Augmented reality (AR) is a type of immersive learning environment that leverages mobile devices, multimedia and content to enrich and authenticate learning experiences. In simpler terms, it’s just plain cool! If you haven’t explored ways to incorporate AR into your corporate training toolset, now is the time. Here’s a great example of why:

Let’s say you oversee training for your company’s technical staff. You need a way for new employees to practice complex skills and review and interact with content repetitively prior to working on real equipment, which is often expensive and non-reusable. Using print textbook seems old school and usually doesn’t excite trainees to want to jump in and learn new skills. Also, having access to test equipment isn’t always feasible. Imagine if you had a way to showcase various types of content and give employees a way to demonstrate skills, receive remediation and visualize complex tasks in a way that enhanced learning and even encouraged on-demand learning.

Now, imagine that your training arsenal includes AR products. The technicians who need to know how to disassemble an automobile engine can practice without ever touching the real thing. They can watch video demonstrations, practice using 3D modeling and even take an assessment to illustrate proficiency.

AR allows you to augment the physical environment with text, graphics, audio, video, 3D models and more. These immersive learning experiences provide trainers with novel teaching tools and transform learning for employees. They allow organizations to build a confident workforce in a safe and innovative environment.

AR has long been studied by the automotive industry as a way to service vehicles more effectively, and General Motors is training factory workers in real time using AR. As more and more people perform complex operations and procedures, AR technology will redefine how people learn and are trained.

Need some ideas to get started? Imagine being able to…

  • Relay and embed consumer information in your product packaging
  • Provide technicians with the tools to troubleshoot and diagnose engine issues rapidly and efficiently
  • Reduce workers’ exposure to hazardous materials
  • Expand your print content experience, allowing authors to augment content with video and other rich media assets that bring once-boring training materials to life

Today’s learners are already connected and want to engage with the world around them in new, innovative and realistic ways that expand their skill sets and marketability.

Here are some great ways to include AR in your training toolset:

  • Group by capability or interest: AR allows you to break students into small groups to focus on specific areas of strength and weakness or content areas. You can also connect remote workers.
  • Collaboration and social interaction: Students can work together to solve problems and learn about various topics.
  • Expand beyond your physical training center: Immersive instruction allows for better transfer and retention of knowledge. Businesses can leverage physical space as an additional layer of content for students to observe, manipulate and analyze.
  • Increase use of technology and mobile devices: AR makes it easy for instructors to promote the use of mobile devices for instructional purposes and expands when learners have access to content. Learning can take place anywhere and anytime, proving beneficial to learners who are juggling full time jobs and professional development.

Taking an idea and making it a reality can be a scary prospect. It’s vital to have the right partner to help make your vision a reality. It takes resolve, leadership and vision to conceptualize the true impact that AR can have on your organization. Be sure to brainstorm, but limit the possible use cases so you can propose some prototypes with your vendor, who can then steer you toward what is feasible and cost-effective and show you how to measure success.

Embrace the paradigm shift and invest in the process to create innovation. If you are looking for a way to set yourself apart from your competition and leverage technology in new and exciting ways that impact your business, turn to AR. The problems you can solve with AR technology are endless, and you can expand your relationship with customers and employees alike. Whether your goal is to enhance learning outcomes, discover efficiency improvements or assist with complex tasks, each of these opportunities provides a compelling reason to add AR to your training portfolio.