There is a basic difference between the amount of digital data we have and the real world in which we apply this data. The reason is, the reality we live in is three-dimensional, and the data is in two-dimensional format – in the form of sheets or screens. This fundamental difference limits our capabilities of deriving meaningful insights – even when we have abundant information beamed to us from IoT-connected devices.
While AR technology is still in its nascent stage, it is set to become standard very soon. Using advanced technologies that superimpose images on the physical world, augmented reality has indeed filled this gap. According to IDC, the global spending on AR/VR products and services is predicted to achieve a 5-year compound growth rate of 77.7% between 2019 and 2023.
AR technology has the potential to be used in almost every industry – from retail to universities. It can completely transform training methodologies, customer service, design products, and prototypes, and handle the value chain. It has the capabilities to alter the way we learn, observe the world, our interactions, and the decisions we make.
In this article, we are going to see what augmented reality remote assistance in business means. And, we’ll also know how and when best to use it.
What is Augmented Reality in Business?
Augmented reality was already in use for decades, but it is yet to unleash its full potential. Basically, AR uses hoards of data to transform images that are cast or superimposed on the physical world. You may have come across a few mobile applications that use AR technology. However, the delivery is shifting into smart glasses, wearables, and displays.
Businesses are using augmented reality remote assistance technology to provide solutions to a variety of issues:
- Product demonstrations
- Value addition to the workflow
- Create brand awareness
- Improve customer experiences
- Increased sales
How to Incorporate AR into your Business Strategy?
Before jumping into this new technological bandwagon, you should know exactly what your business is trying to achieve using AR. Ask yourself if there is any clog in the process flow you are trying to find solutions to.
One way that AR is used in businesses is during designing and developing prototypes. Augmented reality is also being used in training, especially when it is crucial to provide hands-on training without using costly real-world equipment.
AR helps customers try out products in the retail world without needing to step into a physical store. For instance, Sephora’s application (manufacturer of personal and beauty care products) allows customers to try out their makeup and beauty products before actually buying.
When to Apply Augmented Reality?
1. Manufacturing Segment
Augmented reality could help the manufacturing industry simplify the processes, improve error detection and streamline workflows. As the AR devices are not connected to cables or wires, it is easier to feed them data virtually.
- During onboarding or training, employees can see interactive instructions on using machinery.
- It can improve employee safety by allowing employees in need of assistance to transmit interactive beams to their colleagues.
- Employees can also get real-time information about the performance of various pieces of equipment.
- On the whole, AR technology can improve productivity to a large extent but allowing faster training, more straightforward quality audits, and enhanced inventory management.
2. Retail Industry
The retail industry is using smartphones to provide a virtual shopping experience to customers – sometimes even within the confines of a physical store. For instance, Wayfair, the furniture and home goods company, has an app that lets customers visualize how furniture will look in their houses. Harley-Davidson has an application that allows users to virtually try out various bike body types, colors, lights, and seat types to create a custom bike design.
3. Automotive Sector
Due to the advanced technology and hardware used in manufacturing complex automobiles, it is becoming challenging for engineers and mechanics to maintain the equipment.
For example, when a quality controller is conducting the necessary quality audit on an engine, they usually have many instructions written on a paper that they have to adhere to. It is a time-taking tedious process that can’t be hastened. It is where augmented reality can come in handy, as you can feed in all the necessary steps into a mixed reality headset. When the tester wears it during the inspection, it will interact and respond to the tester. It is very intuitive and can even conduct complex quality checks efficiently.
Augmented reality remote assistance allows trainers and engineers to show others how to conduct complex repairs and maintenance.
- Technicians don’t need to be present on-site but can conduct the maintenance activity remotely from anywhere in the world.
- AR also lets remote engineers superimpose instructions, marking, and diagrams directly on the equipment and the technician’s field of view. Using Smart Glasses, the technicians can efficiently perform the fixes without having to consult instruction manuals.
4. Designing and Prototyping
A product’s success depends mainly on the way it is designed. AR technology is now being used during the designing and prototyping stage.
- Using AR technology, designers can now easily visualize their products in scale, making it easier to make changes if required.
- It also makes the entire design process much more economical as the cost incurred during repeated prototyping is reduced.
- Moreover, with AR, it is possible to get a side-by-side comparison of previous products and the new prototypes.
5. Education and Training
Augmented reality remote assistance is gaining massive acceptance from the training and education sector, especially in medical and military training. With AR, medicos can take a deeper look into the human body using specially designed smart glasses. Augmented reality allows users to get a multi-sensory learning experience that is much more beneficial than traditional teaching methods.
AR workshops are also helping in redefining training and coaching. These productivity-improving processes are expensive and involve extensive labor. Moreover, in-person training is also costly and requires several people and pieces of equipment to gather at a single place. Additionally, training to use 3D equipment using 2D diagrams becomes harder to understand.
AR addresses all these issues by providing visual guidance on machine operation, assembly, and maintenance. So, there is little room for interpretation or imagination.
We are more likely to see an increase in the adoption of AR technology. The availability of hardware and the tumbling prices of sophisticated devices will make sure augmented technology becomes much more standard. Along with artificial intelligence, augmented reality can better recognize human gestures, identify objects, and interact with the physical environment.