Augmented reality: Ready for training or in its infancy?
Courtesy of Google Glass, Vuzix and other new hardware, augmented reality (AR) has had its share of media attention in the last two years. Raj Raheja, CEO of training firm Heartwood, discusses the how AR technology could potentially for training engineers.
Many people confuse virtual reality and augmented reality (AR), so let’s start with a simple definition that covers most AR use: AR is technology that enables digital data to be overlaid on a live view of the real world.
When this data (be it text, graphics or sound) is displayed on a person’s real-time view, it can open up new ways to learn about one’s surroundings, from navigating a street we are walking down or practicing the best way to work on a piece of equipment we are using. This video shows AR for machine maintenance in action:
Looks promising, doesn’t it? But does it really help one learn easier or faster? Yes!
The good folks at Colombia University concluded, after a series of tests, that users completed the same task in 53 per cent of the time, and more accurately than previous forms of instruction. They also found it to be a more natural and intutive way of learning.
So, if you’re in charge of a training in your organisation, you’re probably thinking you should invest in Augmented Reality technology – but you shouldn’t. Why?
AR is not at the cutting edge of technology right now – it’s at the “bleeding edge”. And I’m not thrilled to say so, because from a business standpoint, I look forward to offering interactive AR solutions. But at Heartwood we have had the oppurtunity to analyse training initiatives at countless organisations.