AR services use various device sensors to identify the users' surroundings
NEW DELHI,INDIA: Although the adoption of augmented reality (AR) in the enterprise is still in its infancy, AR technology has matured to a point where organizations can use it as an internal tool to complement and enhance business processes, workflows and employee training, according to Gartner.
Gartner said that AR facilitates business innovation by enabling real-time decision making through virtual prototyping and visualization of content. "Augmented reality is the real-time use of information in the form of text, graphics, audio and other virtual enhancements integrated with real-world objects," said Tuong Huy Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner.
"AR leverages and optimizes the use of other technologies such as mobility, location, 3D content management and imaging and recognition. It is especially useful in the mobile environment because it enhances the user's senses via digital instruments to allow faster responses or decision-making," he said.
AR services use various device sensors to identify the users' surroundings. Current implementations generally fall into one of two categories - location-based or computer vision. Location-based offerings use a device's motion sensors to provide information based on a user's location. Computer-vision-based services use facial, object and motion tracking algorithms to identify images and objects. For example, being able to identify a shoe among numerous objects on a table, Google Goggles (imaged-based search), or optical character recognition (OCR).
The business potential for AR has increased through improvements in location services and image recognition. The precision of indoor location services has increased significantly, and this greater accuracy allows businesses to use AR location features for vehicle, campus and in-building navigation and identification. Image recognition capabilities in AR solutions allow user organizations to use these AR capabilities in processes that require staff to visually identify objects and parts and for real-time decision making.
"AR is most useful as a tool in industries where workers are either in the field, do not have immediate access to information, or jobs that require one or both hands and the operator's attention," said Nguyen.
Nguyen said that AR provides the highest benefit to efficiency. It has the potential to improve productivity, provide hands-on experience, simplify current processes, increase available information, provide real-time access to data, offer new ways to visualize problems and solutions, and enhance collaboration. IT organizations can use AR to bridge the digital and physical world. AR is an opportunity for IT to provide leadership to enhance the enterprise's interaction with its internal user base.
However, Gartner believes that these risks will decrease over time as implementations and use cases mature. Prior to deploying an AR solution as an internal tool, enterprises must identify a clear goal or benefit for the deployment, such as improved access to information, or to provide training and assess how the organization can use AR to reach this goal.