Augmented reality – The next big thing for HR?

We live in a futuristic present, where technologies once considered restricted to the realms of science fiction are now penetrating our daily lives – automation, robotics, virtual reality (VR) and cloud computing to name but a few. All of these have changed, or will change, the way we live and work. Another that looks set to have a huge impact is augmented reality (AR), says Hannah Jeacock, research director at MHR.

What is AR?

As the name suggests, AR augments, or enhances, reality. So when looking through a set of AR goggles, you see your regular reality but with digital features layered over it, the result being a seamless blend between the real and the virtual.

What is AR used for?

AR exploded into the public focus with the 2016 cultural phenomenon Pokémon Go, an application where gamers use their smartphones or tablets to see, and then catch, virtual Pokémon characters overlaid on our real-world landscape. Since then, more and more AR software has hit the market, with increasingly practical applications. Here are just a few examples.

  • Shopping

Shoppers can view products superimposed onto real environments, allowing them to see how a new sofa would look in their actual living room. Similar apps allow users to try out new clothes, or even see what they would look like with a new tattoo.

  • Navigation

AR navigation apps work together with a device’s GPS and camera to display your selected route over the real environment, complete with street names and distances.

  • Sightseeing

Similarly, AR sightseeing apps allow tourists to view information about buildings, landmarks and historical sites through their phone’s display. This information pops into view as the user moves from place to place.

  • Manual work

There are plenty of practical applications in the world of manufacturing, particularly in repair and maintenance work. For example, using a headset or goggles, a mechanic can be guided through a technical process with AR imagery and information layered over or around the real object they are working on.

Hannah Jeacock

It is easy to see how AR could soon replace brochures, maps, guidebooks, and training manuals, completely revolutionising the way we consume products and experience the world. It is no wonder that Greg Jones, director of VR and AR at Google, commented, “at some point we’re going to look back and think ‘how did we not have a digital layer on the physical world?’”

AR in the workplace

AR also has the potential to revolutionise our working lives, changing how we think about office spaces and equipment forever.

Most of us still commute to an office every day, which can be a time-consuming and stressful experience. AR has the potential to turn any space into your own customisable workspace, complete with digital notes, folders and files – even a digital photo of your loved ones. This would give you access to all the information and tools that you would typically find in an office, but wherever and whenever you need them.

Instead of working on a flat, stationary, two-dimensional screen, your workspace would be a customisable three-dimensional space, where objects and information are manipulated with gestures rather than hardware. All you would need is an AR headset.

AR could also transform the way we advertise brands and share information. Imagine if your organisation had an AR stand at a conference – how engaging would that be for potential customers? How much more interesting and fun would meetings be if we used AR to present information instead of slides on a projector?

What about HR?

AR could have a huge impact on HR as well, transforming long-established processes into something engaging and exciting.

Take on-boarding, for example. Many organisations approach this critical process from a purely administrative angle – new starters must be inducted into the organisation, receiving vital information about the organisation, key people and places. But in many cases this can be a dull affair that feels more like a box-ticking exercise.

AR could transform the on-boarding experience into something fun and interactive – imagine taking an AR tour of your office, where information about key places, company history or your new colleagues pops into view as you go from place to place. How much more effective and enjoyable would this be than sitting in a room staring at a flipchart?

Greg Jones

We could also see the same sort of transformation in learning and development (L&D). Where traditional approaches to L&D revolve around imparting information in a classroom-style environment, complete with teacher and learners, AR could truly immerse learners in a ‘hands-on’ world of relevant information, presented in a way that enhances the learning experience.

AR brings real benefits

AR is more than just a gimmick and can help organisations engage and retain their talent. More effective learning and development means a continuously upskilled workforce.

AR is a perfect example of how technology can enhance human processes. Rather than handing over control to tech, we can harness its power to do what we do better, resulting in a more efficient, successful and enjoyable way of working.

The author of this blog is Hannah Jeacock, research director at MHR

About the author

Hannah Jeacock is research director at MHR. Having worked in the software industry for 14 years, Hannah has a host of experience implementing and delivering a variety of software solutions.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more
RECENT ARTICLES

Yellowfin explores the future of data storytelling and reveals the impact narrative and automation will have on business analytics

Posted on: October 27, 2021

London. 27 October, 2021 – Yellowfin, the analytics vendor that combines action-based dashboards, automated discovery, and powerful data storytelling, launches a white paper exploring ‘The Future of Data Storytelling: how narrative and automation will redefine the next decade of analytics’, offering valuable insight to organisations on the power and potential of future augmented and automated

Read more

Renesas and wolfSSL enable ready-to-use IoT security solutions based on embedded TLS stack

Posted on: October 27, 2021

TOKYO, Japan and EDMONDS. Washington, October 27, 2021 ― Renesas Electronics Corporation, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, and wolfSSL, a provider of embedded security solutions, announced a multi-year licensing agreement whereby customers of Renesas’ 32-bit MCU offerings can obtain a free commercial license for the wolfSSL TLS (Transport Layer Security) stack with integrated Renesas hardware

Read more