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6 Productivity Wins unique to Augmented Reality

Hololens, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Visual CPQ

Augmented Reality (AR) will do for productivity what the Heads Up display did for fighter pilots. That is, a drastic improvement in effectiveness by delivering the right information at the right time. AR provides a unique productivity toolset that no other technology can. To harvest these productivity gains this is what you need to understand about the technology.

Multi-functional hardware

AR devices are effectively the equivalent of having PC strapped to your head. It’s functionality and pure firepower trumps almost any existing mobile devices including laptops and smart phones combined.

The winner in AR devices (for me at least) is Hololens. It’s sleek design (similar to that of sunglasses crossed with a halo), allows for a comfortable fit on your head. It’s also very intuitive, requiring natural gesture, language and motion to interact with the digital environment. Bonus, it’s also hands-free which allows you to use your hands for whatever you like. This is incredibly beneficial for a working environment as your surroundings become 3D and limitless, thanks to the Hololens’ four cameras. These cameras work to engage the majority of your senses, making your surroundings feel incredibly realistic. You could forget you were actually in an Augmented Reality Environment, making it a preferred user experience

Sound amazing? Of course it does, but how can you apply it to your workplace to get the most out of it? Here are 6 key productivity wins that we identified using a Hololens Device.

Safe and Functional

Visual productivityThe use of AR technologies in the workplace are quite useful for working safely in any environment. Most commonly used in manufacturing and production environments, AR glasses such as Hololens allow for the user to overlay their manuals, troubleshooting guides or equipment process guides, on top of the task they are undergoing. Instead of juggling bulky materials, users can simply interact with the AR Glasses by swiping through the manuals and/or building a digital frame over the reality to make sure the specifications are correct. Using AR in these industries (and many others), the workplace is kept safe, reducing human error up to 90%.

Visual productivity

Time = Money so to reduce cost, spending less time to create more money is ideal. This is achievable in a lot of fields, however, the stand out one is Sales Solutions. Systems currently in place for quoting and pricing for customers can be quite lengthy, time consuming and run the risk of losing a prospect if they have to wait. Using Hololens, sales teams can actually produce a quote, using a configurator, in real time for the customers. This is amazing as it allows for the customer to actually visualize their products, see the price in real time and know that there is zero error as AR CPQ (Configure Price Quote) is basically human proof. This can save many sales teams heartache from lost sales because their quoting process is slow and monotonous.

Tutor of the Future

Using Augmented Reality methods for training can increase productivity by 30% and reduce field error by up to 90%. This is achieved by immersing individuals in an environment where they can learn and make mistakes without jeopardizing real life events. It has also become evident that people who use AR training guides are less likely to second guess the correctness of a task and trust the method, allowing for faster learning and building confidence that’s not mired in doubt and second guesses. Because AR allows you to overlay the digital with the real world, users can interact with the systems and processes they need in customized training environments where they can learn from their errors and find their own groove in the role before actually touching anything real or of consequence.

"X-Ray" Vision

Need to put together a machine, automobile or piece of equipment? Now you can without needing to juggle several things at once. AR allows you to see diagrams that are accurate and engaging. This way you can see exactly what you need to do and how. If you need more guidance, simply bring up a document or video to walk you through it. It's all available through your AR Glasses. Need to take the machine apart? Same principal applies, simply overlay the diagram and follow instructions. This also allows you to have both hands free which is more user friendly and a lot more efficient. This is incredibly efficient for warehousing, production, packaging and manufacturing as it results in an increase in productivity and a decrease in errors made.

Real-time Field & Remote Support

Remote support is something a lot of businesses provide. Currently, the remote support system mostly consists of taking photos or talking through the situation, sending information back and forth and working until you get a resolution. Field service teams could instead have instant access to a database of queries and solutions, video and audio feed to third party sources and a complete visual of the error by overlaying a digital projection on the issue, providing a faster, more effective solution and experience. This is also beneficial if the user needs to involve several parties at once to achieve a solution as AR Glasses allow for conferencing, anywhere in the world, bringing as many people as needed into the AR environment, allowing for faster and smart collaboration.

Diagnostics is a major time consumer in every industry, regardless of what you do. Diagnosing a problem can require several departments or people to check out the problem, come up with a solution, implement the solution, document that solution for next time and put measures in place to try and avoid the problem in the future. HoloLens would be the perfect solution for situations like this, especially out in the field, as you can strap on your glasses and get a complete view of the problem. By interacting with the environment you can switch through any databases, previous solutions to common problems, send and receive video and audio to necessary support teams and get a whole picture solution. This reduces wait times, back and forth, and creates solutions on the spot. You can engage outside parties to assist you if needed and reduce the time taken exponentially. Utilizing AR for diagnostics will be a necessary requirement for businesses in the future if they wish to ensure their customer service as well as their diagnostic and solution systems stay efficient.

If you would like to know more about how Augmented Reality can be used in your business, or stay current with ongoing development of this technology. Get in touch with me today either by email or connect via LinkedIn.

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