We are all well connected with our near and dear ones staying away from us through various digital mediums like messengers which allow us to make video calls. Similarly, in business we conduct video conference for easy interaction irrespective of the location of the participants. But sometimes flying in certain critical resources is unavoidable. With augmented reality (AR) we can have the critical resources present in front of us though not physically, and help us provide clarifications, solve problems and make decisions as required. There lies a great opportunity in using this technology for easy communication, learning, exploring, transferring knowledge, creativity and thereby even implementation and maintenance of software.
I recently went to Ocean Park, Hong Kong where there was a roller coaster ride where we were given an option to wear a head gear with virtual reality (VR) experience. It takes us into a virtual world where we are riding a vehicle in a park and seeing many wild animals in the process forgetting that we are in a roller coaster. It made the experience more fun and enjoyable which in general is scary to many.
The difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is that while virtual reality takes us into a virtual world, augmented reality allows us to remain in the physical world and bring virtual characters into our world. Thus AR can help clarify doubts and make the learning and knowledge transfer process easier and faster. Getting the required information at the required time empowers us to make better decisions and solve problems in real-time without making mistakes.
In software implementation and maintenance, we often come across situations where the product development team is not at the customer location. Thus if an issue needs to be fixed, it is a time consuming process to pass on the understanding of the issue, get the resolution, deploy the patch and retest it in multiple environments. Instead, if augmented reality is applied here, we can make the product expert available at the customer site virtually, understand the real issue and provide quick resolution to the team that is available on site, empowering them and thereby reducing the turnaround time. This can be extended to software design, development and support as well. For example, user of an application can get expert advice and help instantly in case they face a challenge in using the application.
Similar situations are applicable for any problem that requires expert opinion advice, suggestion or input. Using AR to get expert help when required can create significantly richer experiences. This opens up a new way of learning, approaching a problem and rethinking solutions to problems. Traditional methods of teaching and learning need to change. We can upskill workers to take on new responsibilities using augmented reality. We can collaborate in new ways by bringing people in different geographies together to get the job done, accept challenges, take risks, share ideas and go beyond our limitations. It is going to change how we see and experience the world.
Let us change our mindset, embrace and leverage change that is happening around us. Let us become more responsive and agile. Let us not contain good ideas and knowledge to ourselves but share them across our organizations and communities using technologies such as AR.