When you want to buy a shirt, you go to stores and try on the shirts you like. When you want to buy a home, you visit various houses and choose the one where you can live. Or maybe you see a coffee table you like and want to buy and are trying to imagine how it will look in your room.
What if you could do all this in the comfort of your own home without having to go anywhere?
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications make it possible. These sibling technologies continue to be a rising trend, with 88% of mid-sized companies currently using AR in their work and the AR market expected to hit $70-$75 billion in revenue by 2023.
The question is: Can AR help to train employees? And how?
What Is AR?
Before we begin, let’s look at exactly what AR is through an example. The mobile game, Pokémon GO, has more than 1 billion downloads. In this game, players can see virtual Pokémon characters on their phone screens with a real-world background. This is what augmented reality is. It is a blend of real and virtual (computer-generated) worlds. We have to provide a real-world entity with the help of our phone’s camera, and this technology adds or “augments” it by adding some more virtual layers to it.
Now, technically speaking, AR is an interactive experience of a real-world surrounding. It enhances real-world objects by computer-generated perpetual information.
AR and Training
Augmented reality is changing the game, not just in classrooms or e-commerce but in the online training industry as a whole. AR mobile apps deliver real-time information fixated on physical objects that simplifies the process of understanding and consuming information. Here are four industries where this is happening:
1. AR applications are helping train medical staff.
In medical science, AR is playing a vital role in staff training. In the future, more doctors will be trained with augmented and mixed reality than dissecting human bodies. AccuVein, for example, is an AR-based imaging application that helps doctors get a skin-deep view of their patients’ veins.
Such training methods also will help in scaling medical training to a large number of students. And the in-depth details by which the training will be provided will help in extending the quality of medical services to a whole new level.
If you own a business in the medical field, consider hiring AR app developers to create new medical training apps.
2. AR helps in manufacturing training.
In almost every manufacturing industry, employees are trained via workshops. With the help of VR and AR apps, trainees can get detailed, personalized, hands-on training on manufacturing processes.
At the BMW production academy, BMW has started training its employees with the help of AR goggles. These goggles provide visualization of engine assembly, and trainees can interact with these visuals. Another valuable feature of these goggles is allow trainees to quickly get feedback from trainers and perform better (source).
3. AR has changed the education industry.
With AR and VR apps in classroom education, the education game has changed. The apps help students from kindergartners to high schoolers interact and learn.
4. AR helps in integrating gamification and virtual training features.
As per neuroscience research, AR experiences deliver almost double (i.e., 1.9 times) the levels of engagement as compared to their non-AR equivalents. Memory retention is nearly three times more. AR keeps the user at the center of the experience. It uses our physical location as its primary component, extending our version of reality with digital content.
Like Pokémon GO, a gaming-inspired approach can transform training into augmented gamified learning that can be deployed as virtual events. This enhances the ways of learning and helps trainees better gain and retain knowledge and skills.
Augmented reality is beginning to be used more extensively in job training in diverse fields such as medicine, manufacturing, and education. AR development experts can help navigate the implementation of advanced technologies as AR- and VR-based mobile applications look to become the modes of educating future generations.
Shefali Basu is a senior tech-consultant and writer working for PixelCrayons, a leading app and software development company in India. Basu enjoys writing about the latest technologies.