What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Augmented Reality enables superpowers by providing relevant information to people at the right time. In essence, AR is an enhanced version of reality where the physical world is augmented with superimposed computer-generated content.
Augmented Reality (AR) is an interactive experience where information (sound, text etc.) and virtual computer-generated objects are combined with the real-world environment. In essence, components of the digital world blend into people’s perception of the real world through the integration of immersive experiences, which are perceived as natural parts of the real world. By using smart AR glasses the immersive experience is achieved by projection of virtual objects in front of the eyes.
An AR experience in smartphones or smart AR glasses are created with apps. An early example is the game Pokémon Go, that allows users to catch their favourite Pokémon by looking at the real world through the phone in order to see superimposed virtual objects, or the upcoming Minecraft Earth game. In general, we have just seen the beginning of what AR apps can provide when it comes to experiences, solving problems and create value for the users. Get ready to see AR apps for games, assistance in your daily life, more efficient work processes in the industry and more.
Smart AR glasses
Smart AR glasses or smart glasses or just AR glasses are wearable computer glasses that add information to what the user sees in the real world. Superimposing information into the field of view is achieved through an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) or embedded wireless glasses with transparent head-up display (HUD) or augmented reality (AR) overlay that has the capability of reflecting projected digital images as well as allowing the user to see through it.
AR vs. VR vs. MR
Virtual reality covers and replaces the vision while augmented reality projects images in a limited area in front of the eyes that adds to the real-world vision. Mixed reality is when the virtual objects in augmented reality, can interact with the real world. In short, mixed reality is a more immersive and interactive type of augmented reality.
The value of AR for enterprises
The primary value of augmented reality is that it brings components of the digital world into a person’s perception of the real world.
Case studies by Lux Research shows that AR enables reduced work times, improves accuracy and reduces risks. The technology has for example proven to decrease errors by 50 percent, reduce assembly time with 25 percent and reduce inspection time by 80 percent.
AR for enterprises:
- Knowledge sharing and cooperation
- Reduce working time and mistakes
- Education and training
- Performance analytics
- Object visualization and prototyping
AR use cases for enterprises
- Assembly – Using AR, digital information is overlaid onto the real world to provide guidance in assembling a multi-part component or in gathering items to assemble a device or bill-of-material. The result is a more efficient and productive process that frees the technician’s hand to stay on task while keeping assembly and sorting instructions directly within view at all times.
- Quality control – AR can assure product quality by comparing digital images with the physical product. This process enables higher accuracy, faster checking, and thereby lower operation costs and faster delivery to market.
- Maintenance – AR applications indicate the source or location of damage or needed maintenance without the need for technical manuals and specialised documentation. The applications also provide hands-free, step-by-step instruction on how to perform maintenance procedures or fix damaged parts.
- Prototyping and design – AR aids designers by replacing electronic files, emailed drawings, or countless shared server files with a means of visually communicating a design, from the developer’s point of view. This way of communicating enables faster iteration and a more intuitive design process that can bring physically separated teams virtually together.
- Remote expert assistance – AR-powered real-time visual assistance guides non-experts on how to assemble or troubleshoot a technical issue by displaying instructions and annotating a visual communication channel.
- Warehousing and sorting – AR assist workers by identifying the correct location of and placement for goods, components, and products during the loading and picking process, whether in a storage facility or in a vehicle that transports these items for shipment.