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How Augmented Reality Can Be Used At Work

Maybe the best thing about Augmented Reality (AR) and what makes it distinct from Virtual Reality (see our previous article on the differences between both technologies) is that instead of generating a completely immersive, virtual environment, it actually combines virtual elements with the real world around us. In effect, AR provides a digital overlay, or fabrication, on top of objects and space around us. There are a number of ways to AR can be used at work. Following are simply ideas to get you started.

Product Previews

If the customers preorder something, you can use the power of AR in order to show them what that product will look like. One such example already in the market is the furniture app by IKEA. Using a smartphone users are able to have augmented furniture appear within their living room in order to see how it will look, before purchasing the item. Another example is the L’Oréal Makeup Genius which overlays different makeup products on the user’s face by utalising the front facing camera on their smartphone and displaying the augmented image on the phone screen.

Construction

Challenge within the construction industry center around accessing important information while on the job, without having to carry large or bulky items. What Augmented Reality HMDs (Head Mounted Displays) such as the Microsoft HoloLens promise is the ability for construction workers to use a hands free device to pull up information on what they are working on. This can be anything from pipe pressures and temperatures, to viewing important information on how to operate complex machinery.

Healthcare

AR can be used in healthcare with a variety of purposes. Similar to applications within the construction industry, AR can provide some valuable information, such as patient data, provided to the employee in real time. Doctors have the ability to monitor their patient’s blood pressure and other vital characteristics without having to look up from the operation, while sports trainers can visualize the stamina and physical state of their players.

Remote Collaboration

As the technology matures we are seeing the capacity for AR to allow users to be networked together in real time, allowing work colleagues to collaborate together on a project, even though they may be located in two different physical locations. Pitching to clients and visiting work sites through Augmented Reality technology may be the norm within the next 5 to 10 years.

Above are just a few ideas and applications for Augmented Reality. By understanding what AR can and cannot do you will find applications for its use specific to your industry challenges. By removing a lot of the physical assistants and providing real time information to the user, while also being hands free, is a strong selling point for AR. If you have an application you would like to develop or interested in learning more about how AR could be used to solve your particular situation please contact us. ImmersePort is a Brisbane based Augmented Reality Development Company which specializes in working with clients to provide custom software solutions.

The Difference Between VR vs AR

In only the last six months we have seen Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality really hit consumer markets. The technologies has come a long way since their first appearances in the 80’s, however there is still some confusion around the differences between the two. What is the difference between Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)? We explore their benefits and downfalls below.

What Is Augmented Reality?

AR is a technology which exists in the market currently in the form of smart phones. Dedicated Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) are entering the market this year such as the Microsoft HoloLens and Meta Glasses. AR is best described as the act of overlaying a digital image over the real world environment around you. An important aspect of this is that the device delivering your AR experience will utilize some form of outward facing sensor (usually two cameras) to capture the real environment around you, understand it via depth perception, and then overlay digital imagery by anchoring it within the environment.

As technology progresses further, the promise or true Augmented Reality is the ability to seamlessly blend real life with an environment the user chooses to project.

What Is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality hardware has been available to big businesses (with even bigger price tags) since the 80’s, where the technology mostly resided in academic institutions. In early 2012 we saw the Kickstarted Virtual Reality headset called the Oculus Rift, a garage project which lead to being acquired by Facebook for $2 billion dollars. Since then multiple other major tech companies have launched their own consumer HMDs (or Head Mounted Displays) such as Valve/HTC with the Vive room scale system, and Samsung with the mobile GearVR.

Virtual reality can be differentiated from AR in a number of key features. Firstly the VR HMD is designed to remove as much light and input from the physical world around you. It then has a high resolution screen which is updated in real time with an image of the virtual environment you are looking into. With a lens between the screen and each of your eyes the screen is warped in a way that stretches the view around your line of sight. With a powerful computer or mobile smart phone the virtual world is updated so that as you turn your head, the virtual environment responds, giving you a sense of ‘presences’. It is the sense of presence which differentiates VR form AR, as the user will feel they are within the virtual environment rather than still a part of their physical environment.

Conclusion

It is quite difficult to imagine the differences are between AR and VR, particularly when it comes to feeling presence within a virtual environment. We at ImmersePort highly recommend people to try both mediums to really grasp the difference and understand how they could harness the potential of this technology for their own applications. If you are interested in learning more about Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Brisbane, please contact us. We will be more than happy to help.

How To Use Pokémon Go for Business

The new Pokémon Go Augmented Reality game has managed to generate huge consumer attention, with people from all over the world going out of their way to play this game and complete the in app accomplishments. The main premise for the app is that you have the ability to explore the world with your phone as you try to catch the Pokémon in your area. This is a really fun and exciting experience and at the same time can provide some extraordinary benefits for business owners.

