AR in the Enterprise: How the Technology Can Benefit Your Business

06

OCT 
2017
BY LiS OWUOR

The verdict is in: consumer-facing AR solutions have already gained mainstream acceptance—from Pokémon Go’s smash summer 2016 success to Facebook’s investments in the emerging technology to Apple’s release of ARKit, the AR consumer market is primed for integration into everyday life. However, according to the Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance, AR’s adoption is happening more quickly in the enterprise space, indicating that early adopters expect the technology to be a major boon for innovative companies who want to boost productivity and create efficiency gains for their employees. The data tells a compelling story: According to Forrester Research, nearly 14 million workers will utilize a wearable by 2025, up from 400,000 workers in 2017, representing an annualized growth of 57% over eight years.

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Enterprise early adopters have already begun to explore AR’s potential as a technological investment that will reap rewards for productivity, efficiency, training, and a number of other relevant use cases. Accordingly, Meta has established a customer advisory board of various companies from a variety of industries who are already conducting R&D on the Meta 2 device while testing its applicability for augmented reality users in the workplace, allowing these innovators to reap the benefits of the technology before their competitors.

According to Alan Robles of Gensler, one of the largest design and architecture firms in the U.S., AR will transform how business information is shared and consumed: “Augmented reality is the next evolution of the way we consume information, putting it where we need it, when we need it, in the manner in which it is most useful to us, and without the physical limitations of our current solutions.” 

3 Ways AR Can Benefit the Enterprise:

1. Advanced ways to interact with data and training materials: In today’s world of Big Data, knowledge workers, manufacturing employees, and others are required to take on a number of data-intensive tasks: accessing, analyzing, and acting on large quantities of information, all while tackling the everyday collaboration and communication tasks of a normal work day. For employees in a number of industries, AR has the potential to be a game-changer in how employees interact with and share information because the technology overlays digital information over a user’s view of the real world.

For instance, employees on a factory floor would be able to view instructions in real-time—when and where it’s contextually appropriate—instead of flipping through a cumbersome and distracting training manual. Utilizing AR technology will enable employees to reduce time, cost, and error, ultimately operating as a cost-savings for their employers. According to the Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance, “As enterprises begin to rapidly develop connected infrastructure, from manufacturing to logistics, and ultimately to the consumer, massive amounts of data are being collected and used for analysis. AR can provide a data to human interface, allowing workers, managers and executives to see the world augmented with a rich dataset.”

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2. Increased sales opportunities: For those brands who want to deliver richer customer experiences and increase sales, AR offers plenty of opportunities to transform the way that customers purchase products. For instance, IKEA leveraged AR’s technology to enable customers to test drive their products in real-time by providing them use of an AR catalogue app that allowed them to visualize how a piece of furniture would look in their home prior to purchase, utilizing the technology’s immersive capabilities to create a differentiated purchase experience that’s tailored to customer service needs. Combining improved customer service with a technology that removes barriers from the purchase pathway can only lead to one thing: increased sales.

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3. Enhanced model visualization: One useful ability of AR’s technological potential for the enterprise revolves around its 3D technology. The Meta 2 allows users to interact with 3D holograms just like real-world objects, enabling designers and creatives across a number of industries to present highly immersive 3D visualizations that will allow them to refine models in real-time, ultimately communicating what a finished product is like in a more realistic manner than the flatness of 2D designs. Businesses in a number of different industries could benefit from this enhanced model visualization: enabling designers, architects, city planners and others to validate design ideas early and often, ultimately saving these individuals and their companies time and effort.

Interested in learning more about how your business could benefit your business? Reach out to the Meta Sales team today at b.scully@metavision.com to explore joining our customer advisory board.

Sources:

  1. Marianni et al. 2017, Deloitte Review. More Real Than Reality: Transforming Work Through Augmented Reality.
  2. Forrester: 2017 Predictions
  3. Mckone et al., 2016. Harvard Business Review. Virtual and Augmented Reality Will Reshape Retail
  4. Meta’s Spatial Interface Design Guidelines