Hiring freezes and budget cuts have put pressure on business leaders to think differently about our teams and how we support them. Across industry verticals, augmented reality (AR) can reshape your teams for the better. Whether it’s hands-on employee training, collaboration from anywhere, or real-time access to experts, AR can help your teams be efficient and safe. There are exciting new use cases for AR that can strengthen your business and support your team. While not every company can benefit equally from implementing AR, below I will explain some of the directions that can make business operations more efficient, regardless of industry.
What Is AR Exactly?
Before we dive into how best to use AR for your workforce, let’s create a shared understanding of what it is—and isn’t. You might be familiar with AR through video games like PokemonGo, or through filters on apps like Snapchat, but uses like these are just scraping the surface of AR’s potential. As one of our team of experts, Jason Jaslow, puts it “Augmented reality is all about interacting with the real world around you.” AR blends the real world and immersive together; it can be used on phones or with a specialized headset. In business, it can be much more than just a filter or video game—it can open new doorways to connection and engagement.
Access To Experts From Anywhere
One of the best ways I’ve seen AR used today is to connect experts to workers from anywhere. Consider this, your electrician is sent to repair a line in a rural area, and when they get there, the problem is more complicated than you originally thought. With AR, your team member can connect with an expert who can walk them through the problem, seeing what they see, and providing step-by-step instructions and visuals, circling the next bolt to turn or which wire to connect. This is an excellent example of using AR to streamline your business; instead of sending experts out into the field for each call, they can respond to requests from a central location, saving time and money and ensuring problems are resolved safely and quickly.
More Than A Zoom Call
We’ve heard repeatedly that virtual settings don’t promote collaboration and creativity the same way in-person environments can, but with AR, that just isn’t the case. AR can bring your remote workforce together through a shared virtual lens. Teams can collaborate and share feedback on a project while working from anywhere. For example, designers can use AR to collaborate quickly, selecting textiles together, reviewing designs and making suggestions in real time. Using AR for collaboration can also be a great entry point to prepare your team for the metaverse. Because AR can be used through your phone, it’s a great way to begin the immersive journey for your team without the need for additional equipment.
Training For The Future
Not only can AR strengthen your workforce of today, but it can also help build a more robust, more prepared pipeline for the future. AR allows students to train with a virtual guide. This could help a medical student better visualize and understand the elements of the human body, or it could help a future mechanic learn the steps to diagnose and fix an engine problem. AR allows students, or new employees, to benefit from the experiences of more seasoned professionals, no matter where they are learning from. Because it serves as an overlay of reality, they can still interact with the world around them, fixing a car in real time, for instance, with the assurance of help if and when they need it. Investing in AR to train future employees can help you staff up with team members ready to help from day one.
There are countless opportunities to use AR, or any emerging technology, in your work. And what’s more, investing in these technologies today will help prepare your company and your employees for working with future technology, such as virtual reality. They’ll be able to jump into a more immersive world head-on, and your company will have the digital infrastructure to make it happen. No matter where you are in your digital journey, whether it’s implementing AR or launching your first app, always remember to have your goal in mind and find a partner who can help you succeed. Together, you can leverage new solutions to strengthen our workforce.