Augmented reality and the benefits of incorporating it effectively in engineering? 

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 Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging computer technology where the perception of the user is enhanced by the seamless blending between a realistic environment and computer-generated virtual objects coexisting in the same space”. How far, you may wonder, have advances in the field of engineering come since this quote was published by Research Gate in November of 2014? Well, if we jump forward as little as a year from when this definition was coined, we could already report that (in 2015industrial applications accounted for more than 25% of the augmented reality market share.  

The early adopters then were Boeing, Airbus and Bosch, who (for differing reasons) dipped their respective toes into unknown waters for the sake of innovation. The former made very effective use of the incredible advantages AR offered in terms of aircraft wire harnessing and smart AR applications for error prevention. German giant Bosch, in their quest for uber-resourceful maintenance, had a significant hand in propelling (then) start-up Reflekt into the annals of AR-manufacturing-solution greatness.  

In a world where budget decisions are based on profit-and-loss and not so much on the promise or premise of product-innovation, one must look very closely at ROI. Return-on-investment is a key factor in determining where funds are channelled in any industry. Once the vision is realised and the yield is favourable, any bean counter worth his or her salt are eager to re-commit. Getting them to do so initially, is a completely different story though. 

It therefor makes sense to look at unlocking the cost saving benefits of incorporating augmented reality applications into most, if not all industries. The targeted use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality can in fact help to significantly reduce costs throughout the entire design and development phase of a product, but can also be extended to any company area, from after sales services to marketing, passing to training. 

For the purposes of Practeria’s core focus, it makes sense to look at training. It is well documented that VR and AR scenarios allow for the safe and secure training and practising of perilous tasks in safe environments. This keeps management cost down, as accidents have heavy losses (of a resource and human nature) attributed to it. AR saves on time spent on ineffectual training, injured employees’ absence from work, and of course boosts production on the back of increased efficiency. 

The remote nature inherent to AR is naturally also a big budget-talking point when talking a bout training. Thanks to the Augmented Reality technology, it is possible to instruct those who will use the product through interactively presented textual or graphic information, 3D images or videosIn this way, it is possible to provide distance-training to the customer, with the result of reducing both travel costs and often exuberant rates associated with on-hand expertise. 

“Time is money”, and adopting an effective augmented solution into your business, saves you on both. 

 

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