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New book explores business benefits of immersive technology

 

Strengths of augmented reality

Augmented reality’s power comes from its ability to connect to, make sense of and display information on the physical objects and environments around us in a user-friendly way. To expand on this, AR technology:

  • communicates relevant information conveniently.

This information is displayed intuitively in context with the physical environment and objects. At a glance, a technician can view the current temperature and tempo of a machine they’re looking at, receive instructions on how to safely take it apart and be visually guided to the next machine in the maintenance queue; a retailer can give customers the ability to view products remotely without any specialist hardware; a field worker can call for assistance remotely and within seconds a senior colleague on the other side of the world can see everything they’re seeing and highlight which compartments to open, buttons to press and screws to remove.

  • reveals the invisible.

Not everything can be seen with the naked eye — from the network of pipes under our cities to the highways of veins beneath our skin, we live in a world of hidden machinery, and AR can help bring this information to the surface.

  • performs hands-free.

Having both hands available is a requirement in many scenarios, from performing surgical procedures on patients to mechanical procedures on machinery. The key benefits are being able to save time, reduce risk and eliminate errors that come from having to refer to documentation or instructions that are away from your place of work or are inconvenient to access. You may be a mechanic examining the undercarriage of a vehicle. Having to stop, take out your smartphone or printed materials, refer to a complex set of instructions, commit them to memory, return to the task and successfully apply the information is a series of steps that is time-consuming, prone to error and potentially dangerous if you are working in a hazardous environment. In some cases, it may not even be possible — if you are working in half a meter of mud servicing a broken-down tractor, it isn’t practical to get out a tablet. And even where not absolutely necessary, implementing hands-free AR technology can lead to improved productivity.

 

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