Augmented reality is one of the most exciting topics of the digital world. While everybody’s talking about this technology – especially in the gaming industry – we often forget that it also provides huge benefits to businesses. The potential is by far not fully utilised. It’s obvious why. While the focus has been on technical aspects in the past, the diverse application possibilities have been neglected.
What is augmented reality anyway? It’s a combination of perceptions of reality and visual overlays that are embedded into the real environment in real time. The trick is that augmented reality provides context-sensitive information. The user is shown precisely the things that match the circumstances and are required for the environment.
Data glasses make the result feasible. The greatest added value lies in the interaction. Changing positions and colours, repositioning entire systems, “x-raying” cars – AR places the user in a world of experience and it is capable of explaining even highly complex matters in a simple and easy to understand way.
In the industrial sector, augmented reality can be utilised, for instance, in machine maintenance and repair. Plants and their repairs are becoming ever more complex, and they require highly qualified personnel and quickly available data. If the in-house technician is unable to perform the repair or maintenance, companies need to employ external resources which are usually very expensive. Time and money are lost. Augmented reality shows the in-house technician the required repair steps. These are provided by the machine manufacturer’s engineer. In the past, countless manuals had to be consulted. Now, the necessary work steps can quickly be shown right at the place of action. A classical win-win situation for both parties. Only a small number of experts is needed to assist hundreds of companies via augmented reality.
This is only one of many examples which illustrate the potential of augmented reality. Companies can achieve more with AR than just save time and money – they can simplify processes and operate more efficiently.
However, the digital transformation can only be managed if companies face the technological development without fear. And employees play a crucial key role in that. Companies need employees who acquire the necessary competences through digital learning technologies and are thus able to develop their personalities, enabling them to handle the tasks assigned to them with confidence and creativity. On the other hand, companies are expected to rely increasingly on external digital experts who can transfer their know-how.