Augmented Reality, or AR, is becoming more and more seamlessly interwoven into our lives today. Take, for instance, heads-up displays in cars that show the changing speed limit alongside your current speed as you drive. Or museums, like the Smithsonian in DC, that bring life-sized dinosaurs to life, creating a more engaging and interactive learning experience for visitors. As an employer, it is important to learn what AR is and how to incorporate it in your employee training programs.
While AR is often compared to Virtual Reality, there are distinct differences between the two. Kathy Schrock, Adobe Education leader and columnist for Discovery Education, notes the following differences:
“Augmented reality layers computer- generated enhancements on top of an existing reality to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it.”
“Virtual reality is a computer generated simulation of real life… It immerses users by making them feel they are experiencing the simulated reality firsthand.”
AR, unlike Virtual Reality, does not block out your natural surroundings. Instead, it overlays them with digital projections. This combination of the physical and digital worlds opens up limitless opportunities. Employees are no longer strictly confined to the information available on paper or a screen. Let’s explore some concrete ways of including augmented reality into your online or face-to-face training programs!
Trying to learn a new language? Use Google Translate’s special “AR mode” to instantly look up unknown words. This is a great tool to introduce to employees who are traveling abroad for business, as they can instantly look up unknown words to navigate in an unknown city. Google Translate allows employees to receive information quickly and retain it much better.
Aurasma and Layar
Augmented reality brings learning to life, and oftentimes allows for a more interactive educational experience. Employees can interact with virtual content more autonomously than with text, images and video.
Oftentimes, education is too much of a detached process; it is done via a textbook or screen. However, AR introduces a more interactive way to educate and learn. Its immersive quality allows a learner to deepen their knowledge, through more engaging and fun lessons.
Two popular applications that come to mind are Aurasma and Layar. Using the Aurasma app, employees can attach augmented experiences to printed objects, allowing for a highly interactive educational experience.
In this technological age, almost everyone is hooked on their smartphones. Why not capitalize on this phenomenon by selecting training programs that require the use of these devices? AR catches the attention of employees, giving them the tools to learn complex concepts and obtain practical skills… all through their phones. They are learning within the digital world, yet will develop tools for real life application. Statistics show that consumers value AR products 33% higher than non-augmented reality products, and that people are naturally entranced by how AR can change the world around them.
Augment is an AR tool specializing in AR presentations, modeling projects and 3D design. Employees can build their own 3D models for a myriad of class types. In addition, instructors can access presentation tools that let them demonstrate lesson concepts in 3D.
Microsoft Mixed Reality
In addition to all of the above benefits, AR educational tools can give employees a sense of control over their learning process. They can access the tools on their own device via apps, and can be guided through problems and issues virtually. This also allows for efficiency and lower educational costs.
With AR, employees can take on interactive lessons at the same time, which improves teamwork skills. It encourages problem-solving, collaboration and creation to better prepare employees for real-life scenarios. Through helping employees learn technical and critical thinking skills, AR provides new opportunities for them to learn how to communicate and collaborate with one another, all while utilizing the same technologies that are present in the workforce.
Microsoft Mixed Reality is a specific program that helps encourage teamwork. Its products promote creativity and collaboration, no matter who is physically in the same space.
Augmented reality helps employers significantly enhance the learning process for their employees. AR enables employees to learn quickly, and acts as an inspirational tool to spark their future endeavours.