One of the most important technologies developed in recent years is augmented reality (AR), which creates an interactive experience out of the world around us. Typically this involves either a smartphone or some sort of headset that displays images to the wearer through special lenses.
While the technology is still far from widespread, it is making a big impact today in the training industry, with the potential to have an even greater impact in the coming years. As with any new technology, it’s easy to be skeptical of AR. However, once you get over the wow factor of it, it’s easy to see how this new technology is about to change how firms train their employees for years to come.
To give you a sense of the impact AR can have, here are three industries that highlight how the technology is set to dramatically change training.
Industrial machinery is often highly complex and it can take years of training to develop, improve, and even fix when broken. Think of a car manufacturing plant, for example, that has a wide variety of machines and robots with millions of moving parts on its assembly line. Because not every part is exposed, it might be difficult to show an entry-level engineer how something works in the real world without entirely dismantling the machinery.
AR, however, can help engineers see the inner workings of a piece of machinery while it is operating. They can also use AR simulations to gain a deeper understanding how pieces within a machine fit and work together, allowing them to test different solutions to problems without having to necessarily do it in a hands-on setting.
Repair and Maintenance
The global repair and maintenance industry is worth upwards of $34 billion and is expected to nearly double over the next seven years. With such high demand, the industry is likely going to need to train thousands and thousands of workers each year. Hands-on experience is a premium in this industry, but with so many trainees and limited time and resources, those hands-on opportunities can be few and far between.
That’s where AR training will come in handy. AR can provide trainees with plenty of opportunities to learn their craft in an environment that’s as good, if not better, than actual hands-on learning.
Medical trainees already get a lot of hands-on experience before becoming professionals by using simulation mannequins and software. So using AR in their training is simply the next logical step. Medical simulations can allow soon-to-be doctors and surgeons a hands-on experience that is not only more detailed than what they receive in real-world situations, but also far less risky. But it doesn’t just stop with medical students. New medical treatments and procedures are developed and approved all the time. AR can provide a platform for medical professionals to learn them without necessarily having to attend an expensive seminar or other continuing education event.