The Power of Augmented Reality: Making the World Your Learning Context

The Power of Augmented Reality Making the World Your Learning Context blog image

As the world of technology changes, so must the way we train our workforce. Training methods that were effective in the past, like classroom, virtual classroom and eLearning,  may no longer be effective today. The trouble with these types of learning modalities is that they take the learner out of the context of their jobs and put them in the context of a classroom or an office desk.  Augmented reality is one of the more innovative technologies that have enabled tremendous leaps in productivity in recent years. Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that allows users to superimpose digital content on top of the real world. This keeps the learner in the context of their job and makes the real world their classroom. 

Early adopters and video gamers have leveraged AR for years. However, corporate leaders across the globe have only recently realized the potential impact of AR-equipped employees across their businesses. According to PwC, over 23 million jobs globally will be enhanced by this technology by 2030. While AR has a wide range of potential commercial applications, it’s incredibly compelling for training front line, deskless workers. A recent ISACA study polled this segment of business leaders and found that the top potential benefits of this technology include workplace training, safety guides, and product demonstrations.

Here are some of the key benefits of using AR for employee training:

  1. Increased Engagement

Employees are more likely to pay attention and be engaged in training when it is relevant,  interactive, and hands-on. Augmented reality brings learning to life by making it more interactive and engaging. Employees can train and practice in their actual work environment or in a simulated environment that is more convenient.

  1. Improved Retention

The immersive nature of AR allows employees to better understand and retain information from their training. When data gets presented interactively and engagingly, in context, employees are more likely to remember it. Augmented reality training falls under the “learn-by-doing” method of learning, which studies have shown to have much better retention than other teaching methods. In one study, the recall rate when learning a new language was significantly improved with the use of AR (as high as 75% compared to only 10% for reading material or 5% for lectures).

  1. Cost-Effective

Augmented reality is a cost-effective way to train employees. There is no need to build expensive physical facilities or make travel arrangements for employees who need to attend off-site training courses. All that is required is a smartphone or tablet and an AR app.

  1. Increased Efficiency

AR can help employees learn new skills quickly and efficiently. With AR, employees can receive just-in-time training specific to their needs and abilities. This training can help employees be productive faster and make fewer mistakes on the job.

At Boeing, AR training has dramatically impacted the productivity and quality of complex aircraft manufacturing procedures. By leveraging AR, trainees completed the wing assembly in 35% less time than trainees using traditional 2-D drawings and documentation. Furthermore, the number of trainees with little or no experience who could perform the job correctly the first time increased by 90%. That’s a massive improvement!

  1. The World is Your Context

Training with AR does not need to take place in a specific location. Employees can learn anywhere, anytime, increasing flexibility and reducing costs associated with setup, travel, and time away from work.

  1. Improved Safety 

By simulating dangerous scenarios with AR, employees can practice safety measures without risking their health or the welfare of others. AR helps reduce the risk of injury or accidents for those types of training. AR is also used to help employees learn safety protocols and procedures in a controlled, virtual environment.

It has become undeniable that augmented reality has a wide range of potential applications for modern businesses, particularly regarding operational training and knowledge for front-line workers. By tapping into the power of augmented reality, companies can help employees with a fun, engaging experience to learn new skills quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively while also improving safety protocols and reducing the risk of accidents in the workplace.