Industrial enterprises are beginning to adopt Augmented Reality (AR) to improve their internal efficiency in many areas such as service, manufacturing, training and operation. As a long term strategy, AR is providing industries with sustainable and continuous improvement driver. As the workforce’s skill sets and standards change every day, more and more workers are required to learn on the job and be resourceful above and beyond the formal training programs.
To fully leverage the on-site and on-demand advantages of AR, businesses are exploring ways to integrate AR tools into their daily operation to improve employees’ job performance today. Ranging from safety and policy compliance, to remote expert and instant knowledge assistance, AR is demonstrating its capabilities of supporting and enhancing on-the-job performance.
Complimentary to AR based training and learning experience, performance support AR applications can provide continuously long term value to businesses. The cost of operation is reduced because productivity increases. Some business risks are mitigated because job accuracy and compliance are improved.
From all the market research and user cases that we encountered, three top categories emerged as the immediate needs for on-the-job performance assistance.
#1: Safety and policy compliance
Some of the highest risks for a business are non-compliance issues for safety or regulatory policies. Despite the best effort of training and procedures that companies put in place, there are still often scenarios left for individuals to make best judgement call on what needs to be done. And that’s a lot of room for human errors and corner-cutting. AR technology can solve this issue. While performing tasks, workers can see safety warnings or compliance protocols in their field of view using AR software and devices. This way, workers can be reminded of the protocols where required and can follow the procedures as directed. Additionally, the digital record of actions following safety and compliance protocol will be recorded using AR tools. Such record is very important to keep for external authority audit and internal management purpose. Combining the displayed protocol and recorded checklist-actions will provide workers with the right tools to ensure safety and regulatory compliance.
#2: Instant expert knowledge
Another pressing challenge that businesses face today is the knowledge gap presenting in younger generation workers. Most people are still learning on the job after the initial basic training. If provided with on-the-job support using AR technology, workers can retrieve instructions and guidance while performing their tasks. Not only does this approach improve employee job performance as a reliable resource to go to, it also increases job satisfaction from convenience and ease of use standpoint.
In some cases, urgent tasks may need to be performed by workers who may not be fully trained. AR tools can provide just-in-time knowledge to aid workers become instant expert at certain jobs. For example, during emergency situations or natural disasters, many volunteers or contractors are tasked to complete urgent jobs without much time for preparation and training.
#3: Remote expert assistant
From automotive mechanics to utility crews, they often need expert’s remote assistance while working in the field. Today, there are many industries using AR to achieve connection with remote experts. Through a shared video screen, remote experts can see what the field workers see and annotate on the shared screen to direct the field workers of what to do. This is very useful for field installation, repair and service industries.
These three applications are top examples of how industries are applying AR as a winning strategy to support employees to do their jobs efficiently and confidently. Automation and AI are going to disrupt many industries in the future. It is essential that the workforce learn to work with technology to achieve optimal outcome. AR is just one step of this evolutionary process.
To discuss how AR can help your organization’s job performance supporting strategy and achieve ROI mentioned in this post, or to experience a real demo yourself, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.