The Zombie Apocolypse is the premise of the upcoming augmented reality (AR) game, The Walking Dead: Our World currently in development by Finnish studio, Next Games. While, gaming is only the tip of the augmented reality iceberg, AR is poised to revolutionize business as we know it.
Google's augmented reality tool, Google Glass, was the first introduction most people had to AR. Unfortunately, it ran into several problems which limited its appeal, and it never became a commercial success.
Microsoft took the lead from Google and developed the Microsoft HoloLens. The major difference is that Microsoft is focusing their device on the Enterprise space, rather than the consumer space.
The result is a glimpse into how powerful AR for the enterprise will become:
ThyssenKrupp: In September of 2016, ThyssenKruppan announced they were outfitting their repair workforce with HoloLens. Technicians can communicate with colleagues through the HoloLens, allowing for remote support through the technician's eyes.
Trimble Dimensions SketchUp Viewer: Commercially available in the Microsoft Store, the SketchUp Viewer allows users to model and experiment with 3D designs. Multiple individuals can work together on the same models for collaboration sessions either in-person or remotely. There is even an immersive 1:1 mode to allow for life-size interaction with the models!
Lifeliqe: Lifeliqe is bringing AR innovation to the classroom with their HoloLens educational tool. They offer K-12 science lesson plans that include 3D models of the subject matter for students to interactively explore.
As compelling as these pioneer projects are, they are only the beginning. The enterprise opportunities for AR are vast, and include:
Remote Collaboration: Employees from all over the world can work with each other in the same virtual space.
Prototyping: Designers will use 3D models to design everything from potential products to application interfaces.
Transportation: Managers can view 3D maps of locations and routes. Changes can be explored and implemented in real-time by interacting with the 3D models.
Training: New employees can learn about business processes and procedures by enacting scenarios or getting hands-on virtual training with company products.
These are just a few of the many potential uses for AR in the enterprise.
Gartner estimates that head-worn devices will reach 72 billion dollars in revenue in 10 years. Everyday use by employees is still a few years off but early adopters are already in the game.