How to know whether and when your workforce is ready for AR
Human Resources is taking up the mantle of Augmented Reality and in this article by Riia O’Connell for HRDrive.com the question is posed, how do you know whether and when your workforce is ready for AR?
What exactly is AR and how are companies using it? It’s essentially a mix of virtual reality and the real world: your actual location with images or information superimposed into the picture. AR can overlay maps, steps, data and more. It provides instructions, answers questions and, for example, can compare what a worker is doing to specifications for a task, offering input to perform the work correctly.
The technology is already in use at plenty of worksites. Using Google Glass AR headsets, GE Aviation connects mechanics to specifications: as they use their digital torque wrench, the system tells them immediately when they have the exact fit to seal hoses and fluid lines. In healthcare, surgeons and nurses may wear glasses that display a patient’s vital signs in real time as treatment is being administered. In construction, AR can map out plans against the workspace, allowing workers to see what they should be doing in 3D, rather than having to check against blueprints.
Honeywell says it’s using the world’s “first and only self-contained holographic computer.” A headset that uses Microsoft’s Hololens provides a mixed reality view that gives learners a chance to explore in a combination of the real world and virtual space. “These active learning methods use sight, sound and touch, codifying learning,” Vincent Higgins, director of technology and innovation, Honeywell Connected Plant, told HR Dive in an email.
“We are finding that Honeywell’s Skills Insight Immersive Competency, which uses augmented and virtual reality, really boosts retention rates,” he said. “Technical staff are better prepared to face the challenges of a constantly changing work environment.”
Tapping into the ‘wow’ factor
The tech has certainly caught users’ attention. “AR has started out primarily in new customer-facing applications to bring a ‘wow’ factor to websites or mobile apps,” said Christa Manning, vice president of solution provider research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, in an email. It’s been used to help shoppers imagine how furniture might look in a home or to show airline frequent travelers how to navigate airport terminals, she told HR Dive. But the tech has moved to address the needs of business.
Early adopters telecom, for example, are using AR to support workers in the field who are servicing remote equipment. “With lots of data being generated by the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and devices everywhere throwing off information,” Manning said. “AR can be critical to help human beings process all of this information in real time and in context.”