4 WAYS AR IS TRANSFORMING THE WORKPLACE

4 WAYS AR IS TRANSFORMING THE WORKPLACE

Augmented reality (AR) is the layering of digital information and objects over our view of the real world. This technology is changing many industries and enabling people to do their jobs with increased efficiency. Employees will no longer need to carry paper files around with them. Instead, AR glasses will allow them to access information – visually – to solve a problem.

AR assists companies by enabling them to visualise situations and solutions for their employees. From construction zones to hospitals, AR devices are providing new ways to perform daily tasks.

VISUALISATION
The leading benefit associated with AR is the visualisation of information, no matter where a person is located, using an AR-enabled device. This will enable them, for example, to fix a problem by looking at instructions overlaid over a physical problem. AR glasses have helped manufacturers visualise everything from entire buildings to construction components during the construction process, providing real-time, contextual data without the bulk or inconvenience of physical documents.

Employees can see renderings of parts placements when building products enabling them to work faster. Boeing has used AR headsets in wire construction – which aided in decreasing assembly time, while also increasing collaboration between workers. The ability to see instructions or problem “resolutions” helps employees stay on track with a job rather than stopping to check paper instructions.

INTERACTIVE INSTRUCTIONS AND REMOTE GUIDANCE
Aside from visualising the construction of products, AR lets employees pull up instructions or receive alerts as they complete a task. Team members can communicate with any rely on each other for help in completing a project. Via live-streamed video and audio, one employee at a remote location can call on an office-based colleague’s expertise or resources so they can problem-solve together.

A tractor manufacturing plant recently found that training employees using AR glasses improved overall production significantly, evidenced by a reduction in errors and production time when individuals used the AR technology. The system that the manufacturer used allowed workers to leave notes for one another within the AR device. The notes helped the next employee understand the history of equipment fixes and past issues.

NAVIGATION
People can struggle to find their way in a new or unfamiliar location. Instead of looking at a smartphone, AR on eyewear can display their route over a user’s current field of view – without them having to constantly look down at their phone.

Navigating in or to a new location isn’t the only form of AR guidance that companies have used. In the medical field nurses can use AR to view the location of a patient’s veins. AccuVein helps decrease unnecessary needle sticks in patients. It facilitates the training of new medical professionals, allowing them to practice without causing any danger to those they are helping.

KNOWLEDGE SHARING AND TRAINING
As a hands-on way of learning skills and tasks, AR lets businesses place trainees in immersive sessions without leaving the workplace. Rather than placing employees in dangerous situations, AR can create sequences to test and train individuals. An employee out in the field can host a training session for new hires back at the office.

For instance, doctors have started using AR eyewear and headsets to help train each other on procedures without involving patients. Education can take place using dummies, or in a classroom using these devices. Students can follow along with the doctor on their own headset or complete practice procedures by themselves.

BY AMANDA PETERSON

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