Augmented Reality or AR is an emerging field of visual technology which essentially expands our physical world. What that means is that it adds elements that might not be there in the physical space, virtually. Through AR, digital elements like computer-generated graphics, sound or video effects, haptic feedback, or sensory projects are added onto the physical space when seen through a screen or through headsets. The viral virtual game PokemonGo is an example of AR. It’s been adapted widely in gaming and social media industries.
But slowly, companies and retailers are realizing the amazing potential that the AR technology has in the field of business as well. It is now being incorporated into various business verticals and is transforming the ways of production. From healthcare, retail, military, education and training, to industries like real estate and the manufacturing and supply chains- AR has a fruitful and transformative space across industries.
Here are 7 reasons why companies should embrace augmented reality:
- Effective Employee Training
Employee training is an imperative aspect of running a business. High job turn over prevalent through many industries enforces companies to have to continuously train new employees. However, conventional methods of training are often ineffective, time-consuming and also costly. By leveraging Augmented Reality Solutions, businesses can train employees faster, better and at scale.
Firstly, Augmented Reality can enable a highly visual way and experiential way of learning. Via 3D models and animations, the working principle of a machine and each step the operator has to take in order to operate or repair a machine can be shown in a captivating manner. Therefore when workers reach the shop floor, they have a better understanding of the tasks and are hence more job ready and confident.
Furthermore, with the set up of right hardware and AR software, you can train employees quickly without having to be there physically to supervise diligently. On field workers can get access to training information and modules, whenever and wherever through their smart devices — whether those be wearables or simply smartphones.
2. Boost Productivity
AR can boost the productivity of your workforce. With Smart Glasses, traditional SOP documents that workers have to carry can be replaced by hands-free voice command enabled digital work instructions. Instead of having to look through his documents for every step, visual instructions are overlaid on the worker’s vision, apart from significantly reducing the time taken to perform industrial processes, it also reduces the risk of human error which can in turn have very costly consequences for a business.
3. Reduce Downtime, Reduce Cost
Machine downtime is one of the most dreaded problems to have in a manufacturing environment as it can result in substantial financial losses to a Company. The conventional ways of repairing a machine can be extremely time-consuming — and you cannot afford to waste any time when every minute costs thousands of dollars! In many cases, constant guidance is needed from SME’s since workers in the factory might not hold the necessary skills or the knowledge to do it themselves. There would hence be a lot of back and forth between the plant engineers and SME’s or the companies would have to pay large sums of travel expenditure in order to get the SME’s to their plant.
AR here can help in two ways. Firstly, visual repair or troubleshooting instructions can be stored on cloud and fed to the worker’s smart phone or smart glasses whenever a machine breaks down. Secondly, during a video call with an SME, live AR annotations can be drawn on the worker’s vision to help in better conveying the remote instructions. This simple yet incredibly powerful feature can help the worker know exactly what the SME is referring to and thus help in reducing downtime.
4. Removing Uncertainty and Increase Customer Engagement
The pandemic and the ongoing lock-down restrictions in several countries have caused a major problem for brands that were dependent on in-store sales as there has been a significant reduction in footfall. This has however enforced brands to emphasise ecommerce sales instead. There is still however a major challenge to shopping online: Consumers actually physically assess or examine a product before buying it.
Fortunately, AR can address this pressing issue by letting buyers ‘try on’ virtual versions of products instead. A popular example of Augmented Reality in the furniture segment is IKEA’s AR app, it allows customers to see how a piece of furniture or décor would look in a particular space such as their own homes or offices.
Other than these, a lot of social media and application developers are moving fast towards increased AR engagement on their platforms. Having your company’s marketing vision include a capitalization of the AR engagement these apps and platforms provide can prove to be highly beneficial.
Moving further than traditional advertising, AR allows 3D and graphic engagement that can be constantly modified and is highly mutable. This leads to a much more immersive and emotional response in the customers, while making AR a one-time investment that can be further modified and customized at low costs to suit the changing market and the evolving vision of a brand.
5. 3-Dimensional Thinking
Thinking and visualizing employees have the ability to take a company to unimaginable heights. AR provides and aides this ability of a company’s members through its 3D technologies, that take visual thinking and engagement to a whole new play-field.
The immediate and sensory driven experience of an AR has proven to increase employee motivation and engagement, and also creates leverage for the internal innovators in a company, allowing their ideas and visions to bloom through visual aid. For instance, For instance, Ford revealed that its design and engineering teams are using the Microsoft Hololens to design prototypes of future cars.
6. Engage your Employees
Because of its exciting and experiential nature, incorporation of AR into the company’s business models can prove to be very attractive to new and visionary employees. It will also increase employee satisfaction and help reinforce the company leaders’ forward-thinking approach.
7. It’s the Future
AR industry is one that is rapidly growing. From companies like Toyota and Adidas, to Apple and Facebook, more and more corporations are recognizing and investing in the potential of AR as the next step to the changing world of technology and development. More and more companies are hiring AR developers into their training, production and marketing teams.
Augmented Reality technology has aided Entrepreneurs to address the core challenges in their businesses, and make better profits in various other industries. You can begin your company’s integration into the AR experience today. Contact our expert AR Developers today to reap the benefits of this wonderful budding technology.