How AR is Changing the Workplace

Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC's Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Devices team, once said "companies that connect work problems with AR and VR to achieve specific outcomes will be rewarded with more engaged workers and increased productivity while developing a playbook for how to work in the Metaverse.

The workplace in the Metaverse is not going to be a made-up, fabricated reality of our own world with a virtual one, but a fully augmented reality on its own. However, in this article, we are not talking about how the workplace will be augmented – but rather how companies (like Boeing and DHL, for example) are finding ways to improve workflows by making work easier and faster to perform.

We all know people play games on the Metaverse – but how is it going to affect the workplace?

The answer is simple: technology has reached a peak in which it has become possible for us to imagine and capture a world that is separated from our physical one – like visiting a Wonder of the World on Google maps street view or in a pair of VR googles.

Or by using Snapchat, for that matter.

For instance: when a child is visiting the grandparents, they can show little tricks here and there that are pure augmented reality – like the famous dog filters. Upon setting up the front camera for a selfie, grandchild and grandparent will be able to see puppy ears and snouts on their faces.

And that effect is Augmented Reality.

How does Augmented Reality work?

Augmented reality is not virtual or alternative – A.R., as it is called, merges graphics with what is really there. Photos, videos or animations are incorporated into what the naked eye can already see.

A similar concept was adopted by the ultra-famous game Pokemon GO. The premise of Pokemon GO, when it got its popularity back in 2016, was for users to walk around trying to find Pokemons to catch. People of all age groups roamed around, socializing and doing their best to find their next catch.

Image from: Medium

The map used in the game had a design of pure augmented reality – one was able to see their neighbourhood and street names as if they were navigating Google Maps – however, there would be a surprise here and there in the format of a Pikachu, a Charizard or a Snorlax.

But Pokemon GO and Snapchat aren’t the only ones to make use of A.R. The technology was explored by other companies – like L’Oreal, or Pepsi in its London bus commercial, Disney and its revolutionary cartoon-colouring idea, and even the U.S. army have used A.R. in its training. The American soldiers were one of the first to be exposed to this technology, by making use of A.R. videogames that simulated potential scenarios they could face in the battlefield.

The Difference Between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

In pop culture – with big influences like The Matrix, for example – it can become quite easy to confuse Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

Virtual Reality creates another world. With the help of devices that resemble helmets, a user can be visually transported into another world different from our physical one.

On the other hand, Augmented Reality, as we have pointed out, does not replace what is being seen – it simply adds to it. It allows for a user’s free movement, projecting graphics onto our own reality.

The Metaverse plans to have projects that allow for both technologies to be used.

Image from: TechMende

How can AR be applied in the future of the workplace?

The Metaverse plans to revolutionize how companies are going to operate and, consequently, change how augmented reality will be used for the better when we work.

A good example of this improvement is the logistics giant DHL – they have used A.R. for their warehouse supply.

Every warehouse requires systems and searches to find certain items by comparing lists with what is actually in stock. At DHL, this method was already being well-executed by staff – but they recognized how augmented reality would make the process even more efficient.

With this, DHL warehouses became more automated – employees could make use of AR-glasses to receive key information on products they were looking for (where it is and where it needs to go) thanks to data the glasses could provide upon reading bar codes. They could also find faster pathways to reach a product, or keep items separated according to orders placed by the clients.

Image from: Forbes

The future of Augmented Reality is promising – it will accelerate Digital Transformation, and it is safe to say we will experience and expect more of it very soon.

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