XR in the Enterprise: Telegraph feature

Taken from a feature in the Telegraph written by Daniel Le Jehan, Managing Director of strategic growth Initiatives at Accenture, and Lawrence Weber, managing partner at Karmarama, part of Accenture Interactive.

The immersive technologies behind extended reality (XR) are having a profound impact on enterprise, allowing companies to interact with their customers in new ways and connect their people more effectively

Customer interaction

XR’s ability to deliver immersive experiences enables brands to connect with consumers in ways that establish emotional connections and bring brands and consumers closer.

Augmented reality (AR) solutions exist that allow users to ‘‘place’’ a vehicle on their driveway, walk around it, open doors and look inside, just as if they were in a car showroom.

Whether they are looking for furniture or fashion, rather than having to visit a physical store to browse the goods on display, customers will be able to put on a headset and appear in a virtual store and interact with ‘‘sales assistants’’ ‒ virtual representations of real humans.

By creating a closer distance to new experiences, XR will allow people to transport themselves to different places and attend live events without leaving their own home.

Connected employees

XR offers huge potential for humans to connect and collaborate on things that would normally require people to be in the same room.

In the field of innovation and design, remote team members can collaborate on complex visual data in real time, enabling the simultaneous co-design by complex items, and the capability to stress-test with real-time design amends. As well as improving productivity and performance by avoiding the delays of bringing people and data together, virtual design collaboration reduces design costs significantly.

For organisations that deploy field workers, XR can enable remote collaboration on complex visual data in real time, and connect highly skilled workers at base with engineers in the field.

AR headsets can provide real-time data delivery to service technicians. They in turn can make repairs to products and systems in people’s homes more efficiently, allowing for quality control on the spot.

A safer space

One of XR’s greatest strengths is its ability to deliver training experiences, particularly for those working in potentially dangerous environments, for example, defence, emergency services and oil and gas industries. XR can simulate these environments without putting trainees at risk.

Learning experiences can also be delivered to employees wherever they are via the devices that they use every day, as most smartphones and tablets have the requisite hardware to run AR applications already.

Remote expert coaching could also be prerecorded and stored in a training library for employees. For instance, an auto manufacturer could offer VR and AR training packages to help mechanics maintain vehicles.

Smarter libraries

As a means of delivering information, XR can effectively place rich data in context, thereby getting better results.

For example, a manager working in a production facility who previously relied on a dashboard of metrics on their computer screen could instead walk through the plant and see contextually relevant information overlaid above each piece of machinery ‒ with a machine flashing red if it’s about to malfunction – a far more obvious signal than an elevated figure on a spreadsheet column.

However it is used, XR represents a significant change in the way we interact with technology and the world around us. The emergence of smartphones has radically altered our behaviour in so many ways we take for granted, whether that’s being able to map the best route to a destination and preview the front door before you even leave, or meeting a potential client at a conference and being able to share details instantly through social media.

The ubiquity and scale of the changes from XR will be the same – in ways we can’t even imagine.

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