Augmented reality

Three enterprise learning use cases for augmented reality

  • Janet Alexander
    Janet Alexander
  • Dec 16, 2019

From learning to collaboration, augmented reality is the future of work. Here's what you need to know about its most effective entreprise uses.

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Emerging technologies such as AI, robotics, and intelligent automation are reshaping the labor force. 

By 2022, global average skills stability—the proportion of core skills required to perform a job that will remain the same—is expected to be ~58 percent. This sea-change means that many traditional jobs are already morphing into something different, or disappearing altogether. No less than 54% of all employees worldwide will require significant re- and upskilling within the next three years.

In the time since massive open online courses (MOOCs) debuted nearly a decade ago, the objectives and means of employee training and knowledge have evolved. The most recent innovation to enter the enterprise learning space is Augmented Reality (AR). For companies seeking to minimize how the skills gap impacts their business, AR promises a collaborative, interactive, and highly effective method to advance employees’ skills for unmet needs. 

Here are three examples of how an enterprise can use AR to advance their employees’ abilities: 

Collaborating with others

In the past, AR applications have been largely built for a single user due to the massive complexity of implementing a shared or collaborative experience. 

Today, though, multi-user AR allows for remote collaboration on virtual 3-D assets, like in architectural, medical, or industrial settings, and for and real-time translation of audio content into a user's native language, with subtitles visualized directly on the video stream.

In general, collaborative AR is best for teams whose upskilling requires shared interaction or if it’s advantageous to conduct training as a team. Building a shared AR experience is all about synchronization, which is tracking or sharing the location of 3D content. 

Multi-user AR is relatively new. In 2018, Apple introduced its “collaborative session” capability of its ARKit 3 to build multiuser AR experiences and Google announced its platform for building augmented reality experiences, ARCore. The year prior, Twilio released two communications capabilities fundamental to collaborative AR–DataTrack API and Media Sync API to share metadata between endpoints and synchronize AR metadata with real-time media, respectively. 

Interacting with tools and environment

For some, hands-on learning is most effective. Interactive AR offers the most immersive AR experience possible, allowing for motion and proximity to bring content to life. 

Participants can gesture to move objects or touch an object on-screen, rather than use separate controls. Twilio’s Programmable Video SDK allows developers to create more engaging communications for their company’s customers that combine real-world immediacy with rich virtual content–connecting voice and video to an AR app. 

On-the-job instruction

In manufacturing, warehousing, and field service environments, AR apps can overlay computer-generated video, graphic, or text information onto physical objects — for example, step-by-step repair instructions hovering over a machine part. 

Alternatively, with an AR app, technicians can contact a more experienced co-worker and, using a smartphone’s camera, allow them to see the problem as they offer step-by-step guidance in real-time to solve it. This kind of learn-by-doing approach has been shown to be highly effective in upskilling workers quickly and increasing productivity.

AR will allow more workers to do high-skill jobs, and improve their performance in this work, we are optimistic that industrial productivity will grow and that this will ultimately translate into higher wages.

CGS Enterprise Learning Group, a Twilio customer, provides companies with custom learning solutions, leveraging AI, AR/VR, machine learning, and gamification. 

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Janet Alexander

Janet Alexander

Janet has a decade of professional writing experience. With a focus on B2B technology, she helps Twilio's subject matter experts, product managers, and customers share their expertise, knowledge, and unique points of view through thought leadership, storytelling, and customer resources.