This week Apple announced their first entry into the virtual and augmented reality space, the Vision Pro. The headsets are still fairly bulky and at $3,499 per unit, it’s unlikely to be universally adopted any time soon–but how could augmented reality affect the business world? Augmented reality has the potential to reshape the landscape of business computing, introducing a wide array of benefits across various industries.


What Is Augmented Reality?


Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that overlays virtual elements onto the real world, enhancing our perception of reality. By blending computer-generated content with the physical environment, AR creates a mixed reality experience. AR devices, like smartphones or smart glasses, capture real-world surroundings and display virtual objects or information in real-time. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR), which immerses users in a fully digital environment, AR supplements and enhances the existing reality. An early and widespread example of AR was the mobile game Pokémon GO, which used players’ cameras to overlay game elements into the immediate environment.


Enhanced Visualization and Design


AR empowers designers, architects, and engineers to join virtual objects with the real world, revolutionizing the visualization and design processes. By providing real-time manipulation and interaction with 3D models, AR facilitates improved communication, accelerates decision-making, and streamlines the design workflow.


Remote Collaboration and Support


AR facilitates seamless collaboration among geographically dispersed teams. Through AR-powered communication tools, remote workers can share live video feeds, annotate objects, and provide real-time guidance, enabling enhanced collaboration and efficient troubleshooting. Remote support becomes more effective with AR, as experts can remotely assist and guide field technicians through complex tasks.


Training and Education


AR offers immersive and interactive training experiences, revolutionizing employee education. By creating realistic virtual environments, AR enables hands-on training in various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and maintenance. Employees can acquire new skills, practice complex procedures, and receive interactive feedback, enhancing the learning process. AR is already being used widely in training for medical professionals, especially surgeons.


Retail and E-commerce


AR is poised to add value in the retail industry by providing virtual shopping experiences. Customers can visualize and interact with products in their own environments, virtually placing furniture in their homes or trying on virtual clothing. AR bridges the gap between online and offline shopping, offering a more immersive, engaging, and personalized experience for customers.


AR holds immense potential for business computing, driving innovation and delivering tangible benefits in visualization, collaboration, training, data analytics, maintenance, prototyping, and retail. By harnessing the power of AR, businesses will gain efficiency, unlock new growth opportunities, and pave the way for a digitally enhanced future.