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Augmented Reality Will Transform Your Workplace, But How?

In the last few years we’ve heard a lot about the exciting ways that mixed and virtual reality technologies are going to change our lives. More recently however they have slipped down the radar and it now seems that Augmented Reality is set to be the platform with the most mass adoption due to it’s accessibility and versatility. This view is backed up by Google and Apple releasing their own AR platforms, ARCore and ARKit respectively suggesting they believe the potential reach for consumers is marginally higher than for virtual reality.

Jay Wright, president of AR technology platform company Vuforia, said augmented reality will catch on first in workplaces and business settings before seeing wide adoption.

We’ve all seen the massive success of Pokemon Go, which utilizes a player’s mobile device’s GPS ability to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures that appear on the screen as if they were at the same real-world location as the player.

In a great example of how varied the uses of this technology can be IKEA has started roaming into the world of Augmented Reality by creating an app that allows you to view IKEA products in real-world environments.

Leader of Digital Transformation at IKEA, Michael Valdsgaard plans to turn to the app into a fully-fledged e-commerce platform “Ideally, you could put a sofa in your home with the help of the app, and then with one click add it in the shopping cart on the e-commerce site.”

My Space

So what can augmented reality do for your business? The “Try before you buy”application is ideal for furniture and can be extended to seeing what your room would look like in a new shade of paint. Want to check if a black and yellow Ecotile floor will set off your red Ferrari nicely? Now you can do it! (The answer is yes….)

With functions such as light and heat estimation being utilized by Google and Apple’s AR platforms, apps can be built to recognise more internal information such as the temperature of a room, space or even appliance like a microwave or incubator. When this information translates in to whether buying something is likely to increase your energy bills or save you money the appeal to consumers becomes obvious.

Augmented Education

General Electric is already investing in wearable technology to train and improve the productivity of workers. Previously, staff had to stop their work and then either check manuals or check with a consultant or senior member of staff if things were unclear and to make sure that everything was done correctly.

However, with the use of Google Glass in conjunction with Skylight, a program used to create and deliver step-by-step instructions via text, images or video, users can receive information in real-time and can even transmit live video feeds back to recipients without disrupting workflow.

Since utilizing wearable, studies have shown an 34% improvement in productivity.

“We’ve seen empirically across GE that we can make a heck of a dent in the skills gap by giving workers information on demand to do their jobs more powerfully,” said Brian Ballard, CEO and co-founder of Upskill.

Another thing would of course be presentations. Demonstrations of new appliances, apparatus, methods and technology could all benefit from the use of augmented reality.  It’s still early days for the platform but when fully developed the only limitation will be the user’s imagination.