Augmented reality at work

If you watched the 2002 blockbuster movie, “The Minority Report,” no doubt you’ve wondered what it would be like to work with the user interface Tom Cruise so famously manipulated in that film as head of the law enforcement squad Precrime. Scenes of him opening files, pushing aside windows, zooming into images with a hand gesture or a finger flick – no use of a monitor, a keyboard, or a lowly mouse – were just as exciting as the movie’s plot twists.

Can you imagine how different your work day would be if you had that kind of augmented reality (AR) at your fingertips?

Unlike virtual reality (VR), which is an artificial simulation of real life, AR is a technology that integrates digital information into existing reality, so that it has the potential to provide far more value to today’s workplaces.

AR, for example, can help technicians who wire control boxes in wind turbines see exactly where each wire goes in their field of vision, saving them the time and hassle of flipping through the pages of a technical manual. An experiment of just this sort resulted in a 34 percent faster installation time despite the fact that it was the first time the worker used AR instead of his usual printout manual as a guide.

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