There has been a lot of talk about augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) lately. However, these technologies have been in development for quite some time—dating back to the 1800s. Businesses implementing AR have observed an average productivity enhancement of 32% along with a notable 46% decrease in the time required to accomplish tasks. Additionally, based on the developments we’ve observed from Meta and Apple, mixed reality does seem promising.
However, as these technologies are relatively new to the market, organisations are confused about how to incorporate them in the right way. To help you with this, let’s explore some ways in which AR and VR can assist your organisation.
Training for new or current employees is typically not very engaging. However, the adoption of VR can change this.
- Bank of America has implemented an immersive training initiative employing VR across all its financial centres. This program aims to instruct bankers on enhancing client relationships, adeptly handling challenging conversations, and honing their empathy skills through VR-enabled training platforms.
- HPE Financial Services uses VR to train new sales employees. They are trained via customer simulations and evaluated based on how they perform. Managers can assess employees based on their training levels and choose to personalise their training sessions. This makes the training process easier for managers and more interactive for employees.
What makes training valuable and interesting is hands-on experience, and VR-enabled training platforms provide just that via an immersive learning experience. A study found that employees training through VR can learn four times faster and are 1.5 times more focused compared to those in a traditional classroom setting.
How many times have you bought something online, only to find that the item wasn’t what you thought it would be? The clothes you bought didn’t fit, or the couch you purchased was too big. With AR-assisted online shopping, this issue can be fixed. You can use preview placement to try on clothes, shoes, and even makeup to get an idea of how they will look in real life.
- IKEA, a global home furnishing brand, employs AR to demonstrate to customers how furniture will appear in their living spaces.
- Nike employs AR and VR technologies within its physical stores. Shoppers can scan products such as shoes or apparel to access relevant information. They can also immerse themselves in a VR environment to experience the various stages in Nike’s supply chain. This enables customers to gain insights into the production processes and the locations where items are manufactured.
Many other global brands, including BMW, Apple, and L’Oréal, have also incorporated AR in their businesses.
Customers often face challenges when attempting to handle technical issues on their own. Even if customers receive clear instructions through phone calls or written materials, the effectiveness of the guidance can be significantly enhanced by a visual demonstration of the process in real-life scenarios. This is where AR can help.
Let’s consider the Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support system as an example. According to Forbes, “in Canada, the company has equipped all of its service centres with AR-enabled repair solutions utilising Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 AR headsets alongside its Dynamics 365 remote collaborative conferencing platform.”
This integration forms the Mercedes-Benz Virtual Remote Support system. It eliminates the necessity of flying specialists across the country to address distinctive or uncommon issues at dealerships. Instead, local technicians can easily don headsets and receive immediate guidance from specialists and experts. This includes the provision of information like wiring diagrams and schematics overlaid directly onto the specific part of the car they are addressing.
AR and VR present diverse capabilities that can greatly benefit enterprises, particularly in areas such as employee training, retail, and customer support. Beyond these, the potential applications of AR and VR extend to the military, hospitality, sports, gaming, and medicine sectors. The exploration of these technologies within enterprises is crucial to enhancing productivity, efficiency, customer experience, and customer engagement.