Why You Should Consider Augmented Reality For Your Training Program

Why You Should Consider Augmented Reality For Your Training Program
Summary: Virtual Reality (VR) may be what is on everyone's mind right now, but the cost may make it unobtainable. However, Augmented Reality (AR) may just be the solution you need.

7 Reasons For Utilizing Augmented Reality In Your Training Program

Virtual Reality (VR) is everywhere. The new technology, which can fully immerse learners in a complete world of the creator's making, is gaining traction as an eLearning tool. However, VR requires the use of specialized headgear which can be prohibitively expensive to equip, depending on the size of the budget. A more economical solution that still provides the same benefits of VR is Augmented Reality (AR).

Most people have smartphones, whether they're Android or iPhone users. AR works by using the mobile device's camera to impose 3D images into the real world, which is visualized on the device's screen; think Pokemon Go! or Harry Potter: Hogwarts' Mystery. The advantage of this is the ability to superimpose nearly any scenario in an everyday setting, without additional, more costly hardware.

Still curious how AR can benefit training? Here are seven reasons why you should consider AR as part of your program:

1. Making The Abstract Tangible

Take complex topics from images on a screen to a full 3D model. This 3D model can then be interacted with, in such a way that the user can now visualize changes and responses, rather than hearing them described. An example of this would be neurosurgery trainees being able to visualize brain tumors, or trainee train mechanics practicing repairs on parts that they may not have the ability to get to on working transportation.

2. Engagement

AR is not only visually appealing but appeals to learners who are more tactile as well. By stimulating the senses, lectures turn from blah to wow! Different scenarios can be superimposed, with added challenges, to make lessons more engaging and to appeal to those who like competition.

3. Cost

AR only needs a built-in camera from a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. No special hardware is required. For this reason, anyone can access it by downloading an app, making it a more cost-effective option.

4. Accessibility

Since AR requires no special equipment, and is typically available in an app, training can be completed at any time and anywhere. This accessibility takes away the stress of scheduling and trying to accommodate different shifts. All staff can access the training at any time and as often as they need to. A win in distance learning for disperse teams.

5. Faster Learning

AR, like other game-based learning, has been shown to be more effective than traditional methods. Because it appeals to a more self-directed learning style, and can be accessed repeatedly with no time constraints, it allows for quicker mastery.

6. Create Safer Experiences For Unsafe Tasks

Some jobs involve hazards. And while those hazards may not be easily duplicated for training, AR allows for those scenarios to be recreated so that learners can still participate in experiential learning. An example of this would be firefighters using AR to train on how to fight certain fire types under challenging conditions and locations, such as cruise ships or chemical plants.

7. Applicable For Anyone

One of the appeals to AR is that it can be applied to any job in any industry. Education level is not a barrier; this gives it a cross-functional appeal.

Challenges To Adopting AR

For all it's benefits, there are some challenges for organizations seeking to adopt it.

1. Lack Of Necessary Buy-In From Leadership

Like all training programs, buy-in from the top is not only needed, but essential for wide-scale implementation. AR is not as flashy as VR, so the benefits may not be immediately recognized, but with the right amount of support, it can prove to be a highly successful learning strategy.

2. Lack Of Training To Effectively Implement

Just like any new technology, trainers, managers, and anyone else that may be overseeing the rollout will need training. This training should not only include how to use the AR system, but how to incorporate it with existing training materials and tools effectively.

3. Not All Staff May Have A Smartphone Or Tablet

Some people are holdouts, still utilizing flip phones rather than smartphones. For those that haven't upgraded to newer technology, it may be a challenge for them to receive the same benefit as those who can access the AR programs.

Though these challenges exist, they are not insurmountable. Just like any other effective program, proper planning is required for success.

If you want to spice up your current development program, why not look at AR solutions? After all, games are quickly becoming the future of corporate training.