Augmented reality, or virtual reality, which is a completely computer-generated world, has long been appreciated by gamers around the world. But how can these technologies help in work environments? Covid-19 accelerated companies’ desire to launch virtual technology to increase efficiency, here’s what companies need to know.
Preparing for Augmented and Virtual Reality in the workplace
Even before the world knew what coronavirus was, a growing number of companies and organisations in various industries were familiarising themselves with new virtual technologies that promised to cut costs out of the production cycle and significantly increase the efficiency of the workforce. This technology is known as Augmented Reality (AR), and its sister technology, Virtual Reality (VR).
AR is a promising new technology that can help improve both the way business operates and how consumers experience the product or service. However, for many it is a concept that has not yet become a reality, despite a recent survey showing that businesses are increasingly entering the planning and implementation stage of AR.
Useful both online and externally
According to OEM Off Highway, 56% of business leaders surveyed said they have implemented some form of AR/VR technology in their organization in the past 12 months, and another 35% said they are considering doing so. More than a quarter said they have implemented one AR/VR solution and would like to introduce more.
AR is a technology that is changing the way information is captured, managed and communicated, both within a company and to potential customers. AR can significantly improve the way a company conducts collaborative engineering design reviews, sales and marketing, field service, skills transfer and manufacturing.
The AR market is expected to be worth USD 61 billion by 2023, according to Tech Republic, and it will be dominated by the big tech companies Google, Samsung, HTC and Microsoft.
So what does a company need to know about AR? For starters, it’s good to know that the earliest benefits of AR come from virtual add-on productivity on the manufacturing floor, virtual training modules, virtual customer visits, and virtual design and engineering. To get significant and early returns from AR/VR, companies should partner with a technology provider to map their operational needs to one of the four areas below.
A breakdown of where companies use AR/VR
- 60% – virtual complementary labour on production lines
- 53% – virtual visits to customer services
- 53% – virtual design and technology
- 26% – employee training programs
Imagine a car manufacturer that has to keep production cycles running smoothly but at the same time loses factory workers who fall ill with COVID-19. The car manufacturer can then both use AR/VR technology on the production line, as well as design new vehicles. AR technology can also be used by consumers who want to build their optimal car online and want access to different interiors on their smartphone. In short, the possibilities with AR and VR are many, both for manufacturers and consumers.