Augmented Reality is one technology that seems to be on the news in recent times. The real and virtual world can be merged together using Augmented Reality (AR) technology. 3D generated objects or virtual overlays objects are directly placed in the viewing environment of the user. Analyst are highly optimistic about the value of the technology, especially for business that are keen about the way forward on how to improve the productiveness of staff. From services rendered to customers to expert assistant provided to workers remotely, Augmented Reality (AR) promises smarter, efficient and robust business opportunities. We will explore some of these opportunities here.
What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Augmented Reality (AR) is a type technology that incorporates digital information into the physical world. The generated objects appear in the existing environment of the user. The generated information either adds into the natural environment or masks the natural environment. Augmented Reality (AR) interfaces with the real world in a manner that will make the user perceive it as a substantial part of the real world. Various devices such as handheld devices, screens, head-mounted display, glasses and mobile phones can be used to hold the generated object.
Augmented Reality (AR) makes use of technologies such as depth tracking which calculates distance, Simultaneous localization and mapping (S.L.A.M). Some of the components that are used to generate and convert these objects into reality are Cameras and sensors which is used to scan the surroundings; projectors which projects the digital object on a viewing platform; processors which measure the angle, speed, orientation and direction; and reflectors which are necessary for proper image alignment.
Augmented Reality (AR) are classified into four – Marker-based Augmented Reality, Superimposition-based Augmented Reality, Markerless Augmented reality and Projection-based Augmented Reality. Devices used for Augmented Reality (AR) can be categorised into Mobile Devices, Special Augmented Reality (SAR) devices, Augmented Reality glasses and Augmented Reality Contact Lenses.
Ways Augmented Reality can Benefit Your Business:
Many businesses are curious about how AR can benefit their business. We have expertly curated four benefits that AR can offer your business, with real life examples:
- Enhanced Training: With the application of Augmented Reality (AR), employees have the opportunity of learning in a robust and enhanced environment. Trainees can easily interact with training scenario as many times as possible which thus facilitates their understanding of concept or procedure. This also makes training more elaborate and permits repetition of scenarios with as many trainees as possible. According to Gartner’s Blau, “Augmented Reality (AR) allows trainees to practice a concept or procedure as many time as it will take for them to grab the lesson. It can be used in learning situation where the goals of the trainee is to learn something new or enhance or build on particular skills”
- Remote Guidance: Augmented Reality (AR) can be used to facilitate field work by providing remote guidance and directives to workers in the field. Augmented Reality glass (Smart glass) is one of the device that can be used to provide this support. With the use of AR devices such as Google glass, workers can also transmit essential information or details on the procedures needed to solve the task at hand at the base. A human expert who is examining the scene can remotely provide the information through a smart software. The instruction/help could be precise and easy to follow as this could give room to adequately pinpoint the needed procedure in order to successfully accomplish the task at hand.
- Improved Design and Prototyping: Another benefit of using Augmented Reality (AR) is the ability of placing a digital object in the real world environment which is also referred to as visualization. This allows designers to explore the full possibilities virtual 3D models offers, thus allowing them to interact with it as if it was physically in the real world. An example of its application is in Car designing, where the artist who draw up the plans for the car can easily assess and examine it using an Augmented Reality (AR) headset.
- Improved Customer Service: Using Augmented Reality in business such as retail helps to improve the customer service experience. An example is in the service of a sales assistant in helping a customer decides on the type of cosmetics to buy that will do well on them by the means of using an AR glasses. It might also include guidance on the application procedures for the selected cosmetics. Another example is in construction related business. Customers can be allowed to view the virtual 3D models of structures. Customers can even walk around and within the structure to explore the environment and it will thus be perceived as if they were real.
The future of AR is one to look out for. As the numbers and functionalities of smartphones / devices are rising, there is a prospect for the speedy evolution and development of Augmented Reality (AR) Technology. Any business that wants to stay relevant and maintain competitive advantage should harness the potential of this technology.