Ten Ways Augmented Reality Will Change How We Work


Augmented reality, increasingly known as mixed reality, will transform our work lives in ten key ways:

  1. Hyper-training: “You can take on-the-job training to a whole new level, putting the new hire in real-world situations in which they must perform their job duties. This kind of hyper-training provides hands-on experience without the costs and risks of real hands-on,” writes Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst of Futurum Research at Broadsuite Media Group. Imagine, for example, performing open-heart surgery with no risk to anyone’s life.
  2. Augmented cognition: When combined with artificial intelligence, AR will be used to boost cognitive abilities on the fly. For example, Martin Španěl developed an AR app that helps the user solve a Rubik’s cube puzzle. We can imagine other apps that enable people to do anything from repair car engines to solve mathematical equations written on a white board.
  3. Higher productivity: When wearing AR devices, users will increasingly be able to  set up and customize a “virtual” workspace that overlays their physical workspace. For example, engineers will be able manipulate virtual objects, whether they be small electronic components or giant girders, with a wave of the hand in design and testing phases.building-3d-and-wireframe-5-1207539-638x348-copy
  4. Facilitated design and construction: AR will allow architects to lay their designs over a real landscape to see if the design plans will work as expected. And construction workers will be able to see the design much more effectively than they could via a 2D blueprint.
  5. Transformed medical care: AR will give medical practitioners the equivalent of x-ray vision as visions of the inner workings of patients are displayed in real time. For example, when used in tandem with sonographic machines, healthcare workers will be able to “see” hearts beading and organs functioning.
  6. Enhanced teams: Using AR, even large groups of people can sit around a digital object, share ideas, and modify it in real time. Unlike many types of digital media, AR has the capability to enhance rather than reduce one-on-one communications and teamwork between people working in the same work environment.
  7. Virtual interior design: With AR, it will be increasingly possible to “place” virtual furniture in your home before purchasing it.
  8. Animated education: In the study of history, for example, it will be possible to bring ancient places and even people “alive” for students via AR. Imagine a classroom of students standing around a virtual Spartan warrior and examining his weapons and clothing in detail, as if he were standing in the classroom.


    From NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, which worked with Microsoft’s HoloLens

  9. Turbocharged travel: AR will allow travelers to scan famous architecture, artworks, and locations of all sorts in order to glean more information about them or discover hidden features.
  10. Mixed-reality interfaces: It’s possible to create a virtual environment, such as the planet Mars, and be able to use your real equipment (for example, your computer mouse) to modify or investigate that virtual environment in real time.

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