With the right strategies any business owner is able to acquire more customers utalising the geographical location based Pokémon Go application. Here are some tips that might be able to help you.

Host A Lure Party

Maybe the best way to use Pokémon Go is to create a lure party. Within the game you will be able to find lures that will attract Pokémon towards you. You should try and purchase a package of lure modules and for around 30 minutes you will be able to ‘lure’ plenty of Pokémon into your chosen area. This will naturally attract the attention of users of the app and, in their quest of hunting for Pokémon, will drop by. If done correctly you will increase foot traffic in the area of your business or event, giving you more exposure and ability to market your services/products. Keep in mind that not every Pokémon Go player will be your target customer.

Getting lures is inexpensive so you should try and invest in lure packages for the full effect. Most of the time you will be able to repeat the experience on a daily basis and, if your service/product is the right fit for the customers passing by, you should receive a return on your investment.

Host Gym Battle Tournaments

Post on social media that you create gym battle tournaments. If your company is close to a Pokémon gym, then you can harness this potential by creating custom tournaments. Offer potential customers the ability to battle Pokémon at your chosen location and once this is known as a Pokémon Go friendly location be prepared to have players drop by as word of mouth spreads. Be sure to market your services and products to all visitors. You may also give discounts to Pokémon Go players which will help generate even more visitors.

Host Poke Hunts

Hosting hunts for Pokémon Go can be another great way to harness the current craze. A Poke hunt is an event whereby an invitation is extended for anyone who plays Pokémon Go to join in a group of other players as they travel to popular, geographical locations to catch Pokémon. You could sponsor the ‘hunt’ with branded shirts, promotional items or even with your service or product, such as an energy drink.

Use Social Media

Offer social-media-only deals to encourage Pokémon Go players to follow you on social media. This simple trick will make it easy for you to increase your social media following very fast. Social media is a great way to promote the Poke Hunts, Lure Parties and Gym Battles mentioned above.

The bottom line here is that using Pokémon Go for business is not that hard, you just have to find the right approach. Think outside the box. ImmersePort is a Brisbane based company which provides custom developed, Augmented Reality applications similar to Pokémon Go. If you are interested in creating an Augmented Reality app for your business contact us and we would be happy to assist.

How VR Can Be Used Within Businesses

In today’s business landscape it isn’t enough to ignore the impact technology is having on how we work, play and tell our brand story. Though it can be daunting to keep up with the new technologies which are entering our market everyday, that doesn’t mean you can’t harness its power to get the best results in your business today. Virtual reality (VR) is one of these emerging technologies and, if properly integrated within your business, can add value by increasing KPIs and reducing costs.

Here are some of the ways you can use VR in your business.

Conferences

VR conferencing makes it easier for teams located in different parts of the world to communicate in an effective manner. Virtual spaces open the door to more immersive communication experiences and has been proven to give users a higher level of information retention. Outside of investing in quality VR headsets, a private conferencing experience can be developed as a stand alone application. This gives employees and clients the ability to meet privately with, for example a customer service officer, within a comfortable environment branded by the service provider.

Workplace Confrontations

Issues within the workplace are common and include everything from bullying by co-workers to abusive customers. Through Virtual Reality experiences it is possible to recreate stressful scenarios, or replicate the view of a staff member who suffers from depression, in order to help raise awareness within the workplace environment. Employees may also be prepared for stressful environments by first immersing them within simulated experiences using Virtual Reality.

Training Sessions

Depending on the business, you will at times need to enroll your new employees in training sessions to ensure their knowledge and skills are up to date. Training sessions can be very time consuming and resource intensive. Having a Virtual Reality simulation allows employees to complete certain time or resource intensive activities, either at the workplace or at home. Results have been shown to be much higher in terms of information retention, due to the alien environment the content is being delivered in.

Interviewing Candidates

There is no such thing as a tried and true way of interviewing for suitable candidates. Some of the hardest qualities to interview for are resilience, compassion and emotional intelligence. With Virtual Reality there is the capability to create immersive environments which replicate predetermined experiences to cause certain reactions in the viewer. Technology is also becoming available for head tracking and even eye tracking, where data can be collected with precise results. This may be extreme but it offers a look into the near future of interviewing job candidates.

In closing, yes VR can offer tremendous value within a business. From interviews to team training, these are only a few of the useful scenarios where VR can bring value to your business and workplace.

If you are interested in pursuing this technology further, or have potential ideas which you would like to explore, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us via the details provided at the bottom of this page to take the next step.

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