AR in Industry
AR creates business value across a wide range of functions. Marketing-related visualize applications generate the most revenue while instruct and interaction experiences offer significant cost savings.
In factories, AR helps technicians on the floor with operational instructions that appear in their line of sight, turning complex 2-D schematics into interactive 3-D holograms. The result: shorter maintenance processes and higher quality.
Product Design & Development
Whether it’s providing immersive educational experiences for students, enhanced navigation for drivers or reinforced medical procedures in hospitals, AR is transforming the way we work. It’s also changing the products we create.
One way that companies use AR in Product Design is by overlaying digital renderings of products over simplified physical prototypes. This helps designers test and iterate designs quickly without incurring the cost of building and testing actual physical models.
In some cases, companies are even using AR to enhance design presentations. For example, the e-drawings app allows users to place 3D CAD models into the real world, giving immediate feedback on scale and form. This makes it easier for engineers to review and collaborate on designs, resulting in faster turnaround on project schedules.
Another application of AR in product design is the development of augmented reality tools to support maintenance and troubleshooting. For instance, ThyssenKrupp developed an AR application that allows service workers to easily identify problems with elevators and get the information they need to make repairs.
For businesses looking to implement AR, it’s important to show how the technology will save them money. This could come in the form of reduced travel expenses for experts as they can remotely assist employees on-site, more effective just-in-time training programs or more efficient assembly line operations.
Production & Maintenance
In manufacturing, AR can provide a clear digital representation of products and processes to improve quality, consistency, and speed. The technology enables industrial designers to create virtual prototypes without the need for physical models, reducing costs and time. It can also be used for training and process optimization, helping to ensure that production output is consistently high quality.
With AR, technicians can receive hands-free support, advice, and guidance in the field to work more confidently, correctly, and quickly. This reduces downtime, eliminates costly mistakes, and empowers teams to take on more complex projects. It can also help to train new staff more quickly ar in industry by providing step-by-step, easy-to-follow guides that anybody can follow, eliminating the need for specialist knowledge and empowering new hires to learn as they work.
The best AR systems enable inspection and verification to be incorporated into any process, removing the need to wait for the end of a cycle or to stop the line. Using data from connected devices and analysis software, AR can also identify and communicate issues that need to be addressed in advance, allowing for more efficient maintenance schedules and enabling genuinely condition-based programs of work.
Warehouse & Logistics
Order picking is one of the main warehouse operations. It takes a lot of time and effort, and it can also result in errors when locating a particular product. The use of AR in the warehouse can help to make these tasks more efficient, reducing operating costs and increasing productivity.
Workers can use AR to locate items in a warehouse using a virtual map. They can use a smart glass to see 3D images and instructions in the real environment, making it easier to find what they need. The technology can also display additional tips to speed up the process.
When working on an assembly line, AR can improve efficiency by displaying digital work instructions that are mapped to the equipment. This eliminates manual steps and makes it easy for workers to understand and follow the instructions. In addition, workers can incorporate inspections into the workflow without interfering with the production cycle.
Using AR in the warehouse can make inventory management more efficient and reduce operational costs. The technology can also increase productivity and customer satisfaction. However, some challenges can be present when implementing AR in the warehouse, including talent gaps, training needs, and resistance to change. But these obstacles can be overcome with the right guidance, ensuring the success of the project. The best way to do this is to provide employees with a variety of training options and use cases, so they can become familiar with the new technology.
Safety & Security
One of the biggest AR challenges is that it can be easy to over-rely on augmented reality, which could cause users to miss important cues in their environments. This is why it’s important to design AR products with specific user guidelines that balance safety and convenience.
Currently, the majority of AR experiences are delivered within smartphones, tablets and glasses. But the technology is advancing to be available for other devices, including cars, helmets and even contact lenses.
AR can be used in the built environment as a collaborative tool for planning and design. For example, architects and planners can work together to project 3D building models onto tabletops to view them in context. It can also be used outdoors so that design options can be explored in real-time.
Health and safety inspections and maintenance work can be ar in industry more efficient with AR. For example, a floor map can be digitally rendered on the surface of an object, from fire extinguishers to storage tanks and large machinery, and traditional inspection forms can then be integrated with this. Engineers can then follow a guided path on their AR content guide to locate and address any issues.
Entertainment is also a popular application for AR, with the likes of hologram Tupac appearing onstage with Snoop Dogg at Coachella and the band Real Estate offering a quarantour to replace their live shows during the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, Sephora launched an app that uses AR to allow customers to virtually try on makeup.