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AR is leading immersive technologies

Blog: Capgemini CTO Blog

Between AR and VR

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are the next steps in business innovation. The increase in productivity, security, and knowledge due to the improvement of human skills converts these techniques in the obsession of managers and employers.

Many of these managers must ask themselves which of these realities should be prioritized. Truthfully speaking, there isn’t a good or bad – just two different solutions for different problems. While VR is a completely digital environment that provides a synthetic experience, AR offers a different approach to how we conduct our day to day work. AR supposes a digital layer superimposed on the physical world, integrating real and virtual elements to enhance the real world. This makes it possible to increase productivity, reduce injuries, or improve quality.

ar, vr

Sixty-six percent of companies found AR to be more applicable than VR. This reflects the fact that VR enhances a solo, immersive user experience isolated from the real world (probably causing an astonishing experience in videogames). By connecting the digital to the real, AR supports a number of breakthroughs use cases. As a result, more organizations are implementing AR (45%) than VR (36%). In this post, we will explore some of the use cases of AR.

AR breakthrough cases

Designing and modeling scenarios

Permits a digital experience designing and modeling before completion. It also makes testing all models in the real world easier and allows the worker to reimagine and test in real time.

This use case would allow people to design interior spaces, design and try manufacturing pieces, or even reinvent designs or models. Enterprises such as Space Catcher enable users to create digital sculptures and share them as a video, pictures, or 3D models. Combining this with other innovative methods, such as 3D printers, could lead to breakthrough products.

Other cases in final users are possible, such as the Ikea Place app. Thanks to its Apple ARKit technology, it allows you to scan your room and design the space by placing Ikea products in the digital image of your room in order to create a new environment with the furniture you are about to buy.

Guidance and access to guidebooks

In maintenance work, AR technologies could provide extra information about places, cargo, or machines. They could also provide guidance through hallways, with directions or other information, as well as access to different guidebooks or videos, facilitating the task and increasing efficiency.

The Gatwick Airport passenger app has been awarded for its creative use of AR technology. With the help of more than 2,000 beacons throughout its two terminals, passengers can use the AR maps from their mobile phones to navigate through the airport.

Assistance and tracing on the go

Asking for assistance or following how work is done couldn’t be easier with AR. It lets users contact, show, and ask how a work is done and receive tips or best practices on the go, improving the quality of the job.

In its Mumbai CoE, Capgemini is working on remote service excellence using smart glasses. This is a mobile AR solution integrating Vuzix technology with SAP and other OEM backend support systems where senior engineers can guide juniors in automotive factories.

Healthcare support with AR

In critical situations, AR solutions can deliver real-time information to the treatment area to support diagnosis, surgery, and treatment plans, helping doctors and surgeons to make decisions.

This is the case of AccuVein, a handheld device that can scan a patient’s  vein network. Surgeons can plan procedures before making the first cut, models can be made of tumors, and AR diagnostic tools can model disease conditions.

AR is beneficial but still complex

As it is exposed in Capgemini’s recent report “Augmented and Virtual Reality in Operations: A guide for investment,” the benefits and potential of AR are perceived as a large-scale implementation for companies. The US is the leader country on investments on this technology (6.4 billion US dollars expected for 2018), with organizations such as Boeing in the lead, followed by China and France.

In the same report, it is shown than AR projects are perceived with more complexity than VR projects because VR projects grant more flexibility to the creators of the digital environment. AR is still evolving. It is expected to be totally developed and normalized in the market within the next three years, reaching one billion AR users by 2020.

In the coming years, wide adoption of immersive technologies with AR at the cutting edge will take place. Organizations are identifying more relevant areas of implementation and highlighting design and assembly, immersive training, inspection and quality assurance, repair and maintenance, not only in manufacturing but also in retail, traveling, marketing, movies, or even education. These technologies will help to get more efficient, safe and productive companies. Capgemini, through its Digital Customer Experience team, is helping its clients to implement AR use cases that will help them to be part of the most innovative players of their respective market.

Research activities of this post has been conducted by Mario Lara San José

Download Capgemini Research Institute’s Latest Report On  Augmented and Virtual Reality in Operations: A guide for investment  to get a 360 view on these Immersive Technologies

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