Could augmented reality replace staff training?

by Brett Henebery01 May 2017
A US company has found an innovative way to train factory floor staff without them having to undertake engineering education.

The company is Daqri, an Augmented Reality (AR) company headquartered in Los Angeles.

Its general manager, Paul Sweeney, says that when this technology becomes mainstream, it has the potential to make engineering education redundant.

“In the next five years or so we will probably not have classroom training, they will just have training on their head, on the job,” he said.

Sweeney said Daqri’s ‘smart glasses’ overlay a hologram of a machine's internal information in a worker's actual line of sight.

“In the age of machine automation, Daqri's aim is to help manufacturers keep their workers, Sweeney said.

“We are putting the machine on the human's head so the human is in control.”

A report released in February by Cognizant – titled: Augmented Reality: A New Workforce Mobilization Paradigm – offered a glimpse into how this type of technology is boosting learning in the workplace.

The report points out that innovation is a constant in the information technology industry, continuously changing the way services are delivered to the business and to end users.

“From the mainframe era on to the Internet stage, we’re now experiencing the fifth IT wave, an era in which social, mobile, analytics and cloud [aka the SMAC Stack] are forming a new digital foundation with which to power business,” the report states.

“SMAC is already changing how IT is being deployed across industries, and as business becomes increasingly digital this new stack is expected to have a multiplying effect on operational efficiency and productivity.”

Research has shown that as AR technology continues to mature, it is poised to become an important workplace tool.

Many companies are increasingly applying AR tools to create effective training programs that drive employee engagement and success in the highly competitive global marketplace.

In March, Victorian paramedics announced that they will soon use virtual reality to help train frontline staff and better protect them from violence when responding to an emergency.

Russell Francis, CEO of Aussie e-learning company Velpic, which recently announced it was delving into virtual reality with the imminent release of a VR training app, said the initiative was “fantastic and progressive”.

“This is a fantastic and progressive initiative by the Victorian government. One of the fundamental benefits of VR is that the immersive experience can simulate hazardous situations without putting anyone in real danger,” Francis said in a statement.

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