposes. For example, ExxonMobil uses AR to create a digital twin of its vast oil field in the Permian Basin and study it securely. Other oil and gas companies use AR to create training simulations for their employees. Several companies have already developed an AR simulation of an offshore oil rig to optimize production.
Architecture and Design.
AR allows designers to superimpose their creations onto the real world, giving them a better understanding of how their designs will look and function. It is handy for architects, who can use AR to visualize their buildings’ appearance once completed. An app called “Roomle” is one example of AR use in architecture. The application allows users to explore different furniture options and see how they would fit in a given space.
AR is used extensively in medicine for both educational and practical purposes. In education, AR provides medical students with realistic simulations of medical procedures. It can mitigate learning complex concepts or practices that are otherwise challenging to understand without visualizing. Doctors can also use AR to consult with experts in other locations or provide remote diagnoses and treatment recommendations. Surgeons, for instance, employ AR to view patient data or medical images during surgery, providing them with information that would otherwise be unavailable.
Customers can use a smartphone or tablet to see how an item of clothing looks on them without having to try it on. It is particularly advantageous for items currently unavailable in the customer’s size. Another example is in-store navigation. Superimposed directional arrows can guide people to their desired location. Some other ways include product demonstrations, customer education, and in-store advertising. AR can show how a product works or looks in use, provide information about its features and benefits or deliver targeted ads to customers while they shop.
Augmented Reality is being used increasingly in tourism to enhance visitors’ experiences. For instance, some museums use AR to give visitors more information about the displayed exhibits. Visitors can use their smartphones to point at a particular item and see additional information on their screens, making the museum experience more interactive and engaging. By using AR, people can also get a taste of what the place is like and what it offers without traveling there. It can save substantial time and money and help people make more informed decisions about their holiday plans.
The potential for AR and VR in the workplace is enormous. With the ability to provide workers with a lifelike experience, AR and VR are paving their way to becoming a fundamental toolset for every business. More companies that aspire to make their employees multifaceted, improve safety, and increase productivity start adopting AR and VR. Finally, as the technology continues to develop, we will likely see even more special and unique applications for Augmented and Virtual Reality in the workplace soon.
With years of experience in the field, WE/AR Studio can provide you with the tools and resources you need to get started with these promising technologies. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help you make the most of today’s cutting-edge era.