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Augmented-reality technology may transform work as we know it

So far, most of the applications for AR lie within the gaming, entertainment, and retail sectors. It is all about the experience for the consumer. But we could start to see wearable technology with AR applications for the workplace. The right software and tech could lead to headsets and other tools that manipulate reality for skilled workers. This is already in place with AR systems for surgeons and others in the medical field. But there is room for wider applications in other key sectors.

Computer-aided workplaces and augmented realities could bring new visuals and information to workers in lots of different environments. Companies that take advantage of new trends like this, as devices become more commercially available, could elevate themselves above the competition. We saw the rise of the Internet of Things, so why not a rise in the “Enterprise of Things”? With time, we will see more handheld devices and wearable tech with the sensors, head-up displays, and perceptual systems to transform long-standing industries.

So, what might an augmented workforce be like?

Let’s take one of those traditional jobs as an example to see how that workplace experience could change. A service technician fixing your washing machine won’t pull your machine apart to find a problem. Their head-up display will capture the model number, connect to a corporate cloud, download schematics and instructions, and create the perfect overlay of the device. This can result in a less intrusive experience and better diagnostics. From there, they could 3D print in their truck, install it, and have the whole process over and done within one simple visit. This streamlined process could be a much-needed shake-up for service industries struggling with slow service and multiple call outs. Consumers would also have a more user-friendly experience and faster results. Also, this could apply to so many different services and industries with the right tools.

Sound too sci-fi?

This sort of change isn’t going to happen overnight, there is a lot that needs to change and upgrade to get onboard with AR tech. First of all, all of the corporate infrastructure and systems would need to be upgraded. This means changes across the board with better tech for the technicians, better cloud storage for the data, and all the other tools for a streamlined process. There is also the need to get company directors and workers on board with changes – especially those that are a little more stuck in their ways. Independent companies with limited funds may struggle to see the worth in this high-end upgrade.

However, there is great potential for change if companies are willing to give it a try. We live in a world where we went from piles of remote controls to voice commands via AI in a matter of years. The world accepted voice-automation faster and more effortlessly than you may have expected. So, maybe we can expect the same for any vision-activated computing that may enter the marketplace. Advancements in AR-tech, head-up displays, and wearables will lead to accessible devices on a commercial level. Those that don’t keep up will fall behind.

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