Long gone are the days when AR and VR used to be associated (strictly) to roller coaster simulations, the gaming industry or true-to-life aerial experiences. Today we can be talking about an ever-wider range of innovative use cases for augmented reality in enterprises.
About a niche technology turning... mainstream and, moreover, going beyond purely entertainment purposes.
Moreover, AR's potential for improving performance, boosting efficiency and enriching customer experience has long ceased to be a “privilege” of the top most valuable brands.
And since it's ceased to be an “exclusive” technology, why not harness its potential? Why not capitalizing on AR's potential in your own organization, too?
“What specific use case best suits my particular business needs?”
... you might be wondering.
Here are some of the most interesting current uses of augmented reality in enterprises:
1. Remote Workforce Supercharged With AR Power
Just take this scenario:
You have two teams working on the same project — an in-house one and a remote one — and you get to leverage AR's power to actually immerse your remote team in the project.
… to bring together all your employees, scattered around the globe, in a collaboration enhanced by that strong feeling of “being there” that AR instils.
Or you can go for the second scenario: use AR to easily monitor out of location employees.
And this feature gains a critical importance if we're considering 3 specific types of employees working “off-site”:
- engineers on an oil-rig
- medical first respondents
- linesmen on power lines
2. Step-By-Step Guidance Overlaid on Work Areas via AR Displays
Another one of those efficiency-boosting (translated into manufacturing error rate cut down by almost 90%) use cases for augmented reality in an enterprise is overlaying instructions.
Practically via an AR display the manufacturer — take one manufacturing an aeroplane wing or one assembling an automobile, for instance — gets hyper-explicit guidance overlaid precisely on his work area.
With instructions being conveniently visualized, overlaid right on the work area, the employee practically gets step-by-step guidance for carrying out his tasks of high precision with utmost accuracy.
Where human error possibility should be whipped out of the process, AR comes to bring out-of-this-world precision into the real world!
3. Using AR Geared at Improving Warehousing and Logistics Efficiency
A potential that DHL knew just how to exploit to their benefit: streamlining warehouse pick-and-place operations through the use of smart glasses which are pointing out the shorter routes for the employees to take; and implicitly cutting down the error rate, too.
An unbelievable efficiency booster that you, too, can leverage in your organization for cutting down costs on logistics and warehousing resources and reducing human error.
4. Enriching Your Design/Engineering Team's Experience
By their powers combined, AR and VR will help you:
- enrich your customers' experiences by bringing design concepts to life; take a scenario where a family planning to renovate one of their bathrooms can walk right in its virtual replica and visualize precisely how it's going to look
- enrich your designers'/architects/engineers' experiences: 3D objects/environments represented on two-dimensional screens vs 3D representations in real size; practically engineers/architects/construction workers/designers get to visualize their work in progress and spot the areas that need adjustments with far more accuracy and in a timely manner
It's one of those use cases for augmented reality that will empower you to increase your team's performance and create richer, immersive customer experiences.
5. Real-Time Data Vizualization
… at an enterprise level.
And this is one of those scenarios where you get to turn AR into a... superpower.
Just think about it:
Visualizing data in real-time and, moreover, projecting these data visualizations onto different surfaces will not only:
- enhance a more in-depth understanding of that specific data
- ... but even enable larger groups of managers to collaborate far more effectively and make data-driven decisions based on a shared understanding of that data
And this is one of those augmented reality business use cases that can go as far as projecting board-room-seized 3 D views of your business! There you can get an even more accurate view of your entire data infrastructure, with all its strong and “sore points” to focus your efforts on!
6. Augmented Reality Training: One of The Most Valuable Use Cases for Augmented Reality
Will you join the AR revolution in staff training and professional development?
And since nothing beats practical examples, here are some current uses of AR as a powerful training tool:
- using AR to quickly empower staff to get a grip on using highly complex equipment, machinery
- using AR to enhance the learning of complex concepts
- using AR to enhance collaboration during staff training via virtual, true-to-life presentations, field tests etc.
- using AR to a supercharge a “learning by doing” type of training, where real-life situations would be too dangerous to (re)create: such as performing surgery or flying a plane
- using AR to recreate specific environments/scenarios/reality augmented workplaces in order to improve your employee's “soft skills” (public speaking, dispute resolution, decision making under stress); you even get to tailor your AR training to each team member's profile
To sum up: using AR in training processes helps you “unleash” all that potential of creativity and efficiency otherwise limited by the “conventional” type of trainings.
Take AR as far as your imagination takes it and create your own use cases for augmented reality suitable for:
- your team(s)' specific needs
- your organization's specific goals for maximizing your team's potential
Now guess what: all the above-mentioned use cases for augmented reality are not “lab experiments” or “projects about the far future to come”. They're being implemented, as we speak, in real-life workplaces.
AR technology is now commercially available and has become and is continuing to get even more accessible. And its potential for enhancing both the customer and the employee experience is huge.
… you just need to “power” it with content — your unique content — and to harness its potential in use cases of augmented reality perfectly suitable for your own organization!